Help identifying insect pest on cyclamen

paintedthumb(5b ME)March 18, 2014

I bought a cyclamen a little over a week ago at a flower show and just discovered several leaves covered with clearish off-white bugs. The leaf in the picture is about an inch tall. Sorry for the grainy image, I took the picture with my phone.

Thanks for any help!

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Linda

It looks like aphids. Just wash them off with a strong stream of warm water. If they come back, repeat.

Linda

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:14AM
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paintedthumb(5b ME)

Thank you so much, Linda! I'm relatively new to gardening and didn't realize aphids could be this color. I've seen green and pinkish ones. I should have done more googling! I was starting to get into 'WebMD mode' though and was afraid I'd convince myself it had something terrible :P I'm glad I just asked.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:27AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

since you are a newb ...

it would be wise to isolate this plant from any others... after checking the others for the same problem ...

put your hand over the potting media to hold it in the pot .... tip it over ...... and give it a shower with the kitchen sink faucet .... strong enough to dislodge them ... if not there.. with the hand held shower head ...

i bit to soon to do it outdoors in z5, i suspect ...

it can also be done with a spray bottle.. if not too big ...

tepid water .. not hot.. not cold ... like a spring shower ... on the undersides ...

if you just bought it ... take it back ... they sold you a vermin infested plant ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 6:41AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Aphids come in about every color in the rainbow and you do not need to use warm water to knock them off plants, cold water works just as well, maybe better. Some people, who do not know anything about Aphids, think that simply knocking them off plants does no good because the Aphids return. They do not but since Aphids are such prolific producers of progeny you see the next generations fairly quickly and you will need to repeat that spraying, probably many times as each generation replaces those you just sent to Aphid heaven.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 6:43AM
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Linda

Aphids can return quickly because, unlike most insects, they are live-bearers so they can skip an entire phase of development (Except in the fall when they lay eggs to over-winter). But, they are easily dealt; with you just need to be vigilant. Plus, if you rid the adults, there are no eggs lurking around to re-infest.

Also, you do not have to resort to anything that might be unhealthy in a home environment.

Personally, I would never treat a plant with cold water. Too much chance for shock and possible leaf damage to which some species are susceptible. If I am using a sprayer on my plants, I use hot water. By the time the water is sprayed through the air it is the perfect temperature for the plant. Under the hose or in the sink, I use warm water.

Linda

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:15PM
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mohairwig

Thank you so much

I did not know I could use just water and I have one window that has a few plants with aphids , I have been removing them every few days with adhesive tape , which is hard on the leaves

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:19PM
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mohairwig

Thank you so much

I did not know I could use just water and I have one window that has a few plants with aphids , I have been removing them every few days with adhesive tape , which is hard on the leaves

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:30PM
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paintedthumb(5b ME)

Ken, thank you so much! Luckily this cyclamen is my only houseplant so the issue is contained. I plan on doing a little seed starting later this week though and definitely will keep this plant far away from my seedlings.

Thank you for the aphid removal advice.

It is definitely too soon where I am in zone 5! I've still got a yard full of snow, unfortunately.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:57PM
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paintedthumb(5b ME)

Thank you, kimmsr! I really appreciate you sharing aphid and their removal information. I guess I will be looking up pictures so I can become better at recognizing them in the future! I had no idea they could be so many colors. I will definitely keep my eye on this plant for more aphids.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:03PM
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paintedthumb(5b ME)

Linda, thank you for stopping in again to share more information! Thanks for the removal advice and life cycle information. I will be keeping a close eye on my plant.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:07PM
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