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Aphids! Augh!

Pea aphid

Pea aphid

 

a kind of insects named aphid

 

 

Today when harvesting the lettuce, I noticed, for the first time this year, that there were aphids on the leaves. I plunged the lettuces into a 5 gallon bucket of water and sure enough, there were small green destroyers of my salad floating around. Curled, mottled leaves are a sign that aphids (or similar insects) are present.

Aphids_May_2010-2Just in case you aren’t familiar with what aphids look like there are a few images above and to the left.  Obviously, they come in many colors but all are small. They suck the juices out of your plants. Veggies, trees, flowers: Nothing is safe from aphids.

If you can’t see them, check for ants running up and down the trunks or stems of your garden plants. Ants tend aphids as we humans tend cows, using aphids’ secretions to grow a fungus in the ant hill that the ants eat.

Cute & clever but not in my garden!  How to rid my garden and even landscape of these voracious and fast spreading pests was my next concern.

Here are some easy organic remedies for those destructive aphids.

Ladybugs will feed on aphids

Ladybugs will feed on aphids

1. Ladybugs are aphid predators.

2. Neem oil mixed with biodegradable soap.

3. Insecticidal soap.

4. Plant onions or garlic interspersed in your garden.

5. Lacewings are also predators of aphids.

6. Hand pick them if there are only a small number or use the pressure of your hose to rinse them off, just be sure to check for the level of re-infestation.

Both Farm & Home Organics and Paonia Farm & Home Supply have Ladybugs and Neem oil in stock.

The above post was written by Cedar Keshet.