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Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

Posted by kat58 8 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 12:27

I have already spotted aphids on my rose bushes as well as ants in the yard. Last year besides my roses, my Rose of Sharon and Crape Myrtle trees were infested with ants and aphids. I want to try and nip this in the bud early and am looking for natural ways to get rid of these pests that won't harm my plants or my pets. I read somewhere that spreading laundry soap and soaking it in will get rid of ants but I am concerned if this will harm the plants.

My roses also had a white powder on them as well as orange rust and black spot so I had cut them way down removing all diseased stems and leaves. They are now coming back but I am noticing the white powder again on some of the leaves and buds.

I have also started noticing the brown moths flying around the yard,I had a horrible infestation of them last year and their worms, should I start spray BT now?

Also I have been noticing these little white bugs flying and hovering around the yard, are these white flies or something else?

Lastly my Potato bush was doing well until a few days ago, now it looks wilted and the leavings are falling off. The headaches are already starting!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

Time to spray. Ortho and Bayer have systemic rose care insecticides/fungicides. Aphids are fairly easy to kill. Even a spray of Malathion will get rid of them. Or just get a hose and blast them off without taking out the buds. Cool weather moist weather is causing the brown spots, powdery mildew and rust. Rust is expecially bad. It can spread very easily. Remove any dead leaves around the plant, especially those that have rust on them. Keep the bush as dry as possible during the day and only water in the morning and don't spray the leaves. Spray the plant with a systemic rose fungicide or combo insecticide. Also, in the winter, when the plant goes dormant, spray the plant with a dormant oil or fungicide. This will help kill the spores waiting for spring.
As far as worms, BT works. Or spray with Seven, kills most weevils, Japanese beetles and worms on contact.
I don't know about your potato bush. If you mean the eating potato, the plant may have died to various wilts, nematodes etc. Potatoes are in the same family as tomatoes and can suffer from a variety of wilts, and viruses or root nematodes. I've tried many times to grow potatoes and get very poor results. I have very sandy soil, which dries out very quickly, Also a problem of soil nematodes. I would have to sterilize the soil in advance before planting. Also, if you do plan to plant a potato, get a good clean seed potato from a nursery or a place that sells "seed" potatoes.


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

Yes, the aphids are definitely here! Interestingly, in my garden they are most intense on the hellebore though the roses have them as well. Rather than using chemicals that can also kill beneficials I would recommend giving your roses a good blast with the hose in the morning. This can also diminish the powdery mildew problem. If you do it in the morning, the moisture will dry on the leaves and won't encourage more rust. In addition, if you keep an eye on the leaves and remove any with evidence of rust, that will also help.

I'm trying a product that is new to me called "Green Cure". It's a commercial version of the Cornell formula. The jury is still out, but while the fungus problem is not completely gone, it does not seem to be getting any worse.

There is another product that is brand new that is being sold through Ashdown Roses. There is a series of organic fertilizers and the fungicide/insecticide - I believe it's called "Good Health Roses" or something like that. It sounds very good and worth considering.

http://www.ashdownroses.com/

Click on Peter Beale's Natural Rose Care

I'm giving the "Green Cure" another couple of weeks first...

The organics are worth considering when one learns of the devastating effect of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides on the environment...

BettyN


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

Toyo....it's a potato bush, the kind with the purple flowers, not a planted potato.

As for the roses, I cut these back months ago and removed all of the diseased areas. So far no rust or black spot but a couple of them are starting to develop the white powder again. I always water early in the morning and try not to get the leaves wet.

I've tried using the systemic rose care before but it didn't really help. I'm looking for something non toxic to use because of my pets plus I don't want to kill the beneficial bugs. Betty let me know how the "green cure" turns out.

I'm still looking for suggestions to rid my rose of sharon and crape myrtles from ants.


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

  • Posted by elladog z10, SoCalif, Sunset (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 22:39

Since ants "farm" aphids, controlling the ants will go a long way toward controlling the aphids. Since Im highly allergic to ant bites, Ive tried lots of different methods to get rid of them. I think the most effective of the pet-safe methods is homemade bait traps. Get some boric acid powder (I find it at Ace hardware). Take an empty jar and poke a couple of holes in the lid. Put in a little jam and/or something greasy (like canned dog food). Dont put any boric acid in it yet. Put the lid on and set it on its side near the ant trail. Watch it for two or three days, until you see the ants really going for it. If they dont like jam, try honey or corn syrup with a little fat added.

I know it sounds like youre feeding the ants, not killing them, but you want them to take the bait back to the nest and feed it to everyone, which they may not do until theyve established its safe. After theyve been feeding for a day or so, renew the bait, and this time add boric acid powder. Use about 1/4 teaspoon boric acid to 2 tablespoons jam.

Boric acid is essentially benign to pets, but poisonous to ants and roaches.

One of the advantages of this approach is that it doesnt kill off the beneficial insects that feed on aphids, such as ladybugs, hover flies, and lacewings. You can buy these online and release them in the garden. Making your garden attractive to birds can help, too. Bushtits and hummingbirds, for instance, eat aphids.

When our roses first had buds this year, they were covered with aphids. Killing the ants and releasing a batch of ladybugs has killed almost all the aphids.


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

  • Posted by elladog z10, SoCalif, Sunset (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 21, 08 at 23:06

Since ants "farm" aphids, controlling the ants will go a long way toward controlling the aphids. Since Im highly allergic to ant bites, Ive tried lots of different methods to get rid of them. I think the most effective of the pet-safe methods is homemade bait traps. Get some boric acid powder (I find it at Ace hardware). Take an empty jar and poke a couple of holes in the lid. Put in a little jam and/or something greasy (like canned dog food). Dont put any boric acid in it yet. Put the lid on and set it on its side near the ant trail. Watch it for two or three days, until you see the ants really going for it. If they dont like jam, try honey or corn syrup with a little fat added.

I know it sounds like youre feeding the ants, not killing them, but you want them to take the bait back to the nest and feed it to everyone, which they may not do until theyve established its safe. After theyve been feeding for a day or so, renew the bait, and this time add boric acid powder. Use about 1/4 teaspoon boric acid to 2 tablespoons jam.

Boric acid is essentially benign to pets, but poisonous to ants and roaches.

One of the advantages of this approach is that it doesnt kill off the beneficial insects that feed on aphids, such as ladybugs, hover flies, and lacewings. You can buy these online and release them in the garden. Making your garden attractive to birds can help, too. Bushtits and hummingbirds, for instance, eat aphids.

When our roses first had buds this year, they were covered with aphids. Killing the ants and releasing a batch of ladybugs has killed almost all the aphids.


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

Last year I must have bought and released well over a thousand ladybugs plus I had a lot of praying mantis (lots of babies around June). I also have hummingbirds that visit regularly although I haven't spotted any in the last month, but still the aphid problem persisted. I hate those little buggers! I'll try the boric acid for the ants.


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 22, 08 at 8:14

I've noticed the most aphids this year on my flowering quince and my little red-twig dogwood. I've been blasting them off with water in the A.M., and as long as I'm vigilant, it seems to work well.

We always have ants in the yard, regardless of aphid infestations. Then, there are the gophers eating my poor hollyhocks and lamb's ears. Argh! It's always SOMEthing!

Brenda


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

it's counterintuitive, but the rose experts i've read in SOCAL say to spray the leaves with water to disrupt the powdery mildew cycle. it seems to work in my yard. i'm mildew free, yet near the coast. i try for morning so plants dry off, but will even do it in the evening to get the mildew and aphids, with no ill effect. i also use neem oil occasionally, which has fungicial properties, works as a barrier against rust, and seems to keep down my other nemesis, which is "rose slugs".


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RE: Aphids and Ants Among Other Things

Ants are attracted to the honey dew left by aphids or scale. The ants interfere with the predators feeding on the aphids, they also have been known to move the aphids from plant to plant. If you are diligent you can simply wash off the aphids with a strong stream of water,OFTEN. Spraying with Neem or ultrafine horticultural oil will also kill aphids or scale on contact without harming beneficial insects. If you eliminate the source of the honey dew you will eliminate the ants in your plants, but not in your soil, I don't think that is possible. The Boric acid traps mentioned placed around your house foundation will stop ants from becoming a problem in your house. Al


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