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John Harding

The natural enemy of greenfly & other aphids is the ladybird & ladybird lavae so if you see them on the plant don't try & remove them, they might be hungry!

John Harding

Just type buy ladybird larvae uk into the Google search box and a number of sites will come up. There will also be some photos of them so you can identify them.


Sara ladybirds do seem very scarce- i've hardly seen any in the past few years. The larvae are quite odd looking- bearing no resemblance to the adult at all!  If you google it you'll see what I mean- and easier to describe to you!

Another suggestion I would make is to hang a litle bird feeder nearby and try and attract some blue tits and other birds in- they'll munch away at them 


Brilliant idea re the birdfeeder Fairygirl.  Also which soap did you use?  We use Ecover washing up liquid normally, but I found it wasn't as effective as a good does of Fairy Liquid spray at killing the aphids.

Otherwise, as simple as it sounds, get your fingers around the base of the bud and stroke upwards.  They fall to the ground and you can squish them.  Wear marigolds if, like me, you don't like the idea of dead aphids on your hands.

I might have to buy some larvae too, I've seen one this year!



I use rose clear, buy the concentrate for about 9 pound, makes like 30 litres. Mix it up in a hand pressure sprayer then off you toddle! It kills greenfly also provides protection because of the systemic action. It also deals with blackspot etc. If you have lots of roses, (I have maybe 20) it's the stuff to use. I too have noticed a dearth of ladybirds, also hoverflies are down. I plant between my roses with marigolds calendula etc, also scabious to try and attract as many natural predators. The problem is my garden is right next to 3 massive maples in the street, on a warm day you can literally see millions of greenfly coming off them. Spraying is not so great I know, I do spray in the evening, and check over the plants for any larvae or lady birds etc, so hopefully minimise 'friendly fire' casualties.

As I said, spraying isn't so great, but if you want your roses healthy and happy, it's what I do. I have tried spraying water at them to blast them off, but they are back in a day or two, also easy to damage new buds and shoots this way. The blackspot is the nightmare though, again rose clear at least slows it somewhat. Good luck.


I've got greenfly on my rosebuds - every year I just run my fingers over the shoots in the morning, removing most of the greenfly and leaving a few for the ladybirds and bluetits - it works for me 

John Harding

Just looking down the garden this morning I've noticed sparrows on the roses having a good feed of aphids. There were quite a lot of greenfly yesterday & I left them 'till tomorrow! - There are virtually none left now to have to deal with. A few years ago the sparrows all seemed to disappear, now I notice this year there are plenty of them around. It was the reason I started growing white flowering runner beans, because sparrows constantly pecked off the red flowers of Scarlet Emperor and Enorma. (I now grow a variety called 'Moonlight' & they are brilliant, sparrrows don't seem touch them).


Please don't boil up fag ends to make nicotine pesticide. It's highly toxic to all mammals, bugs and fish. You'll kill the greenfly all right, and the bees and the hoverflies,and  the fish in the pond.

It's not just humans  ciggies can kill.


I watched a blue tit today swooping between the roses and the apple tree, it flew off when I warned it of an approaching cat. 

I'll probably be checking back here for a few weeks although the fairy liquid tip has always worked for me in the past.

This has been the worst year in my garden for greenfly as well. I go around daily squishing and have found them on plants that never had them before. Last year I decided to try not to use sprays at all but this year I've had to resort to bug gun. I did spray in the evening and nowhere near open flowers. I've seen only 2 ladybirds this whole spring and my garden is visited by blue tits but they concentrate mostly on the clematis.

John Harding

There was a lady on TV a while ago who specialises in Hostas - not a slug to be seen anywhere and all the Hostas were perfect. "What's the secret" the presenter asked. She took a bulb of garlic and mashed it up & mixed it with water (I think it was about a gallon (5 Litres)). She then used that as her concentrate and added a little to a 2 litre sprayer, topped up with water and sprayed her plants. Slugs and snails hated it she said. If you use this method though remember to strain the concentrate before mixing as the tiny bits could block the sprayer jet or clog the filter if it has one. Don't know what the dilution would need to be for aphids though [I've not heard of the method being used to deter them]. John H

Hi there, my rose bushes and butterfly bush are covered in greenfly.  I use diluted Fairy Liquid but doesn't seem to deter them at all.  Planting marigold was a pointless exercise as they have all been eaten.  All I can do without having to resort to using chemicals is water the plants thoroughly to make sure they remain healthy. I had black spot on a few leaves on the rose bush which I've cut off and destroyed.  I know this is not much help but just so you know you are not alone in fighting the battle against greenfly, aphids and black spot. My acers were also attacked with aphids but unfortunately, I had no choice but to use Rose Clear and when that failed I ended up spraying with fairy liquid and picking them off with my fingers as well as squishing them off the branches. As for ladybirds, I've seen only one on my Acer!


It will be interesting to see how big a difference your ladybirds make Sara 4 do keep us informed. Thanks.


how is everybodys greenfly problem have the ladybirds done there job sara 4



I saw a ladybird today with no spots!  I've never seen one like that before.

When I first moved in  here there was about a dozen sick looking roses.  The next door neighbour told me I would need to spray every three weeks to keep off greenfly, black spot, etc.  B-- that for a game of soldiers.   I havn't got the time nor inclination.   I ripped out all the roses and never looked back.

I did read that if you dangle a fat ball above the roses, the blue tits will clear the aphids while they are waiting their turn for the fat ball.


if only it were just the roses


strawberry, clematis,dahlias,lupins etc etc etc

I infused boiling water with orange peel, and spraying that every few days has kept greenfly off our roses, but it doesnt do much good on the honeysuckle, which is COVERED.

Might have to resort to chemicals : (