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Aphids and Favas

Posted by ck36 (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 13:11

My favas were completely destroyed by aphids this year. Despite hosing them off the plants weekly and several soap sprays they overwhelmed the plants and even the bean pods themselves. When I pulled most of them out this weekend the soil was so dense with aphids it literally looked like the ground was moving. There is finally a population of lacewings, soldier bugs? (orange head/black body), and even one ladybug feasting on them but much too late.
They were growing in a raised bed, I grow them every year without ever having trouble like this. I don't use any pesticides in the garden, rarely use even a soap spray as I'm too lazy. The aphids were black and looked similar in appearance to ones that periodically attack a cherry tree I have at the other end of the yard.
Is this unusual? Should I leave a few plants standing to provide food for the predators? Any harm in putting the aphid covered plants in the compost?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Aphids and Favas

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 18:42

Those black aphids are nasty and harder to get rid of than the green ones who are wimps in comparison. They ruined my broccoli-rabe one year. Might be that because we had so little rain the baddie population got the chance to quickly explode. The predators always lag the prey. That's nature.

I get them on my succulent flowers and get rid of them by spraying with rubbing alcohol, though you could try vodka on edibles, wait a few minutes then wash off the plants.

If your compost is covered they can die in there, otherwise I'd worry about them going elsewhere for more food and destruction. :(

RE: Aphids and Favas

I'm battling orange aphids here, they just keep coming back! The ladybugs I bought fled the next day and abandoned me to battle with the hose and the soapy water. I've never had them before, this is awful it must be a bad year for them. Ugh!

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