Aphids

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  poplarpark 8 months, 1 week ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #50083

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Just wondered if there are any further methods of destroying these awful aphid pests. I had about 60 large swan plants growing in a green house. I have a host plant outside and when eggs are laid on it, I cover it and then later transfer the larger caterpillars to the green house, There they are safe from the preditors. I’ve done two lots of caterpillars with great success, releasing over 300 butterflies, but the third lot are struggling because of the aphids. I’ve tried the milk and water, and the soap and water and squashing the aphid. But with all those plants right up to the green house roof, the aphid took over and I lost control over them. All the plants have slowly died. Apart from about 10. I am gutted and it is so disheartening. And advice would be most welcome.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #50088

    poplarpark
    Participant

    I really appreciate your input and help, Jacqui.. I will try to do as you suggest.. I actually hate spraying anyway, but also hate to see my huge plants dead.. I hope I can save the last dozen or so. I have a lovely lot of chrysalis hanging for the third time, so will concentrate on getting them hatched and up and away..Many thanks Jacqui..

    #50086

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    The thing with using sprays is that you’re breaking or disrupting the cycle of Nature controlling things. There aren’t meant to be hundreds of monarchs. There are meant to be just a balance to keep the milkweed in control. There aren’t meant to be millions of milkweeds – and that’s why there are predators of them (monarch caterpillars, aphids etc).

    Once you get aphids in your garden, the aphid predators and parasites soon come to keep them in balance too.

    It’s us humans and our foibles – we love monarchs, we’re ambivalent about swan plants (except that we know we can’t have monarchs without them), and we hate wasps, aphids etc. We need to learn that we can’t have all the good things without the bad things too. And that’s why you have your greenhouse and I have my “butterfly house” – so we can breed more monarchs away from predators and parasites.

    I also have aphids in my butterfly house but as it’s net Aphidius colemani and ladybirds can get in there.

    My recommendation would be not to spray at all and to open up the house. Remember a monarch lays 300 or 500 or even a thousand eggs, so you can spare a few to the predators. A. colemani can be bought from Bioforce

    #50085

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Jacqui. Can you please tell me where I get Aphidius colemani? For next season. Yes I realise it is all too late really, but I think the very very wet weather didn’t help either..Acutally the wasp have been minimal this year which is wonderful, but the praying mantis are still on the prowl and even yesterday I killed off 3 that were on the outside plants,they had mutilated the last 4 caterpillars I had left outside.. A catch 22 isn’t it..But I guess I will start all over again with replanting for the next butterfly season. But maybe try a bit harder to keep aphids under control and also not let the plants get so high.
    (As in touching the roof of the little green house) Do the plants survive a good pruning? I am open to any advice and do thank you..and also grateful the last few caterpillars are close to moving on to chrysalis stage.. Could I do a pyrethrum spray once they are in chrysalis form? I would try to keep spray off the chrysalis – or would the general fumes harm them?

    #50084

    Jacqui
    Keymaster

    Hi PoplarPark – have you read the handout on our website under SPECIES/PESTS.

    Although it is old, the information has not changed much. The problem with growing the plants in a greenhouse is that you’re making a perfect climate for aphids and of course aphid predators and parasites cannot get in there.

    My suggestion would be to get some Aphidius colemani, they will work really well in your greenhouse.

    Another note – the wasps seem to have finished eating caterpillars so perhaps you no longer have to transfer the caterpillars intno a sanctuary. You can open up the greenhouse and let the ladybirds in to do their work. The ladybirds are doing a great job of cleaning up my aphid “problem” in my garden – I just bit my tongue and “did nothing” for a week… and the ladybirds came.

    Sadly, the aphids can overwhelm the weaker swan plants and you get a huge loss. But that is Nature’s way of controlling an overabundance of swan plants. When you think about it, monarch caterpillars are predators too!

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.