The Aphids

Paddy's Pots

Paddy's pots

Paddy alerted me to some black spots that have appeared on the cucumber flowers and the baby cucumbers. On closer inspection the black dots appear to be aphids. Paddy also noticed there were ants on the vine that seemed to be eating or herding the aphids.

Aphids on the cucumbers

Aphids on a baby cucumber

Ants are not usually bad for the garden and are great for keeping other pests in check. Often people think that the ants are eating their vegetables but it’s usually a worm or caterpillar that’s inside the vegetable that they are going after. It’s a good idea to watch what the ants are doing as they can alert you to infestations or other pests before the damage is done.

Whist Paddy’s original intention was to grow an organic garden we’ve realised that the effectiveness of organic remedies are usually second best to their non-organic cousins. On this occasion the aphids were doing such damage we decided to invest in some Pyrethrum spray to tackle the aphids. The spray was immediately effective against the aphids although it did kill the ants too which was not so good.

Most of the baby cucumbers they got too have been sucked dry to resemble twigs.

Aphids ate this cucumber

Aphids ate this baby cucumber

So far the three cucumber plants have only 2 baby cucumbers in good condition. Between the rats and the aphids we’ll be lucky to get one.

Protecting a baby cucumber

Protecting a baby cucumber

Once the Aphids where dealt with Paddy suggested covering the last two cucumbers with lunch bags. They are they are looking plump and if we have more problems with the wildlife these will be the first to go. We chose lunch bags instead of the fruit cloth we used for tomatoes because the cucumber is resting on the ground.

Protect the last cucumber

Protect the last cucumber

You should leave a gap open around the stem and make sure you cut the end off the bag for air circulation and water drainage.

Wilting brussel sprout seedling

Wilting brussels sprout seedling

Paddy says we haven’t seen the last of the hot weather and today’s temperature still got to 32 degrees Celsius – so be careful if you’re thinking of moving your seedlings or more fragile plants into the full sun.

Posted in Pests | Tagged , | 5 Comments

5 responses to “The Aphids”

  1. […] worse is that the last cucumber was partially eaten even though it was protected inside the lunch bag we placed over it last week. […]

  2. […] previously dealt with a small outbreak of aphids using a bottle of Yates Pyrethrum but Paddy suggested trying a different brand so we got some […]

  3. Tatyana says:

    That is a magnificent shot! Only this year did I nocite ants moving about my patio day and night, and come to find out they were tending aphids in the bushes outside my patio fence. That’s how I found your blog: doing some research on who the ants were, who the aphids were, and what the two were doing in my shrubs. Though the IDs still elude me, I did find an explanation for their conspiracy via your work and that’s a huge step forward from where I started. Now I at least can appreciate their tireless activities as a form of survival whilst I bang my head against the wall for some names.

  4. Jessie says:

    I’ve got a lot of aphids, too on my pltnas but they aren’t dying with anything!!!I’ll try again with water and soap!!By the way: that strange bug is a larvae of a Ladybird!!! It’s a friend for our pltnas: they eat aphids!!!Greetings from Italy!Laura

  5. Daniel says:

    get a spray bottle and mix a colpue drops of non antibactiral soap in a spray bottle and spray it on them or you can blast them of with the hose

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