Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Woolly Aphids.

They are on 2 of my Rose bushes. And on my Coreopsis/Salvia. The trees (and vines) were trimmed back to the fence on Wednesday and the debris sat all over this area for quite some time before the landscapers cleaned it up. I noticed the nasty white little buggers this morning and immediately did a G search because I didn't know what they were. They tend to infest trees, but also infest bushes and flowers. If they begin to eat what they are infesting, the plant will become distressed and die.

Some ways to get rid of Mealy bugs (also known as Woolly Aphids):

Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap and warm water. Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of soap per one pint of water. Use a spray bottle to apply the mixture while the water is still warm. The soap will help penetrate the waxy coating and will kill the mealy bugs. Some mealy bugs may be underground when you treat and kill the first batch of bugs, so it's important to retreat about one week after the first treatment.

Use jalapeno juice, Tabasco sauce, or a mixture of hot water and cayenne pepper. Parasites that infest plants in your garden can often be eradicated with simple pepper juices from your home. Woolly aphids can often be killed with garlic as well, so if you have any garlic extract in your home, put it in a spray bottle to use on the mealy bugs.

Rubbing alcohol and soap. Mix straight rubbing alcohol (no water), and 1/2 a teaspoon of dish soap. The dish soap, again, works to break down the waxy coating, and the rubbing alcohol will dehydrate the mealy bugs, killing them. (*I've used this and it seems to be working. I've seperated the veggies containers from the ones with the Aphids because they don't seem to have them and I don't want to use rubbing alcohol on my herbs & veggies. I hope the flowers survive*).

Other soaps, diluted 1 tablespoon to 1 pint water. Besides dish soap, you could mix water with the Murphy's Oil Soap or Dr. Bronner's organic peppermint soap. Not only will this kill mealy bugs, but it will keep other pests away, because parasitic insects don't like the strong scent of peppermint.

ICK, ICK, ICK double ICK!


Lizzi said...

I'm not a gardener at all but I found this so interesting. I never would have thought to get rid of garden pests with garlic or hot pepper stuff! Hope they haven't done too much damage.

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Heather M. said...

Thanks, Jo! I'll try a few of this as something's eating my roses and my hostas look like swiss cheese

Re said...

Lots of excellent advice here.

Carrie said...

I too am a big fan of the soapy water spray technique, though I am starting to get more annoyed with bloomin aphid and greenfly etc and just squish them between my fingers. Now that is double ick! (I wear gloves, my hubby doesn't!!!)

Jo said...

Lizzi, you can also use red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to keep squirrels from eating your bulbs and freshly planted seedlings! Just sprinkle a generous layer on top of the soil.

Brenda, I'll email you! Brandie helped me with this so I will now pass the knowledge on to you!

Heather, if the hostas look healthy otherwise and just have the holes, rain could be the culprit there. (If you've had any really heavy rain, it can beat holes into the leaves). If the hostas look unhealthy (yellowing, browning, etc), then I'd look at the leaves (turn them over too) and do a G search. Your roses are probably being eaten so I'd take a look at their leaves too (top & underside) then do a G search.

Jo said...

Thanks Re!

Lol Carrie! I was doing that until I read that aphids can bite and they jump all over the blippin' place! (Which really freaks me out because I don't want them jumping on me! I spray from a distance!)

Mandy said...

Thanks for the advice, Jo. We are having problems with our zucchini and I think it is because the animals keep eating it. I think red pepper flakes will do perfectly!!

Jo said...

You're welcome Mandy!