Ask a Question forum: false sunflowers are being totally destroyed

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southwest Michigan, zone 5b
paintpretty
Jul 31, 2017 4:09 PM CST
I'm quickly losing each of my false sunflowers! These red pests are sucking the life out of every one of them. I tried a natural something I found at the local nursery that was purported to kill pests as these (though I'm not sure what to call these...red aphids?), but it didn't seem to do a thing. It's been going on since May...each of my plants eventually being overtaken & killed. They've just gotten to my last plant, and I'm afraid they might not stop with False Sunflowers!

I know it's awful stuff, but I even did a little section of one plant with the nasty Sevin pesticide. It did nothing.

Please offer input.

Thumb of 2017-07-31/paintpretty/bfa266

Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 31, 2017 4:13 PM CST
Yes, they are red aphids. Just hose them off a few times and they'll move elsewhere. You have to do it several times because there will be eggs left even if you get rid of all the adult aphids. To get all the generations, hose the plants off every couple of days for a week or so.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jul 31, 2017 5:01 PM CST
There are red aphids in the genus Uroleucon that attack false sunflower. For much of the year aphids don't lay eggs but give birth to live young, which is how they manage to reproduce so quickly. There's a picture of one of these red aphids giving birth on Bugguide here:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/...

Uroleucon apparently primarily affect plants in the Asteraceae, so if that's what they are then they aren't likely to spread to other plants not in that family. You won't find a species of aphid attacking all plants. Sevin often doesn't work well for aphids and in fact may increase the problem with them by reducing beneficial insects.

Are you certain it is the aphids that are killing the plants - are the plants that small that they can't handle it?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jul 31, 2017 5:46 PM CST
When my vege garden gets aphids
I use a hand pump 2 gallon sprayer. I spray them with 1 TBL reg dawn dish soap mixed with one gallon water. I've never rinced it off.
I have drip irrigation. So ! I don't like to hose plants off. I have enough weeds as it is.
Then. Spot spray as needed.
Same mixture will work on white flys and spider mites, although, more diligence is needed.
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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