Okay, so it's starting to act like spring in the solarium. Fun, right? Well, I'm aghast at all of the aphid hatchlings! Maybe they go dormant during the winter. I don't know, but they are all over the new buds and leaves that are bursting out in their bright lime green colors. I slid my finger and thumb up the blade of a new iris shoot and I probably smashed 50 aphids. As I stroll around, I pluck any sign of spring and throw it out in the snow.
I knew there must be an easier way. So today is my first test of the Aphid and Whitefly Trap put out by BIO CARE. They are little glue sticks that smell good to aphids and when they are full, they go into my worm bin for the worms to eat. How great is that? And it adds that nice yellow fly paper color to the solarium! What can be better than that?
I'll let you know if it works! :-) Just in case you start sending me other solutions, I'm still sweeping up dead lady bugs. The leaves I sprayed with oil and soap are still alittle dead, banana peels did not work. So. . . . I will go and look for praying mantises when it gets a little warmer. That might work too. But I'm up for any other ideas.
Forget the praying mantises; they eat medium to large insects, not tiny aphids and whiteflies.
In our bioshelter, when too many aphids/whiteflies or too much mildew appear on an edible vegetable, we spray it with K-Neem, a soap made of neem oil. Neem oil kills both insects and funguses. However it also kills beneficial insects, so don't spray every plant in the greenhouse. Some plants may have predators and parasites that you would like to keep. Earle Banrhart
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