Aphids say goodbye

At least I hope they do, because today I sprayed them. If you missed it, yesterday I wrote about the aphids on some of my overwintering indoor plants, and took a good close look at them.


Today they got a drenching with insecticidal soap, so that should do them in.

***


Insecticidal soap is not nearly as nasty as most of the other pest-killing sprays that are available, so that's what I use indoors -- and outdoors too for the most part, but I don't spray outdoors very often. I'm not concerned about getting it on my hands, or about breathing any of it in (although I don't want to get it in my eyes or mouth). I will wash my hands when I'm finished, but no gloves needed.


Here's the brand I use, and I use the concentrate instead of the pre-mixed spray because it's much more economical. Mix up your own spray and save!


As you can see it's good on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. I've had problems with whiteflies and mealybugs before, but I haven't noticed any of them yet this year. Nice that this spraying will take care of them too if they're hiding in the plants somewhere.


The procedure is simple: spray until the plant is dripping wet! I sprayed the bamboos first.


I made sure it wet all of the leaves and stems, and got in all of the nooks:


I even turned the small potted bamboos upside down to spray the underside of the leaves -- which is where most pests hide anyway:


I really should have done this out in the garage, or at least on some newspaper or something, because the stuff dripped all over the place. Another reason to use a "gentle" product like insecticidal soap.



After the bamboo the ivy got a heavy drenching, and I made sure I got the ends of each "vine", as that's where the most aphids were. I guess they like the new, soft leaves and stems best.


I had to be careful because this euphorbia is right behind the ivy, and the product label says to test before spraying euphorbias. Some spray may have gotten on it and I'll see if that causes any damage, but for the most part the plant remained dry.


The label also says to test before spraying ornamental ivy, but since I sprayed this ivy last year and it didn't have any problems, I'm not concerned. Besides, if I don't spray it the aphid population will grow so large the plant will be in bad shape. Which is worse, having a plant slowly killed by insects, or quickly killed by the cure? (Difficult choice actually.)

I'll spray again in a week, and hopefully that will take care of the aphids for the rest of the winter. I'll keep an eye on it and let you know how it goes.

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Gerhard Bock  – (January 23, 2011 at 11:18 AM)  

That's the same brand of insecticidal soap I sprayed on my potted outdoor bamboos just the other day. It does help but here it needs to repeated every couple of weeks because you never get all of them.

When doing yard work yesterday I noticed that the white flies didn't get wiped out by the frost either. They're another huge problem in our yard, sucking the life out of many a plant.

Looks like you have a nice Euphorbia tirucalli there!

:: Bamboo and More ::

Alan  – (January 23, 2011 at 10:12 PM)  

Good eye -- Euphorbia tirucalli 'fire sticks'. It got a lot bigger this past year, and I don't know what I'll do with it next year. It's not getting enough light right now, but hopefully it will be enough to make it through the winter.

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