It is amazing how things take care of themselves – take the garden for instance.
Little insects are eaten by larger insects, who in turn are eaten by spiders and frogs, who are hunted by birds and lizards. And so on…
Maybe it is special because it happens without us needed to be there at all.
Provided we don’t poison all the soil and air with pesticides and other contaminants, life finds a way to carry on doing what it always has.
So Boring – So Amazing
So what happens when you get too many Aphids in the garden? You get the Controllers!
What kind of control do you call it anyway – Organic, natural, nature – or all of them?
Here is what seems to be a female Earwig on a midnight snack. The next three photos are from the same Broccoli plant, which I have left in as Aphid bait and also to finish off the seed, which will be used for the next crop.
This cockroach must like it better outside than under the bed! Lucky me. This was the first time it dawned on me that the cockroach can be more than a scavenger, despite what how we label it.
And to top it off was a couple of Spiders laying in wait. Those webs are so effective at trapping prey, by morning they will be coated with struggling aphids.
The very next day I caught sight of a Hoverfly on a Lemon tree. What was she doing there I wonder? The next photo down could be the reason!
A Hoverfly larvae making busy with the aphids. This is on one of the Apple trees (the Pink Lady) from memory. A few of these will clean up all but the biggest of aphid infestations. Eating machines they be!!
Keep an eye on the little things; life unfolding. It can be tricky to spot, but well worth the effort.
OK so how else can I kill or remove those Aphids?
Granted, not all of us have the time to build up a natural arsenal to take on the aphid menace, so here are a couple of ways to do it by getting hands on!
- Pick them off by hand! Literally wipe those aphids off whatever you want them off, crush them up, and throw into the compost. I’d recommend gloves for the job, and get rid of ants around there also because their job being there is in protecting the aphids from predators.
- Spray with water. Yes that is all you need to do sometimes, either with a hose or spray bottle, as long as the pressure is not enough to damage the plant. An alternative to this is to add some dishwater liquid to the water, which will coat the aphids and leaves and make the whole environment very unpleasant for them.
- Spray with worm tea – A favourite fail-safe of mine that will kill all your aphids, and sometimes the things that are feeding on them also. Use this when all the other methods are not enough to keep them at an acceptable level. I use the word acceptable because as long as they are just a nuisance and not killing your plants, why not keep some and give all those wonderful predators a reason to stick around?
- Where Charlotte Came From: A Tale of Aphids and Silk (eclecticedibles.wordpress.com)
- Why is mutualism a good relationship between two organisms (wiki.answers.com)
- It’s a small, small, small world… (gcvhorticulture.wordpress.com)