Aphids - Knowledgebase Question

Long Grove, Il
Question by shbreezes2
June 30, 2010
I am not getting good results with an insecticide soap to keep aphids from harming my tomato plants. What is more effective...I don't mind buying some chemicals..I will just wash the tomatoes thoroughly after harvesting. Thanks


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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Aphids are easy to control by first blasting them off the plants with a strong spray of water. You might need to do this daily, making sure you get underneath and between leaves where the aphids may be lurking. Squashing them with gloved fingers where they congregate is also effective.

The insecticidal soaps are made from plant-derived fatty acids and target soft-bodied insects. There's really no way you can target the bad guys without fallout on the good guys. If you can regularly monitor and tolerate some damage to your plants, over time Mother Nature strikes a balance, with the beneficial insects, such as lady beetles, praying mantids and a hose of others, coming in to control the aphids. Healthy vigorous plants will withstand insect attacks best, and it's really the best thing you can do to provent insect problems.

Ladybugs and their larvae are voracious eaters of aphids. They often "arrive" a week or two after the aphids, so not spraying with chemicals is a good idea if you'd like to attract them to your garden to consume aphids for you. Also, aphids are temperature dependent, so as weather warms, their population drops. Good luck!



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