As the subject line suggests, I'm looking to annihilate an aphid infestation. I first noticed aphids on my (now) ~5 week old tomato, cucumber, and zucchini seedlings maybe 10 days ago. Green, black, red, winged, wingless--all kinds. I immediately started squishing them twice a day and sprayed the seedlings with a diluted soap solution (1 tsp Murphy's Oil Soap / 1 Qt water). Well, I didn't know to wash the soap off (oops) and burned the leaves. They've mostly recovered.
I've had moderate success keeping the aphid population in check through daily inspection and squishing. However, I failed to squish yesterday, and by this afternoon they had exploded. There are TONS of green winged ones as well as very tiny black winged ones. When I picked up one of my seedling trays to move it in tonight, I came away with aphids all over my shirt and head. Ack!!
Should I try another round of soap? I have Neem oil now, too. Is that better, or does it matter? I don't want to burn leaves again...
I started way too many seedlings and can definitely cull a lot of them if needed. I was hoping to give some of them to a local community garden that is just starting up, but I don't want to pass my aphid problem along to them. Should I just treat the ones I plan to keep and cull the rest?
Thanks in advance!