All Things Gardening forum: Misting with Rubbing Alcohol for Aphids?

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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Feb 28, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Anyone ever do it?

I have read many times people putting rubbing alcohol on q-tips et cetera and wiping aphids. Supposedly works. I never had the tenacity to try it. If that "really" works, why could you not use it in a mist bottle?

I am so freaking sick of aphids. Grumbling Grumbling In my basement all over my new seedlings. Well not all - but certainly enuff.

Outdoors, I often use insecticidal soap or Neem oil solutions. The latter is MUCH more effective. But for small seedlings, both can harm them - particularly the Neem oil.

???
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Janet
coastal southeast NC (Zone 8a)
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rngardnr
Feb 28, 2016 8:41 PM CST
David...
For some reason almost all of my potted daylilies have aphids this spring. Of course, I didn't have any Safer soap, soooo I took some Baby shampoo, put a squirt into a quart spray bottle with 2 drops of Dawn and then filled it with water. Just sprayed each daylily fairly heavily a week ago with really good results. Today, I just gave them all a light spray to catch any stragglers. By the way, it smells pretty good too.......lol
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Feb 28, 2016 9:56 PM CST
Thumbs up

I research it some more and it will burn some plants. Sighing!

I have Safer Insecticidal soap also as my fall back. Not as effective as Neem oil but it cooked a couple of my seedlings.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Feb 29, 2016 12:52 AM CST
David ...

Outside all you need to do is wash the plants off with a strong spray of water. You don't even need the soap. For a severe infestation, you may need to do it daily for a while until you have broken the breeding cycle.

For delicate plants, just put your hand behind the part of the plant you are spraying.

When I was growing plants in containers outside, I also put a few cinnamon sticks in the container to keep ants from farming the aphids.

I haven't grown plants indoors, so I can't suggest the best way to handle them inside. I guess it depends on your set up.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Feb 29, 2016 12:56 PM CST
A fellow forum gardener introduced me to AzaMax --
http://www.amazon.com/General-Hydroponics-GH2045-4-Ounce-Aza...
Used a lot with hydroponics but not limited to hydroponics. Food grade ingredients and good for use on food crops. Works well on spider mites on my lemon tree too. In the fall, I hose down all containerized plants that I want to bring indoors and then spray thoroughly with AzaMax. And I avoid bringing indoors aphid magnets like peppers or Abutilon. I can spray as needed over the winter/early spring indoors with no problems.
Skรฅne, Sweden (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Lilies Bee Lover Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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William
Feb 29, 2016 2:41 PM CST
Methylated spirit (max 1 tablespoon per litre water) is often recommended to mix with soap for spraying against aphids here in Sweden. No spraying in sunlight, please! I tried this myself a long time ago, but got some foliage damage if I recall correctly and haven't tried it since. However that was with a rather strong soap solution, which on its own could just as well be responsible for the damage. I think I had just over 3 tablespoons of soap in that mixture, way to much!!!

In any case I think one would need to try this on a plant to plant basis, but yes it's very likely that you will get better effect against aphids. Not sure if rubbing alcohol would be better or worse for plants. The alcohol recommended in Sweden is the most commonly available here, called "Rรถdsprit" and contains 50-75 % ethanol among other things.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 29, 2016 2:42 PM CST
I use rubbing alcohol to water 1:4 for aphids and flies on plants growing in the greenhouse. Works very well and the seedlings and rose cuttings I used it on never noticed at all.
[Last edited by lovesblooms - Feb 29, 2016 2:43 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1070132 (7)
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Feb 29, 2016 3:18 PM CST
lovesblooms said:I use rubbing alcohol to water 1:4 for aphids and flies on plants growing in the greenhouse. Works very well and the seedlings and rose cuttings I used it on never noticed at all.


Now that sound encouraging!! Thumbs up
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Feb 29, 2016 3:20 PM CST
If I was looking to spray aphids (or white-fly for that matter) I would put 1/2 teaspoon of soap like Dr Bonners or Ivory into a quart bottle and spray that daily till they were gone.

It drys out legs & they fall apart.
Name: Taqiyyah
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Container Gardener Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Roses Salvias Seed Starter
Vegetable Grower Region: Mid-Atlantic
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lovesblooms
Feb 29, 2016 3:39 PM CST
DavidLMO said:

Now that sound encouraging!! Thumbs up


Yes, for an enclosed environment it's good--probably also helps take care of fungus and molds and things. It supposedly dries out their bodies. But outdoors I don't really have many aphid issues.

You know what else I found helps? Worm castings! For some reason when I sprinkle them fresh on the surface of the pot, whiteflies and ladybugs disappear. After it starts to break down, though, they come back.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Mar 2, 2016 12:12 PM CST
I also use Azamax. I do not use it outdoors, as I do not want to hurt the creatures outside, but I figure any insect in my house is "fair game" and the Azamax is a hormone type product, has no effect on mammals.
I have never tried it on seedlings, but If I have a plant very prone to insects I will use the Bonide Systemic Houseplant granules-these are put on the potting soil and absorbed through the roots, so I don't have to spray poison which I might inhale, or would settle on the cat dish.
Soap and alcohol sounds pretty good, but spraying that in the house would cause a residue on the floor and furniture. In the greenhouse David has, might be great.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Mar 11, 2016 8:22 AM CST
Hi, I haven't read all of the posts but have you tried dusting with Diatomaceous earth? It's fossilized diatoms and safe for humans and other animals but deadly to most invertebrates with exoskeletons. It would be a good choice for using indoors, since it will kill most any bug that comes in contact with the dust. I've used it for aphids before and they are dead quite quickly.

Or, you could get a few ladybugs to take care of the problem. Green Grin!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Mar 11, 2016 8:26 AM CST
I've never found anything but water (and my fingers) necessary to thwart aphids.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Mar 11, 2016 8:28 AM CST
Yes, that works too but maybe not as easy indoors. Shrug!
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Mar 11, 2016 11:30 AM CST
My wife WOULD kill me should I turn loose lady bugs in the house. FWIW, the alcohol mixture seems to be ineffective.

WRT the Diatomaceous earth, I presume one should wear a mask while using that? Inside yer lungs, that stuff would be 100 times worse than smoking I would think. I have used it outdoors on slugs - works good.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

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