Gardening Info-The Beetle Invasion: Aphids

Very few people truly like insects of any sort. In most cases, gardeners are amongst those who like them the least. Even the most pacifistic of gardeners could second guess his stance when he sees the destruction that some insects can do. A gardener could spend an entire summer pruning his flowers to look just the perfect way or helping his vegetables to grow big and strong. And when that gardener walks into his backyard to see his flowers or his vegetables destroyed by insects, he will seriously reconsider his life choices. Thus is the pattern of the Aphid invasion.

Aphids can be quite annoying to the gardener. They excrete a sweet substance that, like the soda pop left in the mini-van, quickly turns black on the leaves of the plants. And like the soda, ants love this sweet substance and will flock to it. Now your rose looks like a house after a teenager’s parents left him home alone for the first time. There’s the sweet substance from the aphid that makes the flower look dingy. There’s also an entire colony of ants marching across your hard work

Though it is tempting to squash each and every last one of these bugs, to do so would take an annoyingly (not to mention impossibly) long time. Instead, gardeners must cautiously attack the aphid invasion.

There are a number of methods available to the gardener to get rid of his aphid problem. Each one has positive effects and negative drawbacks. For instance, the suggestion to squash ever aphid is safe to the environment, but it may not be an efficient use of resources.

There are a great deal of pesticides out there as well. The key is trying to find one that is good to the environment, doesn’t harm the drinking water, and still takes care of the aphid invasion. The best way to find one of these is to go to a greenhouse and to see what they suggest.

The greenhouse workers will also know that you should not try to kill of all the aphids in your garden. It’s temping when you see them dragging their ant friends everywhere, but you have to remember that nature’s ecosystem is a balance. There are insects that eat those aphids. So if you kill them off, there will not be anything more for the predators to eat. This causes three problems. First, the predators find this arrangement extremely inconvenient. Second, their predators find it inconvenient as well. And thirdly when the next family of aphids comes in for a bit, they’ll most likely stay around. After all, you got rid of their predators.

So if you can put up with the aphid invasion, it’s best to do so. If you do need to do get rid of them, make sure to leave a few around to guard against the return of the predators.

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