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02/06/2013 at 22:47

There are a lot of greenfly all over the place, which I have been having a go at with a spray of mild soap; but one rose bush and one only is COMPLETELY covered.  The greenfly seem particularly fat, don't mind a bit of a wash, and I discovered today don't have a reaction to standard garden aphid killer.  I read somewhere once about boiling cigarette ends and trying a nicotine based pesticide (I don't know how dilute this would have to be not to kill the plant) or if there are any particular greenfly slaughtering products which are especially effective.  I generally try to be 'natural' about gardening, but at this moment I would try agent orange if it was selective enough!  Any ideas, anybody?

02/06/2013 at 22:55

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!

02/06/2013 at 23:04

I haven't seen a single ladybird this year, but I don't know what their larvae look like. (I only deliberately slaughter aphids and slugs though)  It is probably a really stupid question, but can you buy ladybird larvae somewhere and wait for them to hatch out and start greenfly annihilation?

03/06/2013 at 00:39

Yes, I believe you can!

03/06/2013 at 07:54

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.

03/06/2013 at 07:59

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 

03/06/2013 at 11:56

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!

03/06/2013 at 11:58

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.

03/06/2013 at 12:44

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 

03/06/2013 at 14:53

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).

03/06/2013 at 15:13

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.

04/06/2013 at 00:14

Thank you everybody ... I didn't know how toxic nicotine was fidgetbones - I thought it was supposed to be mildish, but a bit stronger than washing up liquid.  I'm afraid my washing up liquid is some feeble economy stuff, so I expect fairy liquid is better (I'll give that a go before I resort to roseclear Brummieben, although I have blackspot as well so I may have to.)  I'm going to order some ladybirds too.  Fairygirl, we have loads of visiting birds, and several nesting in the garden, but they don't seem to pick the greenfly off the roses.  Finally, someone mentioned at work today that aphids don't like a spray made of garlic but they didn't know whether you crush it, boil it or what so if anyone knows this organic idea that could be interesting too!  Thank you all for your responses -

04/06/2013 at 00:31

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.

04/06/2013 at 07:18

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.

04/06/2013 at 07:41

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

04/06/2013 at 09:52

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!

 

04/06/2013 at 17:52

I might have got mixed up about the garlic John, but I will certainly give it a try on the slugs which are usually my pet hate, only temporarily overtaken by aphids!  I have ordered some ladybird larvae today, the company swears that they are uk native ones (various sites warned about non native species crowding out the local population) so I shall hope they are very, very hungry  - although going from the various reports on this site there isn't much of a ladybird population to compete with currently.  Hopefully they will arrive next week to slaughter the greenfly before they totally annihilate the rosebuds.  I shall report especially to Dahlia who must have the same brand of super resistant aphids as I do!

07/06/2013 at 08:03

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

10/06/2013 at 17:07

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

10/06/2013 at 17:28

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.

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