Aphids INSIDE

forensicmomApril 19, 2010

I have tomatoe and pepper plants that I started from seed and are getting really big. They have buds and are anxiously awaiting their planting date of May 1. I just looked at the pepper plants close up and found aphids all over them. They're inside in my bedroom and have never gone outside. How in the world did they get aphids inside? What can I do about them? I know to use a strong spray of water but they're still seedlings and I'm afraid if I take them out and spray them it might damage them.

Any help please please please???

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sleepy33(5b KS)

First of all, eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww. You are a much braver soul than I, because at the first sign of aphids in my BEDROOM, I don't care how long I'd slaved over those seedlings, outside they would have went! Yeeeeeuuuuck. Second of all, you can use neem oil to get rid of aphids. Third of all, I'm two zones colder than you and I'm already planting out. I know the soil isn't maybe quite as hot as tomatoes and peppers would like, but it's not going to freeze anymore; get those things out of your house, start hardening off and get in the ground. Like, yesterday. :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:27PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

They almost always come in on a houseplant or something brought in for outside. Or if you had these out for even a couple of hours they can pick them up.

But spritizing them off with a spray bottle or even the kitchen sink sprayer will do less damage than the aphids will so take them outside and spray them. And I agree that in zone 7 it is at least time for them to be outside hardening off if not planted.

sleepy - it isn't as if they are going to crawl into the bed with you. You won't taste nearly as good as the pepper plants do. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 3:41PM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

Oh I know, I know, it's just the thought of them, I wouldn't be able to sleep! :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 3:43PM
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forensicmom

The ONLY thing that went outside was a 1 tomatoe plant that I hardened off about 2 weeks ago. I took it outside during the day and brought it back in in the evening. So I can only assume that's how the aphids came in.

Our average plant date (frost free) is May 1 at the earliest. The temps were in the 30's last night here. It's still a little early to plant outside even though we did have above average temps a week or so ago. I'll wait until next weekend and then watch the weather.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 5:14PM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

Temps in the 30's? In zone 7? Where are you at? Sometimes that zone map can be loopy...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 5:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yeah that sound more like a zone 6 or maybe just a micro-pocket like down in a valley maybe? Even here on the 6-7 line we haven't had anything but a few mid-forties nights for the past two weeks. Our last frost date here is April 21st.

But if you can eliminate the aphids another week sure isn't going to hurt anything. Good luck.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 5:58PM
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forensicmom

I'm in central Maryland and our LOW was 38 this morning. The forecast for the rest of the week has lows in the 40's and 50's. It's been chilly here since saturday. Maryland weather is wierd. It was in the 90's a little more then a week ago.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:55PM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

See, that's what is so nutty about the hardiness map. According to the map, I'm in zone 5b here in Kansas, which according to the map means my average minimum temperature is -15 to -10 degrees...which is just false. Patently false. I think we had maybe 3 days that were in the negative temps this year, and it was an unusually harsh winter. Yet our last frost date is 4/20. And according to the map, central Maryland is zone 7, with average min temps of 0-5 degrees, and a last frost date of May 1? Bizarro.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:57PM
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heirloomjunkie(5a)

Not sure how many you have, but have you thought about the old pinching method? Or the garlic/tomato leaf spray? Have never used the tomato leaf spray, but you can make it yourself. As for the garlic spray, it worked pretty well, but with the stiff breeze the day I used it, I got misted a few times and smelled like The Olive Garden for days!

And sleepy, I agree. Eeewww! haha.

Kim

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:08PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I'm Z8b and we are still having occasional overnight frost...we've had light frost on May 1 more than one year, I keep notes.

As for the aphids, you can wipe them off with kleenex or paper towel too...if you don't get them all, just keep removing them daily while indoors to reduce the numbers. If the seedlings are individually potted, fill a sink with warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap, use your fingers to hold dirt in pot and dunk plant upsidedown in the water.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:12PM
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forensicmom

Yes, I agree that those zones and dates are a little off.

I think I might take them to the kitchen sink and wash them off with dish soap. They're only on the 6-8 pepper plants I started, nothing else. Theyre all individually potted so that shouldn't be too hard.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 7:01AM
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karyn1(7a)

I often end up with aphids on seedlings that I start inside or in the greenhouse. I just keep washing the inside ones off until it's time for them to go out and release ladybugs in the greenhouse (and outside when it warms up).

I'm in Montgomery County, MD, zone 7a, and wouldn't plant tomatoes outside until early May. We've had an unusually warm spring and temps haven't gone below 40 in quite some time but I don't keep seedlings of heat loving plants out 24/7 until nighttime temps are above 50.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 7:50AM
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sergeantcuff

I think there can be some confusion about the last AVERAGE frost date and the frost FREE date.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:14AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I don't think you need freezing for frost. I'm in California Zone 9 and we're still getting frost even though night temps have stuck around the low 40's. Isn't it as much about dewpoint as temps?

At any point, sorry to hear about aphids inside. I was going to buy a cold frame and try winter lettuce in it in the hope that the covering would protect it from aphids. I threw the last of last year's winter lettuce away because I got too many aphids, and they just give me the willies. I wasn't enjoying my salads wondering if I'd washed it good enough. I'm afraid I'm not one of those people who can consider them "protein".

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:22AM
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sleepy33(5b KS)

I dunno, loribee; it was 40 when I got up this morning, there was heavy dew on the ground but no frost. I don't see frost until it gets down into the low 30's, I don't think...?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 10:19AM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Yeah, I'm not exactly sure either. I know that I've woken up often lately to see frost on my neighbor's roof, but according to the thermometer, it's in the high 30's. It's weird. I've never quite gotten the frost thing.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 1:31PM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

I also have this problem. Green aphids on my indoor pepper and eggplant seedlings. Somewhere on this site I read an idea to wrap a small piece of masking tape around something and lift the aphids off. I use a q-tip and just throw it out. This has been working pretty well, though I have to do it every day or two.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:46PM
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