Aphids?

esox07November 7, 2011

I dont really have to ask this question but since I have never seen these guys before, I just want to confirm an Aphid infestation on my overwinter Bhut.

OK, now for the important question: How do I get rid of them? I dont want to buy a bunch of Lady Bugs, I don't want to mess around putting the damned thing in a shower and washing it or messing around with some Farmers Almanac rememdy. Without killing the plant, I want to kill the little bastards dead, period, end of statement.

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romy6(9)

Seven Dust liquid form! Or a horticulture oil spray. But you will have to do both several times to get rid of all of those bastards.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:31PM
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tsheets(5)

I use the insecticidal soap. But, as I assume is the case with neem oil, you are better off to rinse the plants off afterwards. I have sprayed it and not rinsed it because of the hassle, but, the plants are definitely not happy about it. I think you're looking at about treating every 3 days or so to get all stages / eggs that hatch later, etc.. for a couple weeks.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 1:44PM
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habjolokia

I deal with these guys early spring, my method is of insanity, I smash them by hand, wait about 2-3 days investigate repeat if necessary. Usually after that don't see them until next season. Good luck on destroying em.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 5:07PM
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ottawapepper

Ladybugs love Aphids. It hit 17.8C here today (unheard of in Nov. here) and I had 3 on my patio door earlier today. If I'd read your post earlier I would have caught them and mailed them to you :)

If it gets warm enough and you see any in your area, bring them inside for a feast!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 5:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, keep an eye out for Ladybugs!

Bruce, those are aphids, indeed...but you knew that ;-)

Sooner or later, the aphids appear.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 5:54PM
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esox07

OK guys, thanks a bunch for the advice. Especially the lady bug thing. As luck would have it, I had one crawling around on my window this afternoon and did indeed put it on the plant. However, we have these Asian Beetle infestations every fall. 2007 was really bad. At least I am told they are Asian Beetles which look virtually identical to lady bugs. They crawl around on the outside of houses in the fall where the sun is hitting just like Box Elder Bugs and such. I have been told they are not lady bugs but rather Asian Beetles. How the heck can you tell the difference. The one I found on the window today had a reddish shell and NO spots. I wish I could just collect a few of them and put them on my peppers. Other wise, I am going the seven spray route.

Hmmm, before I submitted this, I did a bit more research and it seems the ASIAN Lady Beetles do indeed feed on Aphids. That may be why I never saw Aphids before. There are always Asian beetles around inside and outside. Now if I can just find some more of those darn things. Seems like when you need 'em, they can't be found....argggghhhh.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 7:06PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The Asian beetles are lady beetles. So it's Asian lady beetles, with technical name Harmonia axyridis. They come in at least 64 color forms, with varying number of spots, or no spots.

You tell them apart from other lady beetles by looking at the thorax -- the section just behind the head. Look for the black "W" or "M" shape depends upon which direction you look at the beetle.

If viewed from the head end, it's a "W" -- see images here http://www.google.com/search?q=harmonia+axyridis&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1014&bih=521&sei=%20B6a4ToafD-mjiALCqsHVBA

Here is a link that might be useful: Asian lady beetles galore!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:47PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Oh yes, Sevin is used for chewers. Aphids are suckers. Use insecticidal soap or squish.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:49PM
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esox07

Oh, crap, back to the hard fixes. I wonder if I still have that can of DDT in the garage?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 12:20AM
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John11840(z6/CT)

Of all the remedies mentioned, the ladybugs are certainly more effective. Even they are a temporary remedy. After having a terrible infestation last winter I swore never to overwinter peppers again. I have a few Manzanos in the windows with pods still ripening. After those ripen, everything goes outside and I'll replant next spring.
John A

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:11AM
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tsheets(5)

I have wondered the difference between the asian beetles and ladybugs myself. At least now I know that either will be happy to chow down on aphids for me (if I can ever find any when I need them).

Thanks Jean!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Edymnion(7a)

Heh, don't confuse an asian beetle with a japanese beetle though. Those will strip your plants bare.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 11:21AM
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tsheets(5)

haha! That would be bad!!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 11:53AM
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esox07

I suppose those things look exactly like a lady bug also? I tell you, the propane torch is rising on my list every hour.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 2:38PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Japanese beetles (JBs) are far different, and much larger than lady beetles. Further, JBs aren't adults at this time of year.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 5:59PM
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ottawapepper

LOL @ esox07 re. propane torch.

Been there myself. When you're loosing the battle, play the nuclear card... if the plants are going down, take the aggressors down with them!

I hope you get them under control before it comes to it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:12PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Samson option...bring the whole building down ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:57PM
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esox07

Crap, guys the wife wouldn't understand the Sampson option. Gonna update our fire insurance and go with the propane torch solution...well, maybe I should try something else first. Maybe the insecticidal soap thing.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:41PM
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esox07

Another question, can you always see aphids if they are present and feeding or are they sometimes too small or nearly too small to see? I haven't seen them on my other two plants and only on a few leaves of the one plant.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:47AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

If they're on the plant, you can see them.

I often find aphid damage on the newest leaves, but no aphids present.
Outdoors, I attribute this to predators having killed the aphids after the damage was done.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:31AM
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esox07

Hmmm, yes, I clipped the leaves I noticed them on and then squished any others I found and now I dont see any more. I may make a more detailed inspections but I cannot imagine I got them all. They did seem to be congregated on one small clump of leaves however. Death to the Aphid.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 2:09PM
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tsheets(5)

I believe the aphids in your picture are nymphs. The adults would be easier to see. That may explain why they were not spread out more. The adults might venture out to other areas of the plant or other plants. Do try the soap before doing anything too drastic.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 3:49PM
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don555(3a)

You definitely don't want to let them reach adult stage -- they get wings and will fly to all your other succeptible plants in the house. Do let us know if you succeed, as the only way I've successfully dealt with an infestation of aphids (or spider mites for that matter) is to throw the infected plants out.

I had a great 3 gallon planter of ornamental hot peppers on my deck this fall that had tons of peppers that still needed to grow and ripen. I brought it inside to a sunny south window and all was going well until about two weeks after I brought it in I suddenly noticed aphids flying up against the window. The plant was far too big to try to treat so went straight to the backyard composter. Fortunately I was able to vaccuum up the flying aphids before they ventured very far. I really really hate aphids.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 6:33PM
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esox07

I have been lazy and havent gotten out to get the soap. I will tomorrow. We had a snow storm today, power outage and the whole deal. I will let y'all know how it goes.
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 7:06PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was said "You definitely don't want to let them reach adult stage -- they get wings and will fly to all your other succeptible plants"

Okay, people, time for a lesson on the "Life and Times of an Aphid."

During the growing season, and under esox conditions,
- all aphids are females
- all those females produce offspring by parthenogenesis, meaning that they don't need to mate with males to produce offspring.
- Further, the females are live bearers, meaning that they don't lay eggs but instead give birth to live young.
- And please sit down before you read this next bit:
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--
--
--
The youngsters are typically pregnant at birth and can produce their own youngsters within 3 weeks, again by live births. (You go, girls!)

Now let's talk a bit about those wings.

As the colony enlarges and becomes crowded, it triggers hormonal changes in mama.
- So she now produces youngsters which are capable of developing wings.
- Once fully winged, these particular aphids can "fly" -- basically with the help of local breezes -- to other places.
- If they land on a tasty plant, wow: success!
- If not, oh well, ya gotta try, right?

So there you go.
- Deal with those aphids as you see them.
- And, if you want to play with fire -- flame 'em -- plan on harvesting pre-roasted peppers.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 12:53AM
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esox07

I got the insecticidal soap tonight. I drenched each plant to the point of dripping. Says I can reapply weekly if necessary. Should I wait that long or should I hit these guys daily or even more often? I just take them out on the deck, hose 'em down and bring 'em back in. I dont want to kill them (pepper plants) with this stuff but since it is basically soap, I dont mind hitting them every day unless it will hurt the plants.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 8:24PM
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tsheets(5)

I think every three days should be sufficient. Also, you may want to rinse them off after soaping them. I find that they aren't really happy at all if you leave the soap on them. they (the plants) will survive, but look pathetic. At least that's been my experience.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 10:31AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I will second that. Rinse the soap off before the next sun/light exposure.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 12:18PM
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esox07

Hmmm, so leave it on at least for a while (overnight) and then rinse it off???
I gave them the initial treatment last night and then again this morning because I saw some more aphids. I just went up and rinsed them off.
Die already.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 1:21PM
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esox07

Still have 'em. I have given the plants two treatments. Yesterday and this morning. I rinsed them off a couple hours after the treatment today and before the sun hit them. There are still aphids. I still don't see any on the Hot Hungarian Wax Plants. Just the Bhut. Is that to be expected??? I will let the plants go for a day or so and then treat them again but I am not going to let this go on too long. I got some "POISON" in the garage that is itching to do it's job.
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 5:47PM
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tsheets(5)

It is a contact treatment...be sure you're DRENCHING them...tops and bottoms of leaves, branches, I even spray some on the top of the soil.

Good Luck! Sounds you have a real battle on your hands! But, in the end, you gotta do what you gotta do - ya know?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 6:44PM
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esox07

tsheets: yes, that is what I kind of get on this stuff. Something about the soap causes disruptions in the cells of soft bodied bugs like aphids...also mentions spider mites which are common pepper plant enemies. Well, I am gonna hit the little bastards every day for a while. If it doesn't get rid of them, I am going with the test tube variety of solutions.
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 7:40PM
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fiedlermeister(04/05)

The only thing I have found that works. I end up buying them every year.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 7:41AM
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esox07

OK, I going to come out and put an end to this thread. Seems the insecticidal soap did the job. After my initial treatment, i waited a couple days and still found some. So, I gave them three treatments, one each day for three days. I drenched the snot out of them and even gave the soil a coating. I only rinsed them after the first and second treatments. Just too much hassle and mess. But now a week later, I am going to deem them bug free. Not to say that they won't find a fresh infestation sometime down the road or possibly reinfect from an egg or pupa stage of the current colony that didn't get killed by the insecticidal soap. But, they are looking good now as far as little albino bugs go. My next point on concern now seems to be that I may need to find a better soil medium. But that is another thread and we can now let this thread end. And just for the record, it was "Ortho" brand insectidal soap that I used...Worked good for me.
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 8:59PM
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tsheets(5)

Awesome!! Good news, Bruce!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 10:08AM
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drmbear

I probably would have taken the plants outside on a warm day, spray them with a good firm spray of water to where the aphids fall on the ground, and then bring the plants back in.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 12:36PM
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2ajsmama

OK, I'm reviving the thread. Came back from vacation, found infested plants (I had moved 5 of the larger plants, which were still cut way back, upstairs with the huge one that I was trying to keep as a houseplant). Aphids and some other soft-bodied bug that almost looks like a spider mite, or just a brown aphid - my eyesight isn't that great, but they're reddish brown with a tiny head and a rounded butt like an aphid. No webs, and they don't seem to particularly like the undersides of leaves. I've been hitting them every day with spray of water, wiping the leaves off and squishing them. 1 plant that I had literally cut back to a bare trunk (it was too woody to cut lower) with just a couple leaves near the bottom was the worst infested as far as how much foliage was covered- that was still in the basement and may have been the source of it all.

But the big plant upstairs (that was clean when I repotted it and moved it indoors in Oct) had the most bugs total. Still does (another has them too, the rest seem to be clean but I have them quarrantined in the laundry room right now).

So what are these bugs (the brown ones) and what can I do to get rid of them? Usually we have tons of Asian beetles, I've only found 1 and put it on the big plant a few days ago. As I said, no webs, but they seem to congregate in, or maybe hatch from, the newest leaves and buds (where it's hard to clear them out), though I have found some clinging to stems of the new growth, and even clustered together along the center vein of larger leaves. Some of the leaves are also starting to look chewed along the edges, not holes in the centers or sickly pale or wrinkled leaves, if that helps. There does appear to be some shiny honeydew in a few places (but I know I have some green aphids, so that could be from them, and the beetle should help, esp. if I can find it some friends). The plants look very healthy - tons of new growth (which they love) and even new fruit. I'm just worried that if it gets out of control the plants will start to suffer (plus the gross factor, esp. when I find them on the calyxes of the fruit).

I know it's hard to ID w/o pix but my camera doesn't do extreme closeups well.

TIA

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 8:51PM
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don555(3a)

I take it you aren't expecting the plants to bear fruit for awhile, so why not hit the bugs with an insecticide?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:32PM
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esox07

ajsmama:
If you go back to the posts up to November 16th on this thread, it tells how I got rid of my aphids. Ortho Insecticidal soap. I am totally not against using chemical solutions but a lot of others recommended insecticidal soap so I gave it a run and it worked great for me. Now that was for Aphids. But it also says that it works on Mites as well as Adelgids, Aphids, Caterpillars (tent), Earwigs, Grasshoppers, Lacebugs, Leafhoppers, Mealybugs, Mites, Plant Bugs, Psyllids, Sawfly Larvae, Scale, Spider Mites, Thrips, Whiteflies, and Wooly aphids.
So, I say start there and if a week's worth of using that stuff doesn't work, then go to the DDT type solutions. Flame thrower and 12 gauge should be the last resort IMO.
By the way, my plants continue to be bug free for about three weeks now.
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 11:20PM
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2ajsmama

Thanks Bruce. Where did you buy it? I couldn't find any in May when I brought all the plants home from the greenhouse with aphids on them - water worked then (but took a while).

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 10:41AM
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esox07

I got mine at the local Home Depot but I am guessing it is a pretty common brand. It can probably be easily ordered online too but that will probably cost shipping and take time.
Also, that is just the brand I picked, mostly because it had a "Pesticide" maker's name on it. There are many brands and from what I understand, they are all basically the exact same thing. Many stores with garden centers will have inecticidal soap if not Ortho brand itself.
Here is the Home Depot Store SKU # 387769
Just go to homedepot.com and search for that SKU. They had other brands in store too.

Bruce

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 12:49PM
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2ajsmama

Our local Home Depot is the smallest in the state, didn't see any in May so figured no way in December. But I'll call tomorrow and ask, can stop by tomorrow or Sat if they have it, or maybe DH can find it at larger one on way home. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 8:55PM
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esox07

Sounds good. I think you can even check on the HD web site to see if it is in stock in your local (Small) HD Store. if not, I wouldn't sweat it. I think the stuff is basically like bleach. You can buy Clorox Bleach for $3.00 a gallon or you can buy generic bleach for $1.50 a gallon. Bleach is bleach. Just buy one of the other brands that they do carry. I just bought the Ortho brand because it gave some middle ground as I normally prefer the hard core chemical solutions.
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 10:47PM
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don555(3a)

I would be cautious if substituting bleach (sodium hypochlorite). That is something entirely different from insecticidal soap, which uses potassium salts of fatty acids (basically potassium hydroxide combined with animal or vegetable fat to eliminate the corrosiveness of the hydroxide -- like making soap). Insecticidal soaps cause the bugs to dry out and die. Bleach has been used as an insecticide too, but it is a chlorine-based poison so works in a different manner. I think bleach is much tougher on the plants too, but I don't know that for sure.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 2:46AM
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esox07

WHOOOOAAAHHHH!!!!!!
Nix the bleach. I was just using that as an example of paying for a name. DO NOT USE BLEACH ON YOUR PLANTS. It will probably kill the aphids but it will probably be just as effective at killing the plants too.
I just meant that you can probably buy any brand of insecticidal soap and it will work just as good as the brand I used. They are all basically the same thing.
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 8:04AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I understood the analogy just fine, Bruce ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 9:36AM
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capt_saicin

I just use Murphy's Oil Soap. Cheap and readily available.

1-2 Tbsp per quart (a little strong).

You see the active ingredient in the Ortho product is a fatty acid. Basically the same as a soap. (but NOT a detergent!!!)

The soap is a contact killer as it breaks surface tension and causes the insect to suffocate. Simple but it has no residual effect on insects.

So after I let it sit for a few minutes I rinse it off (that's why I can mix/use it a bit strong).

Also reduce [any] ant activity as well. Ants 'shepard' aphids by transporting around the plant and even fending off beneficial insects that would normnally eat the aphids. In return the ants get a sweet excretion for their efforts.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 1:06PM
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esox07

Capt saicin: Are you saying that ants actually physically carry aphids around to other plants or other parts of the plants. Those bastards.
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 4:22PM
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ottawapepper

What capt_saicin regarding Murphy's Oil Soap. It is soap, not detergent like may be found in dish washing liquid.

I add approx 20% isopropyl alcohol to my mix for an extra kick. If the soap doesn't get them the alcohol does, alcohol is poisonous to all living things. It evaporates fast enough that it doesn't harm the plant.

FWIW

Bill

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 7:18PM
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capt_saicin

Yes I'm saying ants will transport and protect the aphids.

Google 'ants and aphids' or similar sometime and you'll find lots of info.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 7:46AM
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esox07

Hey Capt: I believe you. I just never realized that. If I ever see aphids in my outside plants, the ants will die right along with them.
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 1:40PM
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2ajsmama

They had it! I don't know why I couldn't find it in the spring. I also got an artificial Xmas tree on sale, so put that up and moved the plants out of the bay window into the mudroom with the others I thought were insect-free, then just hit all of them with the Ortho. Still have to do the ones in the basement b4 I move everything (to south-facing window in walkout) there for the next few weeks.

But I had Murphy's - don't know why I didn't think of that. Oh well, now I'll remember for when I run out of Ortho. Thanks guys.

I hope I didn't kill the lone ladybug.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 9:14PM
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esox07

That insecticidal soap shouldn't hurt the lady bug. It may piss him off a little but it wont kill him.

Make sure you spray the whole plant and give the soil a good shot too. Spray tops and bottoms of leaves. It should be dripping from the plant when you are done. I started out by rinsing the plant an hour or so after it dried. But then I quit doing that cuz it is a pain. It didn't seem to bother the plants in the least. The first time I didn't rinse was the first time I didn't see any more aphids. I dont know if that was the key because most recommend to rinse the plants after treatments.
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 10:32PM
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tsheets(5)

My experience has been that the plants don't like it if you leave the soap on them. I haven't killed a plant yet (due to soap), but, when you rinse them off they are much happier than not. That said, sometimes I'm too lazy to rinse them off as well.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:11PM
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2ajsmama

Thanks - I guess I'd better go rinse!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:38PM
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esox07

Make sure you rinse behind their ears too.
:)
Bruce

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 4:22PM
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redrac(9 NW Houston)

I know this is an old thread but thought something I read may help. I have had a massive aphid problem lost a cucumber 3 watermelons 5 cantelopes and had them on a bunch of pepper plants they were on 2 apple trees loquat etc. It was making me crazy, In my search for a solution I ran across an article about someone that had 3 identical plants in 3 identical pots that were placed as close to each other as possible. The differance was the soil, one pot had kmart soil and that plant was covered with aphids while the other 2 had no aphids at all even though they were touching each other. One pot had some custom soil mix in it but did not say what it was. The third pot had a mixture of soil and Green sand. I looked up green sand and found that it is basically an organic fertilizer with a lot of minors in it the npk is 0 0 3. I did not have any green sand but will get some soon. What I did have is an organic fertilizer that I bought by mistake which is a
4 1 1 but has a lot of minors in it plus some beneficial bacterias in it. I got it at Ace and it looks like tan mouse turds. I have been using it on the blueberries since I almost killed one with 26 0 0 last year. I tried it on all of the effected plants and now I cannot find an aphid on any of those I used it on. I had not used it on the loquat but did today so I will watch it for results. The name on the bag is Whitney farms I think. I also have made sure to spray around the base of the trees for ants.
hope this helps someone. I will get some green sand soon and try it next.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 4:57PM
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redrac(9 NW Houston)

I forgot to mention that except for the apple trees all other plants are in pots.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:03PM
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don555(3a)

I doubt that it's the soil directly since aphids don't have any life cycle stage in the soil, they fly from plant to plant to set up new colonies. Aphids are attracted though to soft weak growth because that's easiest for them to suck juices from. That kind of growth is caused by too much fertilizer, particularly nitrogen as nitrogen stimulates vegetative growth. So you might try cutting back on the fertilizer, or switching to a low nitrogen fertilizer instead of the high-nitrogen ones you have been using.

I'm curious why you are using a high nitrogen fertilizer for plants you want fruit from? I'd normally only use nitrogen for things I want lots of leaves from, like lawn grass or a crop like lettuce or spinach. Usually you use a high phosophorus fertilizer to stimulate flowers and fruit.

As for your current aphid problem, I'd try blasting them off with a hose or spraying them with a dilute mix of liquid dish soap in water (it coats the aphids and suffocates them). Something like Safer's soap or insecticidal soap, which contains potassium salts to dessicate the aphids, I find can be pretty hard on plants, so I prefer a dilute dish soap in water mix.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:31AM
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capoman(5a)

Soil may make a difference. I had many more issues with aphids in peat based soil then with 5:1:1 bark based soil. I think the reason is humidity under the leaves. The bark based soil is faster draining and tends to stay drier in the top layer then the peat based which tends to be wetter on the surface, causing more humidity under the leaves, which I believe aphids like. Since using the 5:1:1 bark mix, I have almost zero aphid issues, which was often a problem in peat. Another factor might be the better health of the plants in bark based soil.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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capoman(5a)

I should really be calling it soilless mix rather then soil, but you get the point.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 9:03AM
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capt_saicin

Don555 wrote:
"I doubt that it's the soil directly since aphids don't have any life cycle stage in the soil..."

Yes and No.

I mentioned back in Dec 11 that ants shepard/defend(farm) aphids and since ants nest underground they (aphids) can have a possible or indirect underground life cycle component.

This from Wikipedia:
"Some farming ant species gather and store the aphid eggs in their nests over the winter. In the spring, the ants carry the newly hatched aphids back to the plants. Some species of dairying ants (such as the European yellow meadow ant, Lasius flavus) manage large "herds" of aphids that feed on roots of plants in the ant colony. Queens that are leaving to start a new colony take an aphid egg to found a new herd of underground aphids in the new colony. These farming ants protect the aphids by fighting off aphid predators".

Thus soil, or more specifically the presence of ants in the soil, can contribute to a reoccurring aphid problem from season to season.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 1:42PM
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