Melinda's Garden Moment: Eco-friendly Aphid Control


Ants, lady beetles and a clear stickysubstance on your leaves are good indications that aphids have moved into yourgarden for a meal.

Thesesmall tear-dropped-shaped insects come in a variety of colors.

Theyuse their needle-like mouthparts to suck plant juices, causing leaves to curl,yellow, and brown. Growth can becomedistorted and stunted when populations and feeding levels are high.

Theaphids secrete honeydew, a clear sweet sticky substance, that often attractsants.

Andif you see lady beetles, nature has moved in to control this pest. Both the adults and larvae can eat hundredsof aphids in one day.

Starttreatment, if needed, with a strong blast of water to dislodge and kill many ofthe aphids. Trap these pests with ayellow bowl filled with soapy water. Ifneeded, use eco-friendly products like insecticidal soap, Horticulture oil, orNeem.

A fun, but not so attractive way to manage aphids is with reflectivemulch. Place heavy duty foil or similarreflective material on the soil around the plants. Anchor in place. Since aphids orient themselves by the sky (notsure who figured that out), once they see the sky above and below they getconfused, crash and die. I tried it andit really works.

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