The Q&A Archives: Bugs on Ivy

Question: I have several types of ivy in pots in the window of my apartment. Recently, I discovered small black bugs on the leaves and stems of the areas of new growth on all the ivy. Several other plants in the window remain uninfested - only the ivy. Any guesses as to what they are, and if so, how I can get rid of them?

Answer: Based on your description I would guess they are aphids. These are very small soft bodied sucking insects and they will attack succulent new growth. They can be controlled by washing them off with a firm stream of water (rinsing under the tap or better yet the kitchen sink sprayer if you have one) repeated about twice a week for several weeks, or with insecticidal soap applied according to the label instructions. Be sure to follow the instructions as to follow up applications so you catch any subsequent generations when they emerge. You might also keep an eye on your other plants to make sure they haven't spread.

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