So aphids have been brutal this year. Realized yesterday that our rose of sharon shrub/tree (it's huge) in front of our house is infested. I blasted all branches within reach with water. I'm hoping to avoid pesticides since I saw a ladybug larva on there already (probably enjoying an all you can eat aphid buffet). Beneficials have been slow to emerge this year with cooler than normal temps, and I don't want to wipe out any now that I'm finally getting them.
What's my best bet here? Keep water blasting as best I can? I can't get to the top of the tree, but should I trim the new branch growth if it has aphids in the tips and dispose? Should I consider buying beneficial to release? My community association actually provides us with praying mantis eggs already, which I put in the back yard (seeing baby mantises in the garden now). I was thinking about lacewings and ladybugs.
Had this rose of sharon for over ten years. I've never seen an aphid on it in my life. Gah, this year is the year of the aphid.