Aphid Attack!

I can tell it’s spring in Kansas, because the aphids are out in full force. The one downside to having lots of Asian greens and radishes in the Demo Garden this year is that the aphids are pretty much in 7th heaven! I don’t know quite what it is, but aphids LOVE those brassica greens.

However, I found some aphids in a place I wasn’t really expecting to find them: the apple trees! I had thought that they were woolly apple aphids, until I did a search and discovered that they aren’t actually those kind of aphids. I think they are just an average type of aphid that happens to like one of the apple trees. So what clued me into the presence of the aphids?

Can you see what’s going on here? I happened to notice on Saturday that some of the larger leaves were curled up abnormally. I guess this is why it is so important to walk through your garden and notice the little details regularly. Many people may not have notice these symptoms for some time yet.

After unfurling one of the curled leaves, look at what I found! A whole colony of nice, grey aphids. I could be wrong, but I suspect that there is neem oil or pyrethrin in their future…

UPDATE: My husband sent me this story, that is pretty intriguing. Apparently aphids change their color in certain cases because a fungus facilitates the aphids assimilating the genes that cause synthesis of carotenoids!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on May 3, 2010, in Insects Abound! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I just read about this and I can’t wait to try it. Apparently, you can take wood ashes and sprinkle them generously over your plants and you won’t aphids or any other kind of bug. You have to make sure that the wood was not wet before you burnt it. I read this in a book about organic gardening. I have not seen any aphids in my garden yet but if you have them then it won’t be long before I do too.

    • I have no idea if that would work. I’m always hesitant about the ashes because the can raise the soil pH, but it shouldn’t harm just the plants.

  2. Rebecca,
    I could not find a place to ask a question in the Demo Garden blog so I’ll ask it here. Where can I get Milkweed seeds locally? I’d like to plant some for the Monarch butterfles.

  3. yaquigrande: I’ll have them at the Delano Community Farmers Market Backyard Gardeners booth, tomorrow (Wednesday) night 5-7:30 in the Downtown Senior Services parking lot (200 S. Walnut, behind Seneca Park). Considering the die-off in Mexico this year, it seemed like a good freebie for us to hand out.

  4. Karen,
    I will be there!!

    Thanks!!!! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Check for Pests! « Gardora.net

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