Holly Fern and orange bugs

riverrat1September 24, 2004

I have noticed for the last few weeks that a holly fern I have is looking pretty bad. So I was inspecting it, finding an orange 1/4 of an inch bug. At first I thought it was a spider. Upon closer inspection it's got 6 black legs and 2 antenna. My husband thinks it's an aphid (I now have one captured in a glass jar sitting by my desk), but I'm not so sure. Although this fern is planted in an urn with english ivy, so it's a possibility it could be aphids. The leaves of the fern are turning brown on the edges and it looks like something is munching on them. The ivy looks o.k.! Help! What do I do? Make my own soap mixture or go to the store and get something?

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lisa455(z9 LA)

If it is aphids (there are some that are orange - check out the pictures at ext.vt.edu/departments/entomology/
ornamentals/aphids.html) insecticidal soap is the mildest and good to start with.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 7:53PM
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live_oak_lady(Zone 9)

My daughter had those bugs and Dan Gill told her they were harmless. Try 2 tablespoons Dawn liquid to a gallon of water and use a spray bottle. It can't harm anything. Someone told me to do that for whitefly and it surely did help.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 10:25PM
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If Dan Gill says these bugs are not harmful, then I know I can save this fern. He writes a column in Louisiana Gardener that I enjoy reading every month! I will try the dish water solution. Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2004 at 11:16PM
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