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Avonnow
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Aphids

I have a question, I have seen these aphids on alot of my plants, and most people say use a quick squirt of the hose, or insecticidal soap, but sometimes there seems to be zillions. ( ok maybe a few hundred) My question where do they come from, the soil. I have plants on my patio that is screened and I had cucumbers growing up a trellis they looked great, then out of nowhere every leave was covered with them. I tried washing them off gently with a hose, they were back the next day and I cleaned every leaf that had them on it. Then I move the plant out of the sun and used the soap hoping it would help, it made the leave all yellow and crispy even with it not being in the sun. Now the plant looks horrible and extremely stressed, and they are returning in small doses. I am trying to figure the source and stop them before they arrive. Are they in the soil, the air, I need to go to the library and get more info as they are worse then ever. They are so small and it is hard to see if they just fall to the ground when you spray and then crawl, fly or whatever to get back on - I know it sounds stupid but its like they just appear out of nowhere.
Thanks for any info. I hate aphids. :evil:
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Kisal
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First, aphids are often carried onto plants by ants, which like the honeydew they secrete. The ants "farm" the aphids, offering them protection and carrying them to the tenderest new growth on the plants. The ants use their antennae to stroke the aphids, to get them to secrete the honeydew.

Aphids have a somewhat complex life cycle, with females able to produce live offspring -- all wingless females -- without the necessity of breeding. This occurs for several generations, and then some of the female aphids grow wings, fly off to a different plant species, and some of them become males. Breeding then occurs and eggs are laid for the next generation. That's a very simplified description of the process, and each species of aphid has its own variation of that basic pattern.

The point is that not all of the aphids will be removed by just one treatment, whether you use a spray from the garden hose, or a mixture of soap and water. The plain water doesn't kill the aphids, it just washes them away and the ants bring them back. The soapy water does kill them, but there will always be a few survivors, or new ones that hatch from eggs. To counteract that, the plant(s) must be re-sprayed about every 5 to 7 days. Four sprayings is usually enough to kill all the pests, although ants may again bring a new batch of aphids to the plant later on.

It's important to use a pure soap, not a detergent. Most liquids for dishwashing are actually detergents, because detergents cut grease much better than plain soaps do. However, detergents are harsh and can burn a plant's leaves. Any pure soap will work, regardless of whether it's a solid or a liquid. A bar of Castile soap is fine, as is Ivory soap, but I personally prefer Dr. Bronner's unscented liquid soap.

HTH! :)
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garden5
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[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphid]All About Aphids[/url] and [url=https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7404.html]Aphid Management Guidlines[/url].

Hope these help :D.
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LindsayArthurRTR
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Ladybugs do wonders for aphids!
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garden5
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LindsayArthurRTR wrote:Ladybugs do wonders for aphids!
Your absolutely right! Some folks will even purchase bulk packages of live ladybugs and release them into the garden. This is done with a number of beneficial insects, though there is some debate as to how effective of a pest control method it is (but that's for another thread :wink:).
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