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We recently moved house and am getting round to sorting the garden out, I am getting on top of the slug problem, is gravel a bad thing to have in the garden if you have slugs? I also have Greenfly and other Aphids everywhere, at first I thought it was localised, now I realise there in the honeysuckle ornamental trees, roses, and lots of other shrubs, I have tried spraying but they are above my head and they are everywhere. How can I get on top of the problem?


stop spraying. there's an endless supply of aphids and you'll be killing their predators as well


Yes you've told me what not to do, now can you tell me what I need to do to solve the problem?


I pick them off by hand.  I know it sounds like you have a lot of them but it is worth it.  I keep waiting for the ladybirds to come and eat them but I never seem to get any.  The other thing you can do is get on top of any ants there are.  Ants farm aphids and it may be you have nests near your favourite plants.  Buy an Ant Stop baitstation or similar brand and they'll be gone.  The ants, that is.  Encouraging predators is all very well but it doesn't help when they're sucking your plants dry, so I just put my gloves on and sweep with my fingers up and down the affected stems.  Sometimes it's too late and I have to snap off an affected leaf or stem, but it's better than losing a whole plant. Good luck.

squash by hand and spray with water or occasionally soapy water, i'm so happy whenever i see ladybirds on my plants and near them i leave the greenfly so they can eat them up andhopefully use the ladybird hotline to invite all their frends round!



All of the above, plus encourage blue-tits into your garden - my clematis, honesuckle and roses are full of newly fledged bluetits hoovering up the aphids 

Just to let you know the scale of the problem, one of the trees defected is 15 foot by 10 foot in size with small leaves and vertically every leaf is effected, it is not practical to spray or physically squash or pic them off, how do I attract predictors and can you purchase them?

Of course in a few weeks the ladybirds will be around to feast till their hearts are content



You can purchase ladybirds and ladybird larvae 

What sort of tree is affected?  

If you're getting the heavy rain that we've had over the past couple of days, that'll get rid of a lot of them, and if you have that many aphids the birds will soon find them.

I wouldn't worry about aphids on trees - trees are usually pretty resilient and will outgrow that sort of problem.  Where they can cause a problem is on roses, lupins, aquilegia etc, but I still don't use a proprietary spray - if the infestation is heavy I'll spray with the hose, brush them off with my fingers or as a last resort on a fruit tree I'll use a soap spray.  

If you use the types of spray that kill off the predators then the problem will get worse year on year.


you  can buy ladybirds online just google it

Pottie Pam

I agree with Dove. I've fed the birds all winter and even now have fat balls (hope I don't get banned) in the feeders. The birds are thanking me now by eating all the nasties.

There's also a family of thrushes so not too many slugs and snails.

I never see many ladybirds. Perhaps there's not much left for them to feed on.

Steve 309

You can also attract hoverflies - their larvae hoover up aphids.  Nectar-rich flowers will do it - poached egg plant is reputed to be very good.  Lacewings too but there don't seem to be many about these days.


I haven’t got a clue what the tree is that is infected I inherited it, all I know is  the aphids seem to be enjoying the leaves, we had a lot of blue tits last year along with a lot of other birds, we live near farm land and they all seemed to disappear over the winter but are returning now, we have a cat so it is a battle to attract the birds. I will check out the ladybird web site out with a view to purchasing some.


If you'd like to know what your tree is post a picture of the whole tree, plus a close-up of the leaves, and we'll have a go at identifying it for you.

To post a pic just click on the green tree icon on the toolbar above where you type your post and follow the instructions.

It sounds like a lovely location. 





I have attached pictures for identification, the worst tree effected is in the center then leaves that are starting to go and the total effect on leaves then the devastation on the honeysuckle I sprayed next to the tree.






It's hard to tell but the tree is possibly one of the wild prunus - bullace, cherry plum, damson, that sort of thing.  

It has been badly attacked but it's the price we're paying for a mild winter - many aphids survived the winter and made a head start with their breeding programme early on!  

As I said, I think the best thing you can do for the tree is to encourage the birds to do the job for you, and hope for a few good sharp frosts next winter to knock the aphids back.

I think that with the honeysuckle I would pinch out all the badly affected growing tips. That number of  aphids will have damaged them so you won't get good flowers.  If you pinch out the growing tips the honeysuckle will grow sideshoots which will hopefully flower later this summer - and even if they don't flower this year, you'll have a bushier plant which will be good.  

Again, resist using insecticides as they kill the good critters as well as the bad, and this is why we get the big inbalances. It may take a couple of years to get things in balance in your garden, but we've been here three years this coming August, and I've just been watching a large brood of newly fledged bluetits hoovering up aphids from my honeysuckle - they do the job and they're such fun to watch.

Good luck 


...regarding your tree...I have another solution for you Keith but probably one that you wouldn't want to hear..... it's a manky old crusty looking tree, weak growing and obviously prone to severe attack....

...I would get rid of it and plant something more interesting in it's place... we do tend to hang on far too long to these ugly looking things, that are best consigned to the compost heap...

I was left a link by Dovefromabove for the purchase of Ladybirds, I am new to this site and seem to have deleted the message, would Dovefromabove leave the link again.




Just when I thought all was lost Ladybirds and Ladybird Larvae seem to be appearing in the garden and munching at the aphids, is this the time of year when they appear? (June)