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manny
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EMERGENCY!! Sound the Horn!!!! Aphids

I somehow ended up with aphids in my spinach and broccoli seedlings. Any ideas on how to get rid of them? This scares me as these somehow ended up sharing a tray with my ghost pepper seedlings.
Manny

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rainbowgardener
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Are these indoor seedlings? If so I'd be surprised if they were aphids. I've never even seen aphids on spinach or broccoli outdoors. Are they on the plant or the soil? Are they making holes in the leaves?

Anyway if they are aphids, it's not exactly an emergency. A healthy plant can withstand a fair number of aphids. It's only harmful when a plant gets covered in them.

If you don't have a ton of seedlings you can just go over them by hand and squish the aphids. Or you can spray them with a soapy water solution. Best to use real soap, not detergent. Real soap is stuff like Dr. Bronner's.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GardenGnome
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You could buy some lady bugs and let them eat them also.
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Kisal
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Please don't think of aphids as an emergency. If you do that, you'll be upset all the time. Think of them more like the dust that gets on your furniture, just something you have to remove when it appears.

Aphids are everywhere. Always. Just get them off your plants and all will be well until they show up again. ;)
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pow wow
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I would hop over to a garden center a pick up a bottle of environment friendly insecticidal soap.
Late last summer I took cuttings from a customers honey suckle and clematis vines. They rooted in my greenhouse but were too small to plant so they came into the house and stayed on my plant rack. Every month I had to take the soap spay to them. The aphids did get onto my rice seedlings once. Now that they're back in the greenhouse they seem to be finally rid of the aphids. Well for now I guess.

pow wow
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Keep an eye on your pepper plants. Aphids really, really love those plants.

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rainbowgardener
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I always find it interesting, different regions, different gardens the critters like different things. I have never seen an aphid on my pepper plants. However, people frequently say slugs won't bother peppers and my peppers always have a major fight with slugs.

There's only two things in my garden that have much trouble with aphids - my mini rose bush and the honeysuckle trumpet vine, both of which seem to get covered in aphids every spring. I go over the plants and squish as many aphids as I can get and that seems to take care of the problem until next year.
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pow wow
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That is interesting. The pepper plants are the first to be attacked by aphids in my greenhouse. Gardenias are their next target.lol Any plants outside just get hosed down when infested.

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manny
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Thanks for all the advice! I am squishing as I find them. No holes in leaves I can see. These are indoors but I have taken them outside a few days to start hardening them off. The lady bugs is a good idea,but I am afraid of bugs in general so I'll pass but thank you GardenGnome. Kisal thanks for snapping me into reality. pow wow, I think I might get some of that soap.
Manny

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rainbowgardener
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The holes in leaves was just checking to see if they really were aphids, which it sounds like is yes. Aphids (aka plant lice) suck the plant juices, they don't chew the leaves, so they do not leave any visible holes.

Hopefully as you get more experience with gardening, it will help you get over some of the fear. Whether or not you buy and release any, you should be hoping there are ladybugs in your garden as well as preying mantis and other beneficial insects. Otherwise you will have a big fight on your hands, trying to do the work that they would be doing for you, in protecting your plants from all the insects that want to devour them.
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greenmouli
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As rainbowgardener said, insects are always the easy and natural way. I wish ladybugs were in abundance here but unfortunately not. Neither are the sold here so that I can buy them and gift them to my plants.
Anyways, soap spray works great for aphids, ants, and even grasshoppers.
Make a stock solution of 1 cup cooking oil and 1 tbsp of dishwashing liquid. Mix about 5 to 8 tbsps of this stock solution in a gallon of water and spray.
I got this from a website which I don't remember unfortunately. I just wrote this formula down and it works great for me.
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barnhardt9999
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I'd be a little worried about aphids inside the house as it may be a sign of carpenter ants. Look around the house for little black ants. They will carry the aphids to plants and then harvest the fungus that grows around them. Its amazing to watch except for the fact they are boring holes through the woodwork of your house.

If you do find the carpenter ants feed them borax mixed with water and honey or powdered sugar. They will feed it to the queen and the colony will collapse in about 10 days. Since I got rid of my carpenter ants I have only seen an occasional aphid.

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