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My lovely climbing rose have become infested with aphids the size of a dog. Well, not quite that big, but big enough that I feel them pop between my fingers. They're ruining it. I have a very unhappy potentilla and mint plant with the same problems, and they've taken over my (currently indoor) banana plant.

I much prefer to garden orgnically, but these critters don't look like they'll go easily. What can people recommend as the most effective andleast harmful way of dealing with them please?

All suggestions very much appreciated.

Keep doing what ya doing. Removal by hand ya best organic solution. There are products available such as lacewing larvae but lacewings as adults do damage some plants. Keep a eye out for ladybirds my garden is crawling with them hence my problem is under control.

I have a sheltered courtyard that aphids seem to thrive in yet I only saw one ladybird last year and I had loads of the blighters - white, black, green, red, pretty much every colour under the sun.  Quite why the aphids can find me but the ladybirds can't I don't know!

So I went for garlic water to blast the blighters - I roughly chopped 3 cloves of garlic and put into an old large coffee jar, added hot water and let it steep overnight, strained the garlic, added a couple of drops of washing up liquid and then poured into a hand sprayer with an equal amount of water and used that on everything in sight and it definitely worked a treat.  I don't know if it would harm beneficial bugs but seeing as I didn't have any of them that wasn't a problem for me.

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