So, I found some creepy-crawlies on my budding shasta daisies today. Do they look like aphids to you? How can I get rid of them (organically)?
Yep, aphids...big ones and small ones. Good news is that you have a nice crop of parasitized aphids, too. Those would be the big, swollen dark ones. That's a good sign.
If you move your thumb over just a teensy bit, you'll accomplish one excellent method of organic control: squishing.
One of the most common questions on this site is 'what are these (aphids)'. 4th is how to get rid of aphids. 10th most common is organically. 17th most common question is a recipe for insecticidal soap.
Outstanding pix, BTW, thank you. Nice to not have to beg for anything, or something visible or at higher resolution!
Dan, many moons ago, before digital cameras came into almost everyone's possession, we managed to do a lot of identification withOUT pictures! Can you imagine? Some of the descriptions, ohmy. So funny.
If there are too many Aphids to squish, or are too squemish, a sharp spray of water can help. If that does not seem to help then you can move up to Insecticidal Soaps, but always start with the least toxic to your environment means of control. Further up the chain would be Neem Oil products, but both the Insecticidal Soap and Neem Oil products are broad spectrum poisons that will also kill off the predators of Aphids and should not be the first thing used.
Some of the descriptions, ohmy.
Rhizo, recently some friends called me about issues they are having with leaf curl and sporadic dieback across several genera on their property. They are in a similar environment than here, 1 Sunset zone higher than us. We were having aphid leaf curl at the time, widespread, and I asked if the symptoms looked like what I described here. "YES!!!!!!" was the answer and lots of excitement. Well, the other day her DH described very different symptoms, almost opposite of what she said. Sigh.
Anyway, I shoulda asked for pictures. But it is 2,4D drift so not a lot they can do anyway except call the County.
And I agree that a sharp spray of water can work. Although we recently had someone on the trees forum take a power washer to their plum tree, so a little hesitant to pull that trigger...
LOLOL....that was funny about the guy with the power washer! THAT was a first.
jean IIRC had some fun stuff to say to Mr Powerwasher.
Anyway, any of the wand waterers in duh BigBox have several settings on them, and the one I have has a setting named 'Flat' and that's what I use to blast aphids. But often I have to come back with the soap, as the water is a temporary expedient.
That sharp spray of water does not need to have a lot of pressure behind it, considerably less then the 45 to 60 psi that most garden hoses have behind them will do.
Many people think that after knocking Aphids off a plant those Aphids return because they do not understand the life cycle of Aphids. Because Aphids start producing new young almost as soon as they are born what you are really seeing is the next generation moving in to take the place of those yo knocked off the plant. You can have 5, or more, generations of Aphids on your plant by the time you see one Aphid.
Here is a link that might be useful: Aphids