Aphids on my indoor hot peppers

JoelKatzFebruary 8, 2011

I have an indoor 'greenhouse' that I made out of a tent with a temperature control and fluorescent lights. I'm growing ghost peppers, devil's tongue peppers, and chocolate habaneros. I have about 40 plants. Temperature is around 75F, humidity around 65%.

My problem is aphids. I believe they're green peach aphids. I'll clean the plants one day and the next day, five plants will each have 30+ aphids on them.

I've tried squishing them. It makes me feel good, especially when I imagine I can hear them screaming. But they're back the next day. Then I tried insecticidal soap. It cleans the aphids off, but again they're back.

I've also tried Neem oil, esfenvalerate, cyfluthrin, and bifenthrin. The Neem oil I applied weekly for three weeks. The others I applied once and waited several days. In all cases, I would clean all the plants manually, wait two days, and then check them again. The aphids were back.

My present plan is to stick with neem and squishing. But it's very tedious to pull out each plant to inspect and spray it and it's making this a lot less fun than it should be.

Since this is indoors, beneficial insects are out. Any suggestions? Maybe some sympathy? Thanks in advance.

I went back to Neem oil. I'm spraying it every time I see aphids in large clusters and on all plants every seven days. I squish any lonely aphids I find. Just now, I found four plants with leaves with 10+ aphids on them. This is after a meticulous cleaning less than three days ago.

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fiedlermeister(04/05)

I use

indoors. The only thing that has worked for me. Best price I have found is March Biological

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 6:53AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, Ladybugs.
I released seven of them last month, and they've been working overtime.
They don't cause a problem indoors.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 9:32AM
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wordwiz

I mixed up a combo of Safer Soap/Neem Oil and water. Put it in a garden sprayer, the type that is pumped up. If I saw one aphid, I sprayed all the plants, top, bottom and sides of leaves and stems. In less than a week, no aphids.

One poster opined aphids are born pregnant. I tend to believe it.

Mike

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 4:38PM
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tsheets(5)

Last year I battled aphids and the insecticidal soap worked for me. I sprayed the heck out of the plants (all of them, not just the infected plant/area) a few times and it took care of them.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 5:18PM
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smokemaster_2007

I vote for LadyBugs.
Buy a carton of them but only put a few in with the plants every so often.
Only time they leave the plans is when they run out of food.
They keep in the fridge a long time.Much longer than the instructions say.
Gotta keep the cotton damp though thats in the carton.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 6:57PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Smoke brings up a good point.
Mist your plants periodically so that the Ladybugs have something to drink.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:02PM
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JoelKatz

I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm not sure my wife would be tolerant. And I personally *hate* beetles.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 2:01AM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

I had this problem last year, but I had about half that many plants.

I discovered the technique of wrapping each cotton end of a q-tip in masking tape, sticky side facing out. Then you gently roll the tape over each leaf surface. It picks the aphids off perfectly, with no accidental damage to the leaves. Like any method it wasn't 100%, but after a few days of tape-rolling the aphid numbers were significantly reduced. I found this control to be no more tedious than spraying, and far cheaper as neem can be pricey.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 11:37AM
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JoelKatz

I pay $16 for a pint of 70% neem oil. A pint of 70% makes about 12 to 16 gallons of neem (depending on how strong you like it). That works out to between $1 and $1.50 per gallon.

I like your method though. That seems much less likely to injure the plant than squishing, since I don't think I'd have to manipulate the leaves as much.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 2:49PM
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chilemilio

those bugs are the worst. I had a severe case of indoor aphids not too long ago. Tried all kinds of mixes.. I finall asked for advice on these forums, and the best thing that worked was a simple water, hand soap (mild soap, no dish washing detergents), and isopropyl alcohol mix. below is a link to the thread...

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pepper/msg0115061527817.html?26756

no real measurements.. just a lot of water to enough soap for a mild foam, and enough alcohol so that you can smell its presence. Sprayed over night every ~3 days until i couldn't find any bugs. sprayed on top and underneath the leaves. Still have spotted the occaisional aphid, so i spray once a week now.. thinking i'm make this a regular treatment.
Good Luck -H

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 11:40PM
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redlinenikolas(Sunset 11)

I've been using a Neem Oil, Pure Castile soap and water mix in a hand sprayer bottle, and it does the trick on the aphids out in the greenhouse. Once I get to spring/summer, I'll get ladybugs and praying mantises for the garden..

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 7:18PM
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John11840(z6/CT)

I've been keeping after mine with soapy water spray, but have lost the battle with a few.
Question: Can I reuse the potting soil that those plants were in, or do I need to discard it?
John A

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:54AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Starting with fresh soil is really best.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 11:35AM
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