Whats bugging me

What’s bugging me: 3 ways to eliminate Aphids

Spring is here and many of us are admiring the new growth on our landscape.
Magnolia buds coming to life, bees are dancing from flower to flower gently
humming along. You take a closer look at your fruit tree and notice the leaves
curling in on themselves. Maybe you start to notice tiny black dots on the
underside of the leaves?

Don’t bug out! These are aphids, and it is more common than you think. Here are
some helpful ways to prevent and get rid of these pesky little bugs.

Often, the first sign that these little guys have arrived is the visible presence of
them on the underside of your plants leaves. When aphids feed on the tender new
growth of your plants, the leaves will begin to yellow and curl in on themselves.
There might also be signs of stunted or dead growth on your plants as well.

If you notice any of these symptoms, just check on the underside of the leaves and
you are bound to find these little buggers piled together feasting away.
Aphids range in color from black to yellow, brown, red or even green.

Why do Aphids flock to your yard?

Well, it is because they have a sweet tooth! Yes. You read that correctly. Aphids
have an insatiable appetite for the sap on your trees and shrubs. This is how they
cause such damage. Aphids suck the sap out of tender plant parts excreting a
sugary substance called honeydew as they munch along.

If you notice a dark mold developing on the leaves, this is most likely a sooty mold
that is feeding off of the honeydew the aphids are leaving behind. Do not be
dismayed, although this is rather unsightly, it is a secondary issue that will not
harm your plants and taking care of the aphids will eradicate it.

How to get rid of aphids

Good old H20 – The first method to getting rid of aphids is to spray them off of
your plants with a steady stream from your garden hose. Aphids are so tiny and
soft bodied that even a decent rainstorm can knock them off of your plants. The
better news is, once aphids get knocked off of your plants, the likeness of them
reappearing is slim.

The second method for taking care of Aphids are insecticidal soaps. This method
will help get rid of aphids but must be applied regularly during heavy infestations
since Aphids reproduce so quickly.

The third choice if all else fails would be Eight which takes care of a wide range of
pests, but as always stop in and chat with us. We are more than happy to help you
get a plan together for your specific situation!

These products are only effective when they make direct contact with the aphids
themselves, so you will need to reapply frequently and until they are gone. Also,
ensure you spray the underside of your leaves to get a good coating of product on
the Aphids.

Lastly, crushing the Aphids with your fingers is maybe not the most glamorous
way to take care of Aphids, but it sure is effective. If you are not squeamish then
this might be the right option for you. It is a non toxic method and very simple to
do if you are managing a smaller infestation. These insects are very soft so rubbing
the leaves between your fingers with light pressure will kill the Aphids. Follow up
every few days and if you need to repeat the process.

Preventing Aphids

Keep an eye out for aphids regularly that way you will catch the problem from the
jump.
Utilize row covers in your veggie gardens. Row covers are fine mesh blankets that
keep pests out, but allow quality air flow to pass through your crops which helps
minimize pests and other issues.

Remove the row covers when your plants grow a few more inches and become
more established.

Lastly, plant sacrificial plants around your garden beds. These will attract
beneficial insects who like to snack on aphids such as ladybugs. Some good
choices of flowers are Marigolds, dill, sunflowers and nasturtium.

As always, if you have any questions stop in or give us a call! We are happy to
help.

 

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