How do you get rid of aphids?

CelbriseSeptember 8, 2012

I have been having an aphid problem and a white powdery mildew problem here in my tomato plant. the mildew isn't that bad it's only on maybe 2-3 leaves and i remove them ASAP.

but the aphids seem to just keep comming. i tried spraying the plant foliage with a mixture of soap and water but i think it's so strong as it looks as if either the mixture is burning the plant since the leaves are turning brown in color or the aphids are causing that.

i don't have any money to go out buying anything. i have heard of people spraying the aphids off with just water but i was wondering if i do this won't it just encourage the mildew to grow on the leaves again?

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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Sugar and hydrogen peroxide?

I never tryed it because when I use dish soap and water it gets rid of them first application.

1 gal of water 8 oz of 3% H202 and 8 oz of white sugar.

Source: http://deplume.hubpages.com/hub/home-uses-hydrogen-peroxide

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:25AM
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Celbrise

yea i used the dishwashing soap and they are still here. i tried regular water they were gone for a while either the mixture i made is too strong as it's burning my plants like i said or the aphids are just eating away my plant.

i used it once yesterday it did good but i noticed my plants leaves becomming brown this morning and i used it again today so tomorrow i would expect the aphids to be either mostly gone otherwise i will try to dilute the mixture more. as my tomato plant only seems to be the one with the brown spots the rest i sprayed are fine. but then again the tomato plant has the most aphids as well due to it having so many leaves

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 1:13AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If I had an aphid problem on an edible ....... let me explain. Aphids aren't tough to get rid of. Neem oil works well, as does insecticidal soap, and neem oil also has anti-fungal properties that will help with the PM, though like most fungicides, it works better as a prophylactic than a fixitive. Both are very safe products to use.

Neem oil has little knockdown. It takes a while to convince the grower it's working, but the properties that make it effective as an anti-feedant and a chemo-sterilizer (+ other beneficial properties) do have decent residual effect. Insecticidal soap has good knockdown, but little in the way of residual properties. I would combine them to increase their efficacy - teamwork!

Here's how:

Add a pint of very hot water to a 1 quart spritzer bottle. Add enough insecticidal soap to make a quart of spray, plus 1 teaspoon of pure, cold-pressed neem oil. Shake very well & add a pint of 70% rubbing alcohol & shake again. Spritz your plants, making sure you shake regularly while applying to keep the oil from separating. Make sure you fully cover all surfaces (especially the underside of leaves) and get the spray into all the nooks/crannies, cracks/crevices. Reapply every 1-2 weeks on cloudy days or evenings. Try to avoid applying before hot and sunny days are forecast. Use ALL the mix on the day you make it or discard it. It doesn't store or keep well - loses effectiveness when exposed to light.

Al

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:56AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Do you see ants as well? Ants farm aphids and will "replant" when you kill the ones on the plant. Just because you continue to see them doesn't mean your control method isn't working. You may just need a little more perseverance, and ant bait. Damn ants!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:02PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Ants that farm Aphids- Yes I have seen this, on TV. It seems they thrive in the tropics, I never seen aphid farming ants here ever!

I was debating with a grower about killing ants. I do not kill anything unless it really is doing harm- Some ants help plants roots. This person said kill every ant in the garden, and I disagreed, then I realized they were in Costa Rica! Eek leaf cutter ants!! :) Nope, no aphid farming ants around me in zone 5b. :)

How come I never ever have pest issues here? I grow huge patchs of jalapenos very close together, I am just waiting for bugs to come but NEVER had any? Is it my zone? Can insects not thrive in the cold area that have bad winters? Or am I lucky? :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:26PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Well I'm not in the tropics, more sub-tropics, but I see ants farming aphids all the time. You're lucky to not have that problem.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:32PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

I have seen the strangest thing though. Red ants coming out of the end of a cayenne pepper!? Never seen it again, and could not find signs of more? Very odd!

I hope you get rid of the aphids!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:47PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Powdery mildew isn't like other plant diseases. It can be prevented from spreading by spraying the foliage down with plain water. PM propagules do not require free water in order to germinate, as other diseases do. Thus, we can simply keep those spores rinsed away. My advice to you is to give your plants a quick shower in the morning and use more pressure every few days to knock off a few aphids.

At some point you should invest in some commercial insecticidal soap and some cold pressed neem. But I've not found the products essential to protecting plants from aphids or PM. Helpful, yes.

Mastergardener, it is well documented that ants are very attracted to and will protect a population of any insect which will produce large amounts of sugary honeydew. Their defense of those insects (aphids and scale, most notably) is amply rewarded by honeydew produced in even larger amounts as incentive.

Control of the aphids is usually all we need to do to discourage ants. Fortunately, the presence of ants in the garden simply means that the environment is a normal one.

Some ant species require control....fire ants, for example. They can truly be harmful to plants, people, and pets. But most ant bait products are not labeled for use in the veggie garden so wr need to be careful about what we use and where.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:18AM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Yes, I seen that, on TV :)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:01PM
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greentiger87

I usually notice the ants before the aphids, especiallywhen they hide under the leaves.

Lately I've been removing aphids with a soft cloth and bucket of water. So much fun!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:16PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Wow. I am really wanting to see these aphid farming ants! I am very interested in ants!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:02PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

The worst part is if you knock the aphids off with a stream of water, the ants march down, pick the little buggers up, and carry them back to the plant. I remember the first time I saw that. I may have gotten a little vulgar.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Celbrise

yes i see lots of ants farming the aphids at first i thought they were eating them but then people told me they eating the sugars they create and just farming them rather then anything. sadly the aphids came back -.-" i will have to try shooting them with plain water as my plant looks like it will die with another application off my soap/water mixture.

DAMN YOU APHIDS!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:34PM
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TheMasterGardener1(5B)

Yea, I hear the ants sense when the rain is coming and hide their aphid livestock under the plants leaves to protect them from the rain!! Scientests still cant figure out what lets the ants know the rain is comming. I would say it is change in pressure.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:14PM
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