soapy water and aphids and ladybirds

This topic contains 7 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Swansong 10 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #13342

    belong
    Participant

    I spray my plants that are infested with aphids with soapy water for several days and it is quite effecrive. Now have a few ladybirds appearing on them but they are not quite coping with the aphids. Will the soapy water affect the ladybirds.

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  • #18947

    Swansong
    Participant

    “How embarrassing… if Swansong hadn’t commented on my post so soon after I posted it, I maybe could have retracted it!!! I AM WRONG (again).”

    DOnt be embarrassed Jacqui! We ALL get it wrong sometimes. I do, have and will again no doubt : )….it was only yesterday I had to edit a post coz I inadvertantly screwed something up.

    Where the problem lies is if someone is too proud to admit it…. or simply make excuses or try and otherwise cover their butt…..

    Cheers,
    Swansong

    #18946

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui,

    I was just about to post a correction on the mummified aphids, but you have redeemed yourself.
    Cheers,
    Norm.

    #18943

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    How embarrassing… if Swansong hadn’t commented on my post so soon after I posted it, I maybe could have retracted it!!! I AM WRONG (again).

    The mummified aphids are when they’re parasitised by a wasp, not sure how many different wasps there are, but these are GOOD wasps and the ones I know about are called Aphidius colemanii.

    Here’s some pictures here:

    http://tinyurl.com/7soldj

    The lifecycle of the ladybird, read more about that here:

    http://www.animalcorner.co.uk/insects/ladybirds/ladybird_lifecycle.html

    I’m now going to go and do the dishes, a task I’m well equipped to do! 🙂

    #18942

    Swansong
    Participant

    This IS interesting Jacqui and something I really need to get a bead on. At what stage do we typically see these “swollen” aphids? It would be good to identify these as apposed to just ordinary big aphids. Anyways I was able to DL that aphid thing so I must go and read.

    Swansong

    #18937

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I think the soapy water is a good trick, BUT it will affect your ladybird population too.

    Remember that the ladybirds use the aphids to multiply, so perhaps the ladybirds aren’t increasing because you’re inadvertently murdering their young!! Download the “aphids” handout on the website – under Pests I think – and take a look at what the ladybird nymphs look like. I think they resemble teeny tiny crayfish! So watch out for them and brown, swollen aphids – they’re the mummified aphids, with ladybird young inside of them. You don’t want to destroy them.

    Jacqui

    #18935

    Swansong
    Participant

    I wont shoot you nicky…. I think the soapy water is a good trick, but I dont know how this affects ladybirds who are wonderful little creatures. If I knew definitely it did affect them I would HAVE to think again…. Conversly …heres the other side… there is NO WAY I will let aphids get a foothold, and sometimes the ladybirds just arent there to deal with them. Therefore its the Squish/soap method. I must confess that I havent had to resort to soap this year as Ive kept a pretty close watch on the procedings with the 1st option….. which isnt really practical if one has too many plants.

    A number of years ago, when I was just starting out, I had a big swan plant that was utterly loaded in a very short time with black aphids. HORRIBLE!. I washed the plant in leftover dishwahing water and laundry water for about a week or so and I was amazed at how knocked the aphiids for a 6er. If I remember correctly the plant sustained a bit of damage in that it didnt look the best after that, but it still perked up and was certainly a viable prospect for pillars. : ).

    Swansong

    #18934

    11111
    Participant

    Hi, i am a soapy-water-in-a-spray-bottle user and i manage very well thank you, i avoid direct hits on ladybirds and cats and it works well, also as an update to an earlier post, i planted marigolds around the bottom of my swan plants and the small plants and lower areas of big plants are clear of aphids so it is having a great effect (there were many clusters there prior to the planting of the marigolds), i am finding the combination of marigolds and soapy water works for me this year – yes…………..i know you arent all fans of the spray bottle………dont shoot me!!

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