Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Aphids


Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Aphids are in your garden because:

  • Aphids like lush new growth. Don't over fertilize. Use organic fertilizers or slow release products.
  • Expect aphids when you grow flowering plums, roses, tulip trees, crape myrtles, apples, and many vegetables.
  • Ants protect aphids from their natural enemies. Keep ants off plants for best results.

To reduce aphids:

  • Prune out infested leaves and stems.
  • Knock aphids off plants by shaking or spraying with a strong stream of water.
  • Protect seedlings with covers or aluminum soil mulches.
  • Wait for hot weather; most aphids will be gone by mid-June.

If insecticides seem necessary, use the safest products:

  • Use non-chemical pest controls first. If you feel insecticides are necessary, choose less toxic products.
  • Insecticidal oils and soaps are safest and control exposed aphids, but won't kill aphids hidden within curled leaves. Prune these out.
  • Apply oils and soaps thoroughly to smother aphids. Don't apply to drought-stressed plants or when it is very hot. A few plants are sensitive to these products.
  • Apply insecticidal soaps, soap-pyrethrum mixtures, or neem oils to vegetables or small bushes like roses.
  • Narrow range oils, like parafinic, supreme or superior oils are appropriate for large trees.
  • Systemic products can kill hidden aphids but are more toxic and not registered for food crops.

Protect aphids' natural enemies:

Avoid the use of insecticides that may be toxic to these good bugs that occur naturally in your garden:

  • Lady beetles, both adults and larvae
  • Lacewings
  • Syrphid fly larvae
  • Soldier beetles
  • Parasitic mini-wasps

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