Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to get rid of aphids

Aphids shimmering in the sun

Last week I got a real unpleasant surprise when I was marveling at the buds already blooming on my rose bushes. Upon closer inspection I noticed some shiny spots on the leaves. And then, looking further, I saw clumps of green blobs, shimmering like emeralds on the stems. I went to pick at them, and squish, squish they went. Ugh! Aphids. Loads of them. With the unseasonably warm temperatures, bugs are coming out in force. There is no alternative but to attack! I quickly got out my spray bottle, put a few squirts of dish soap in it and filled it with water to create a sudsy solution. I then lathered the leaves liberally, especially at the tops where the aphids were concentrated. The simple solution does a lot to get rid of the dreaded insects that will sap the life out of your plants. I followed up with a few more spray-and-washings and then I used Safer Tomato and Vegetable insect killer, which is good against beetles,caterpillars and aphids. I know a rose bush is not technically a vegetable, but I have gotten positive results nonetheless. I have a feeling this season is going to be full of such unwelcome surprises. My advice for gardeners: be vigilant; be very very vigilant. Check your plants daily. Infestations happen overnight.  

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