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How To Get Rid Of Aphids

Spring 2020

The Aphids Are Here

Bug, Scarry Pink Bug

Here is your annual warning. 

Go to a nursery and buy a carton of Ladybugs.  DO IT NOW.  They are breeding, their eggs are hatching and they are HUNGRY.

HOW I APPLY LADYBUGS TO THE GARDEN

Don't toss the Ladybugs into the bushes.  Don't dump them out onto the plants.  Don't shake them around and scatter them over the shrubs.

Be kind to them, they are your helpers.  

Locate the plants that have aphids on them.  This is where you will gently place the aphids.

Take the carton of Ladybugs into the garden at night, when it is dark.  Open the container slowly, just a little bit at first because when you remove the lid they will quickly try crawl out and onto your hands and up your arms and they will tickle you.  So now that you know this is going to happen don't be surprised and freak-out, Be Prepared, be calm, be kind.  These are adorable little bugs that will not hurt you and it is you that has frightened them to death.

Take a few out of the container with your fingertips and very gently place them on a plant with aphids or, better yet, a leaf with aphids on it.  Close the lid and repeat this on other plants in your garden where you have aphids.

The reason you put them out gently, and at night is because they cannot see in the dark and can't fly away.  Which is the first thing on their minds when you have opened the prison door. Especially if you started tossing them about.

What keeps them in your garden is this; When they wake up in the morning on that buggie plant, on which you gently set them, they will be starving.  And when they see that they are right in the middle of their favorite food they will stay.

Store the remaining carton of Ladybugs in the house until you want to place more in the garden, or share some with your neighbors.

As you go through the garden in the days to follow you will notice that some of the aphids have turned brown or look a little different .  This is because the Ladybugs have left behind only a shell of the aphids they ate, kind of like  us with a plate of chicken bones.  Don't think that they are not working because you may see some live aphids, it is going to take them a little time to work their way through the buffet.  You can always go in the house and get the carton of Ladybugs you didn't employ and put a few more here and there - AT NIGHT.

In my gardening classes I always talk about the importance of managing insect pests in our gardens.  I talk about the 3 most terrible things that can happen to our homes:  They are  Flooding, Fire and APHIDS.  I react immediately to each.

If you take your garden seriously and act immediately on the insect issues that crop up once in a while, you can eventually say, "I haven't haven't had an insect problem in decades."  Today is a good day to start to stop incubating insect pests in your garden.

Come to my classes - gardening can be a joy.

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