Aphids are ravaging my Flavor Supreme Pluot tree. But the tree is teeming with lady bugs and larvae. I’m hesitant to spray dish soap/neem oil because of them. Should I just wait? The FS even bloomed with the stress. Really weird, I’ve never seen that before! FS finished blooming 1.5 months ago!
You need to get yourself some lady bugs. Chow time!!
There are tons of lady bugs here already. They show up every year without fail.
Do you see those two lady bug larvae on this branch?
Yep, with my glasses on.
If you don’t want to wait, just squish them with your fingers. I call myself a green thumb that way
But if you squish too many of them, the lady bugs will have no food left.
I always have the same trilemma: spray aphids with neem oil, squish them with fingers, or leave them to lady bugs. I usually spray with neem oil on roses where aphid infestation is especially heavy, and use a combination of finger squishing and lady bugs on the rest of the plants.
Does Neem bother Ladybird beetles?I thought it mostly harmed soft bodied insects. Brady
Thats interesting, last year I had a Superior plum put out tons of flowers on new growth while the rest of the tree had inch and a half fruits all over it, never occurred to me at the time that it could be stress. I’d have never thought something like that would be possible in Minnesota. Only one of my 2 Superiors did the weird flowering thing- the younger one. I do remember that for about a 3 week period the new growth was getting hit hard by pests
IIRC you can use soap spray on aphids without harming the ladybugs.
Another way to remove the aphids is to go over the leaves with some masking tape. I make the tape into a circle with the sticky side out. Then with the loop over my hand/fingers lightly touch the tape to the aphids. Quicker and easier than squishing, and has the advantage of removing the bodies which lessens rot from them. When a section of the tape gets full, just roll it a bit to a new part.
@bleedingdirt. Just curious. Do you band your tree trunks and apply Tanglefoot? This is the 1st year I did this to my plums/pluots/plurerry/apples and haven’t seen the aphids like I had in past years. Of course it may still be a little early in my zone.
Does anyone have a read on what this actually does for the trees - I’ve read all the theoretical benefits - just trying to sort out which are internet legends.
It depends what kinds of aphids you have, the rosy and black aphids you can control with tanglefoot on the trunk but the green plum aphid is a flyer and is very difficult to control that way (I tried one season and gave up).
Supposedly for green plum aphid it really helps if you spray oil or soap on them around bloom time. That sets them way back just as they are starting to multiply, before you see them en masse. I am planning on spraying my plums at the next chance I can get as they are at that point now.