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Is it a 'good' year for aphids, greenfly & blackfly?

Hello all, this year I've been patting myself on the back at having kept the slugs at bay with strategically placed slug pellets and copper tape. Yet, the bane of my life are aphids, greenfly and blackfly they are just everywhere!  
Has anyone else found this year a 'bumper' year for these pests? And what can one do to curb and beat the colonies of them without resorting to insecticides?   

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  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453

    Touch wood, not seen many greenfly/aphids. Just a few but easily blasted them off  foxgloves with the hose.

    Capsid bugs seem to be the only pest I'm having problems with. God I hate them.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    Never seen so many in my life!

  • CaralCaral Posts: 301
    Same here Katherine. I wonder if it's because it's been so dry?
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 884

    Hi Caral & Katherine,

    Try using a spray of diluted Neem oil ... it is totally organic.

    See this link for further info.

    http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-oil-insecticide.html

    and this one for how to make it.

    http://www.discoverneem.com/neem-insect-spray.html

    I use it as soon as growth starts in April and I drench the foliage. Any spare solution goes onto the soil below as the earthworms are supposed to love it. I repeat spray every few weeks.

    Neem is best used preventatively .... but will work on pests that have already arrived. It  does not hurt beneficial insects. Only chewing and sucking insects are affected. The main reason is that insects need to ingest the neem oil to be affected, and beneficial insects don't eat your plants. However, you can still kill beneficial insects if you smother them with neem oil, so I tend to spray late evening to be safe.

    It does stink a bit ... but is easy to mix up and apply.

    I got mine off ebay .... wasn't expensive for a big bottle which will last ages. At room temperature it is solid, but goes liquid again with a couple of hours in the airing cupboard.

    Worth a try.

    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,466

    I noticed a few colonies of blackfly on some of my broad bean plants and as usual they were being farmed by ants but a drop of plain water in an old spray bottle and a rub over with the fingers and the problem was gone.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    Than you Bee Witched (love the screen name! image ). I will keep it in mind if I decide it becomes necessary... I usually don't spray anything at all as long as plants seem to cope... and if not, I use a little soapy water. So far so good.

    Yes, Caral, I think the dryness plays a role, although I am not sure how exactly.

    But I hope it rains soon... the honey dew falling from the trees is making everything sticky and horrid. Yuck. Everything in the garden needs a good wash! image

  • T CT C Posts: 30

    I did not see any last year.

    This year I have every colour imaginable, Red/Black/White/Green. (Truth just those 4) But thats still too many.

    They have also spawned on just about everything I grow. I hate it but i'm using so much spray. If not my garden would be dead within a few days.

  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373

    As a last resort I've just ordered mailorder ladybirds? Just found out you could! I came in from the garden today and felt I was infested with green fly there were soo many out thereimage. We normally have ladybirds but haven't seen any this year

  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    lady bird lavae is better as they don't fly away and only effective if there are no ants present as they will protect the green/blackfly from the ladybirds 

  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373
    Thanks Sanjy67, hadn't thought of that ,I might be able to amend, thankfully no antsimage
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