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
- Syrphid fly larvae
- Soldier beetles
- Parasitic mini-wasps
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