Evil aphids

Maude80May 3, 2013

Recently I've discovered that a group of hybrid teas in my backyard seems to have a serious case of aphid infestation. Several days ago, I noticed these teeny little green things on the leaves, and on closer inspection, all over the canes. What's creepy is the sheer number of them and the fact that it takes a few seconds for your eye to realize what you are seeing.

I didn't want to use an insecticide because I hate that sort of thing. So, yesterday I ordered 5,000 lady bugs off ebay. They are supposed to arrive on Tuesday and I'm really hoping that they will do the trick. Does anyone have any ladybug/aphid advice that could help cure my poor babies:(


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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Can't really advise you on Ladybugs, except I wish someone would issue a clarion call for them to come to my garden. There is always a period in the spring when aphids attack the new growth on the roses, but with global warming, my winters are getting warmer, and the numbers of bugs--aphids, in particular--are dramatically increasing.

I've never seen so many aphids--on all the roses. My fingers will remain permanently green from gently squishing aphids every day! I did finally see THREE ladybugs--for which I'm grateful--but if they don't call up their relatives and neighbors and demand lots of back-up troops really quick, I think the aphids will have taken over the garden!

I used to wonder why some gardeners would get so uptight about the springtime aphids. Now I know--and the number is increasing each year! HEEEEEELP!!!!!!


    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:44PM
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"4) newly registered, reduced environmental risk pesticides can deliver effective, in-season aphid control. "

H.Kuska comment. Sorry, I no longer belong (retirement belt tighting) to Acta Horticulturae so I cannot access the full paper.



You could try a silicon treatment.


This one is surprising:
Abstract: "Abstract
Soil organisms affect plant growth and chemistry and have subsequent effects on aboveground herbivore performance. However, whether herbivores discriminate between plants exposed to different soil organisms when colonizing their host plants is largely unexplored. In a greenhouse study, Tanacetum vulgare L. (Asteraceae) growing in a ruderal plant community in the presence and absence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and earthworms [Aporrectodea spp. (Haplotaxida: Lumbricidae)] was colonized by aphids [Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae)]. The aphids preferred to colonize plants without earthworms in the soil, and the numbers of aphids remained lower on the plants with earthworms, irrespective of the presence of AMF. Although the N, C, and P concentrations of the shoots were not affected by the soil organisms, AMF increased total aboveground biomass, total N, C, and P content, and photosynthetic activity (measured as electron transport rate) in the leaves under high light intensity. These results suggest that earthworms affect chemical cues that are used by aphids to judge host quality prior to feeding. Discrimination between plants with and without exposure to earthworms by aboveground herbivores is a novel aspect of plant-mediated interactions between below- and aboveground organisms."

Title: Colonization of Tanacetum vulgare by aphids is reduced by earthworms
Authors: Susanne Wurst*, Manfred Forstreuter

Published in: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Volume 137, Issue 1, pages 86��"92, October 2010


Here is a link that might be useful: link for secret reduced environmental risk pesticides

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Our lady bugs are naturally occurring, but but I hear making sure the plants are wet when you release them and doing it toward dusk will improve the chances they stick around a bit.

Of course washing the aphids off and then letting the lady bugs go might make it seem like they were busy eating or you might find them lower since that is where the aphids are at the time.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:21PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

After your ladybugs have at them, keep the roses washed off. Ladybugs don't last long. As it gets hot, they wither up and disappear.

(It's been so hot here for the last 2 days, if there WERE any aphids, they're certainly gone now.)

No one likes aphids, but they're just easy peasy lemon-squeasy to deal with. Brush 'em off. Wash 'em off. Let ladybugs eat 'em. Watch bush tits descend en masse to eat 'em.

I will wish for you that the little creeps are the worst pests you EVER see in your rose garden.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:06PM
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This December 2012 Ph.D. Thesis may be useful.

Title: Compatibility of soybean aphid integrated pest management strategies
Authors: Heidel-Baker, Thelma Tolentino
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Abstract: "The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, is a major economic pest of Midwest soybean. Since its discovery in the United States in 2000, significant strides have been made in developing an integrated pest management (IPM) program for this pest. The primary method of controlling soybean aphid outbreaks is through the use of foliar insecticides, but alternative management strategies such as host plant resistance varieties, reduced-risk insecticides and neonicotinoid seed treatments are also available. In addition, natural control from soybean aphid natural enemies can contribute towards aphid suppression. Conserving these natural enemies is an important component of soybean aphid IPM. The focus of this dissertation is to better understand the interactions between the management strategies currently available for soybean aphid management and whether the strategies are 1) effective at managing soybean aphid populations and 2) can successfully be utilized in combination with natural enemies to improve on soybean aphid IPM. To investigate these questions, both laboratory and field studies were conducted over three field seasons. Field studies demonstrated varying impacts of reduced-risk insecticides on the soybean aphid and its natural enemies. Minimal effects on soybean aphid and their natural enemies were demonstrated from the use of aphid resistant soybean and seedtreated soybean. Laboratory studies showed minimal non-target risks to natural enemies from exposure to seed treatments and host plant resistance. A field study to enhance aphid biological control with a buckwheat intercrop demonstrated minimal effects on either aphid or natural enemy populations. In summary, alternative soybean aphid management strategies exist that successfully suppress aphid population while also minimizing risks to natural enemies. Results of this research will help improve the integration of management strategies in soybean aphid IPM."
Description: University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2012. Major: Entomology. Advisors:Dr. David Ragsdale and Dr. George Heimpel. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 143 pages


Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:15PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Maybe Mother Natue heard my desperate pleas for help in the face of the aphid take-over in my garden! She sent a cold spell--down to freezing last night--not enough to harm the roses--they look very fresh and lively today--but just enough to wipe out the aphid plague in my backyard evidently. I just toured the back yard--no aphids in sight! Not sure what happens as it warms up in the next few days, but I can at least hope the aphid population experienced a permanent set-back with this unexpected cold snap!

Kate : )

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 1:43PM
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I bought last year, 500 lady bugs. This year, their children helped a lot!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Wherever there are aphid eggs which remained unharmed by the freeze, they will hatch. If they aren't IN your garden, they will blow/fly in on the breezes and begin proliferating on your roses just as they did. Unless the weather becomes to hot and dry for them, or continues to freeze, keeping them knocked down, they will be back. It's just Nature's way. Beneficial predators or the insecticide of your choice will then be necessary should you decide you must take action. Kim

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 2:47PM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

a good blast of water will work!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 4:42PM
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seil zone 6b MI

You can take the canes and leaves gently in your fingers and wipe them off but if you're squeamish about doing that you can use a drop of dish soap in a spritz bottle of water and spray them. The soap dries them out and they die. Or just take the hose and blast them away with a good hard spray. It really won't hurt the roses.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 9:33PM
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I like the idea of beneficial insects doing the job. Sort of like a little army of soldiers is on it's way to do battle with these unholy invaders!!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Apparently roses are able to fight off aphids on their own.

Here is a link that might be useful: link for scientific article

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 8:22PM
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view1ny NY 6-7

I second seil's suggestion of dish soap & water in a spray bottle. I have about 20 rose bushes & sprayed them all on Sunday. I targeted the aphids as carefully as I could but I have 2 climbing roses 2' taller than I am & just did the best I could.
On Monday, about 95% of the aphids were gone. I resprayed & today (Tues) I noticed lots of dead brown aphids on the leaves. I resprayed the few roses that needed it & I hope I'm done (until the next infestation.) I'm wondering if using a dormant spray before next winter will kill the aphids so I don't have this problem next year.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:01PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

You know I've never noticed having Aphids before...
But they probably were here year after year just never noticed.
Until yesterday when I was checking out our roses I seen
those little green pests all over...
I need to build up good insect populations so I'm just letting them go...
Rose slugs are starting too...
Who opened Pandoras box??? lol

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 3:15PM
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I wanted to give an update on my aphid situation. My order of 5,000 ladybugs arrived in the mail today and they all look healthy and alive (and quite lady-like). I waited until it was almost dark out and I sprinkled them on all of my roses. I'm hoping that at least some of them will make a permanent home in my garden and keep those nasty aphids under control:)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:47PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Cool deal on the lady bugs! Hopefully they stay
and munch some Aphids...lol

It rained for two days here and our aphids took off for now...lol

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 9:23PM
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