indoor aphids

matt_in_vaNovember 23, 2010

This was the first year I grew peppers or anything else. It went well enough that I decided to try to overwinter a few plants in my office. I didn't notice an aphid problem when the plants were outdoors, maybe because predators were keeping them in check. But I brought the plants in a few weeks ago, and today I noticed that they're covered with aphids.

I'm trying to figure out how to deal with it. I know soapy water is a traditional anti-aphid spray, but I also read in the archives here that it needs to be rinsed off after a fairly short time. I'm not really in a position to do that kind of thing in my office. Does anyone have any suggestions that are more feasible in an indoor environment?

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Squish 'em. If needed, protect our fingers with a facial tissue.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 11:23PM
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I like Aphid wasps but they are too expensive for only a couple plants.
Soap,neem etc. only slows them down for me-too much work.

A cheep way to get the wasps is to buy a nursery plant with aphid mummies on it and put it with your plants.
When a wasp hatches they really take care of the aphids quick.
I keep a couple plants in another room that are aphid infested or the wasps run out of food in a few days(they won't lay new eggs in an already parrasitized aphid).

One of the many suppliers.

The wasps
Aphidius colemani

A lot of nurseries use bennificial bugs to control the bad guys.You just need to find out what to look for.
I got turned on to the wasps after buying a couple plants with mummies on it and googling to see what was going on.
Now I buy plants with the mummies on them.
Mummies with holes in their behinds are already hatched-too late...
Ladybugs etc. are too big and travel around indoors for me.
Wasps are as small as aphids and work great.
They stick around the plants too and you never see them elsewhere-too small to notice.
Fun to watch attacking aphids too.
Watch the video below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aphid wasps

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 12:41AM
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OK, so a question about the aphid wasps: when they hatch, am I going to have clouds of tiny wasps buzzing around my office until they run out of food and starve?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 1:02AM
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I have had good results with lady bugs. March Biological is a good source ( bag of 1500 for $6.50). I usually have too many plants to deal with them manually. The beetles don't wander for me but tend to stay where the food is.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 6:58AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Ladybugs I use, as well.
Just remember to lightly mist the plants so the ladybugs/larvae have moisture.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 12:33PM
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I don't know who said you have to wash the soap off, but they were wrong. Mix up a solution of Neem Oil/Safer Soap, spray the entire plant (the top and bottom of leaves) for a couple of days,, then check back in a few more and repeat and the aphids will be history.

A couple years ago, I had a horrible infestation on several hundred plants - it took about a week to eradicate every last one. I used a pump-up type sprayer so I had a bit of pressure behind the mist.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 10:27PM
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As I understand it, the I.S. method kills by suffocation and thus has no residual effect once dry. Some may wish to wash it off to reduce build-up from multiple applications once the infestation is eliminated.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 7:35AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll go get some Neem Oil or the like and give it a whirl. I'm tempted to try some kind of predator, but I'm a little afraid I'll end up turning my office into the site of some kind of biblical insect plague. :-)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:10AM
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Good luck. I've had good results with lady bugs, but the best i've found is to keep a daily eye and cut out any infested branches... First time I did it, I was worried I'd given them too severe of a trim, but I think they grew back stronger. I think excessive amounts of aphids just leave the plant too weak to recover easily with the damaged branches still on.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:33AM
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I notice that nobody suggests using chemicals such as Diazinon. Is this because everyone is environmentally friendly or won't apply chemicals to plants they're going to eat? This is my first year overwintering a couple of plants. I was expecting aphids to appear based on all the postings here, and, sure enough, I noticed the first ones yesterday on a jalapeno. Although I don't like using chemicals on anything, I'm figuring that it will be about six months before I'll have any jalapenos to eat (if all goes well), so all traces of active Diazinon will be long gone. So, why do all of you choose not to use chemicals? I don't like the idea of releasing a lot of lady bugs that will starve to death in my basement once they've eaten the few aphids I've got. I'd welcome your reasons for not using chemicals. Thanks, Tom

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 1:14PM
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I'm not opposed to using chemicals but I have found Safer Soap and Neem Oil to be very effective and inexpensive.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Thanks Mike. I have Safer Soap, so I'll use it. Tom

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 11:10AM
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