Sunday, March 6, 2016

Aphids on Onions

The garden's latest pest-du-jour actively competing for my moans & groans along with the cutworm is the black aphid attacking my onions. They've been at the garden for about two months now, going from one chive bed, then to the leeks, and next to the onions, then back again. 

(Not a great or well focused photo, but it shows how thick the black aphids are.)

At first I only saw an aphid here and there. I made a big mistake by not aggressively killing them when I first saw them. Within a couple of weeks there where massive armies of black aphids covering the plants. I find hundreds of them on one plant lined up all along the leaves. Bad news. Real bad news. 

Since this is the first time I've had to deal with these, I really wasn't sure what would work. So I brought out the safer soap spray to see if that would work. Pumping up the sprayer with a lot of pressure, the spray actually blew most of the aphids right off the plants. What still clung to the plants were dead by the next morning. But over the next few days, fresh aphids arrived. Because I had neglected to kill off the aphids when they first showed up, I had newly hatching aphids to deal with. Multiple generations of aphids.

By now I've been fighting these aphids for a couple weeks and their numbers are down to just a few new ones each day. But I'm learning......don't stop now. I will continue to check the onions, leeks, and chives every day for the coming month, and spot spray any aphids I find.

I'm happy that soap spray is successful against these aphids. Although I started out using safer soap during the worst of the outbreak, regular ol' soapy solution is successfully taking care of them now. A simple, easy, and cheap solution.....just time consuming. 

1 comment:

  1. "S" said in an email, "The black aphids are the reason I gave up trying to grow onions up here. I swear they would appear over night and totally encrust the plants."

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