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Aphids


by Pippa Greenwood

In my garden it's business as usual: lily beetles have been feasting on my lilies, while scale insects appear to have increased in number... But where are the aphids?


Blackfly on a plantIn early spring, there were a lot of discussions in the garden media over whether the harsh winter would have reduced numbers of garden pests.

The slugs and snails were slow to appear after the cold, dry April. But most other critters, good and bad, seem to be around in remarkably similar numbers. In my garden it's business as usual: lily beetles have been feasting on my lilies, while scale insects appear to have increased in number.

But where are the aphids? We’re now into mid-July and I'm in no doubt that greenfly, blackfly and just about every other colour of aphid do not seem to be around in their usual quantity. There have been a few on the okra plants I've raised from seed and the odd one on the roses, but that's about it. I've also noticed fewer ladybirds in my garden this year. I expect they’re missing the aphids, too.

Perhaps the birds are obligingly collecting the aphids up for their young, or they've all been parasitised by some wonder wasp. Who knows, maybe it was the hard winter after all?



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Gardeners' World Web User 13/07/2011 at 17:56

All the greenfly are in my garden, on my roses, sweetpea's and lettce. I have seen loads of ladybirds at work in the hants area. Oh and i have had no end of trouble with slugs since we had rain, they have even found a way round the copper tape!

Gardeners' World Web User 13/07/2011 at 18:04

Very few aphids of any colour in my garden too, Pippa, but I do have lots of ladybirds so they could be the reason. My big worry is a fox which has dug beneath my Bramley apple tree and made a den underneath it. The tree has tons of fruit on it. There is a front and back door to the den but I do not know how deep it is. The fox leaves its droppings at the front door!

Gardeners' World Web User 13/07/2011 at 23:43

No problem with the aphids in Belfast. They are everywere? My indoor coriander wes even swarming with them! I couldnt tell you when I last seen a Ladybird in my garden, I could do with a few though.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/07/2011 at 08:10

Aphids are around in Peterborough, but possibly not in the proportions of previous years. Perhaps they're missing the luscious shoots encouraged by summer rain, which we have NOT seen in any meaningful quantity for months. Broad bean pods have a nice overcoat of blackfly, and 'soft' bedding like nicotiana has greenfly. There are a few woolly aphid appearing on my apple trees, but I treat at first sight with the soapy spray SB Plant Invigorator. I'm also using this as a regular preventive spray on greenhouse cucumbers to avoid red spider mite and whitefly taking hold, and it appears to be working.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/07/2011 at 15:05

I have loads of blackfly on my runner beans, well I did have until I washed and squashed a lot of them off with a rag and a bowl of water. I have left some for the numerous ladybirds that I also have in the garden.

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