Pests and Diseases forum: Aphid Disaster

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Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
apho
Jun 20, 2017 7:23 AM CST
Note: edited for easier and faster reading. Fewer walls of text.

Edit: mature insects look most similar to the pea aphid


Hello all. I am in dire need of learning how to remove aphids or a like pest from my home and plants, an infestation a year in the making. I am a novice at this.

I bought two climbing rose plants and kept them inside most of the time. They were wonderful for two weeks before insects (possibly multiple species) began appearing at inside of flowers, buds, joints, and undersides of leaves. They started out colonies of white raised dots. Some became fruit fly sized or smaller white or green flying bugs. More commonly they grew into bugs that resembled the pea aphid, hiding in flower petals and the undersides of leaves. They left behind threads between close leaves, flowers and stems.

I caught them early and brought the plants outside. I gave the plants a morning routine of soapy water followed by a water rinse. The insects disappeared quickly but I did not trust to bring the roses back inside. However, summer storms are extreme and keep knocking the pots over. Roses are now inside. When I checked up on the roses this morning there were barely any rigid/moist, non infested leaves left. Most fell off with the pressure of a spray bottle.

Here is where they came from.

Last year my brother decided to overwinter a variety of pepper plants from the summer. They were fine for about two months until they began to shrivel without warning, curling leaves and dried stems. It was then that we noticed white eggs or young insects crawling about. They liked the underside of leaves, flowers, anywhere they could eventually find moisture.

A cloud of flying insects arose, white and then green, slowly but surely infesting all pepper plants. Those that remained on the plants sans wings preferred stems. Any treatment failed, whether it be soap and water, organic treatments or pesticides.

In late April I removed a series of dead plants with fungus filled soil. (Mainly lichen, no true mushrooms) I wanted to get another rose plant so I made sure to clean the house very well. I used copious amounts of bleach on the floor the peppers were on.

Where could the aphids(?) or their eggs be hiding in my home? How do I kill them off? And, an extra question, how can I bring by roses back from the brink of death?

Thank you so much for reading this long story and have a wonderful day.

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[Last edited by apho - Jun 20, 2017 12:53 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jun 20, 2017 9:03 AM CST
Welcome!

From your description the problem doesn't seem to fit aphids. Can you post a picture of the insect you are seeing? Your roses would be better off outdoors than indoors BTW.
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
apho
Jun 20, 2017 11:54 AM CST
sooby said: Welcome!

From your description the problem doesn't seem to fit aphids. Can you post a picture of the insect you are seeing? Your roses would be better off outdoors than indoors BTW.


Sadly I have gotten rid of most the evidence, but they are tiny flying insects that start white or light brown and turn a honeydew green when evidently not a little dot. I think I only have eggs or very young ones in photos. On leaves they tend to stay near the veins. This is the best I have for now.

I will be moving them back outside after today's very windy storm passes.

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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
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plantmanager
Jun 20, 2017 12:01 PM CST
I was thinking it wouldn't be aphids. I've had fungus gnats become real pains inside, but mainly my biggest indoor problem was whiteflies. They do rise up in a big cloud. I can't see the insects well enough to tell what they are.
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Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
apho
Jun 20, 2017 12:15 PM CST
plantmanager said:I was thinking it wouldn't be aphids. I've had fungus gnats become real pains inside, but mainly my biggest indoor problem was whiteflies. They do rise up in a big cloud. I can't see the insects well enough to tell what they are.


I looked up images of both fungus gnats and whiteflies but neither are right.

I downloaded this image from the internet but this is much like what infested the pepper plants. My roses did not have nearly the amount but the bugs were a small green insect with wings that I can really think only of as an aphid.
Maybe there are multiple pests?



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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 20, 2017 12:53 PM CST
The last picture shows aphids but usually they are fairly stationary, don't all have wings and at this time of year reproduce by live birth rather than from eggs. So I'm not really sure what you have without seeing them. I don't think aphids would do the damage you are seeing either. They don't eat leaves off, they just suck sap, and I'd be surprised if they caused the degree of wilting in the top picture.

What is the problem with leaving the roses outdoors in a storm, because they are in pots that may blow over?
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
apho
Jun 20, 2017 12:58 PM CST
sooby said:The last picture shows aphids but usually they are fairly stationary, don't all have wings and at this time of year reproduce by live birth rather than from eggs. So I'm not really sure what you have without seeing them. I don't think aphids would do the damage you are seeing either. They don't eat leaves off, they just suck sap, and I'd be surprised if they caused the degree of wilting in the top picture.

What is the problem with leaving the roses outdoors in a storm, because they are in pots that may blow over?


I edited the original post for better clarity. I think there may be a fly of sorts as well as aphids but I am unsure as well without photos.

Yes, the pots I have them in now are easily blown over. I do try to keep them outside when I am home but I work for 12 hours a day often during prime sunlight hours.

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Jun 20, 2017 1:08 PM CST
My recommendation would be to find a way to leave the roses outdoors. Perhaps they need larger or heavier pots. Or anchor them in some way.

Perhaps you do have aphids as well but the cloud and the colour changes etc. do not fit aphids. It would also have to be an aphid species that feeds on both peppers and roses if there is such a thing. Pea aphids feed on legumes. Aphids would not survive in the house without a plant, they would have nothing to eat. I think the leaves drying up and falling off is caused by something else.

If the rose pots are light and blowing over, are they large enough? Are they getting enough water when outside?

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