The Q&A Archives: Aphids

Question: Do you have any suggestions for controlling aphids? I know that ladybugs are a good source for controlling them, however, we are infested with them at our mountain cabin in zone 7. On one of the other properties next to us, the owner stated that he was able to watch them float down out of one of his oak trees. They were very thick.

Answer: Aphid populations can soar in a hurry because during spring and summer, all aphids are female who bear live young, which are capable of bearing live young in no time at all! You can have three or more generations feeding on the same plant at the same time! Of the natural predators, lady beetles top the least. Aphid midges and lacewings are next on the list. You may have to resort to sprays if natural predators fail to keep the aphids in check. You can use a horticultural oil spray in the winter to smother the eggs on the oak trees, or use an insecticidal soap against the aphids now. Don't release predators and then spray or you may do in the good guys along with the bad!

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