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Master Gardener Fred Hoffman teaches you how to safely get rid of aphids.
Tags:aphid pest control,exterminating aphids,gardening tips,kvie,plant pest control,safe aphid removal
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How to Get Rid of Aphids
Chris Burrous: Everyone’s a farmer when it comes to their own backyard; try these tips for doing it home grown.
Fred Hoffman: Here in California, battling pests is a year round job. And our pests extend from microscopic insects, to four legged animals. And with all of the chemicals available to control these unwanted bad guys, what do you choose? Well I’ve got some safe, effective means for controlling the pests in your yard without harming the good guys. Let me show you a few.
Fred Hoffman: One of the most damaging insect pests in California is a sucking insect known as the aphid. Well, hello Mr. Bad guy. So how do you battle aphids without using harsh chemicals that may destroy the beneficial insects, which are also on this very plant battling the aphids. Your first line of attack against aphids in the garden should be this, a blast of water from the garden hose. Just be sure to hit the top sides and the under sides of the leaf, and that’ll be sure to wash the aphids off. Once they fall to the ground, they’re not going to get back up onto the plant, and without a food source they’re going to perish. So let’s get us a few aphids here. Take that!
Fred Hoffman: If you’re looking for a garden good guy, it’s hard to beat ladybugs. And the best part is you can buy ladybugs at just about any nursery. When you buy ladybugs, take it home, stick it in the refrigerator over night. The next morning, go get a branch of the plant that’s infected, and cut if off. Let’s say this austromeria has a few aphids on it, and I’m sure it does.
So what we’re going to do is take the plant that has the aphids on it, a branch or so and in the morning put it in the bag. And then you’re going to take the ladybugs, open that up. Hello boys! And put a few of those in the bag. Close the bag lightly, and stick it over by the plant that has all the aphids in it. So by cooling them down, it makes them not want to fly, by giving them a taste of what’s there, they know there’s food around and by placing the paper bag next to the plant that has all the bugs, they know they don’t have to go away to have a good meal. Ladybugs, it’s a great solution.
Fred Hoffman: If you need to up the battle against the aphids in your yard, turn to this, insecticidal soap. The fatty acids in insecticidal soap smother insects like aphids, thrips and white flies. It won’t harm the beneficial insects, it won’t harm the plant and best of all, and it won’t harm your family.
Fred Hoffman: When you look on the leaves of your plant and you see chew marks like this, that’s the tall tale of California’s most unwanted bad guys, snails and slugs. When it comes to controlling snails and slugs, there are a lot of chemical controls on the market. If you’re concerned about the health of your family though, the active chemical to avoid would be metaldehyde. So, look for the ones that contain iron phosphate as the active ingredient. Another family safe method to control snails and slugs is copper tape, as weird as it sounds. But copper tape acts like an electric fence when it comes to snails and slugs. When they come up to it, they turn right around and go away. The trick is, when you put the copper tape down make sure there are no snails and slugs inside the plants at the time, otherwise you’ve just locked them in the restaurant.
Fred Hoffman: When you go nursery shopping, take a close look at the plants that you’re purchasing. Don’t just look at the tops, look below, look at the under sides of the leaves and make sure there are no hitchhiking pests. There are a lot of chemicals on the market to control insects, choose the ones that are a safer alternative. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some nursery shopping to do. Hey hey hey, I like these.