I have pretty bad gall aphids infestation on my red currant year after year. This year it is already affected that early. I decided to check common remedies recommended before I get to the bee killing insecticides. Here is how I did it. I selected a young leaf that already turning red and curly and found two damn aphids feeding under it. Then I specifically applied remedy to this exact leaf ( under leaf side) to check next day what happened to the aphids.
Strong spray of water - checked right away, aphids are still there. Not working!
Soap spay. Checked in 12 hours - aphids are still there, green and healthy. Not working!
Neem oil - 1 tea spoon in quarter of water plus some soap. Checked in 12 hours - aphids are still there, green and healthy. Not working!
Squished the damn things by fingers. Working. 2 down, how many to go?
Hmmm, very strange, the neem oil that I use does reduce them to a black dot the next day… I don’t use any soap, just neem oil and water… Now I’m struggling with the winged version, not sure my mixture will still work with them.
That’s certainly possible. Might be worth springing for a new bottle every year or two.
I’ve had very bad green aphid infestations on my Burbank plum for the last few years, and I’ve tried a number of organic ways to control them. Most of these - ladybugs, insecticidal soap, neem, BotaniGard (Beauveria bassiana) - worked to a point, but couldn’t keep up with the aphids’ enthusiatic reproduction. What’s worked best for me are 1) pyrethrins and 2) a mixture of fresh neem and insecticidal soap. Both appeared to fully eliminate the aphids in the areas that I sprayed, and the local ladybugs kept things under control after that. What I’ll probably try this year for convenience is Monterey’s “Fruit Tree Spray Plus”, which is pre-blended pyrethrins and neem.
Its usually the soap that is the instant kill in the neem oil, Whats best is using a glycerine based natural soap and 1/4 tsp per quart of it or a real surfactant. Its best to sit the neem in 90-100 degree water first and spray the neem as warm water and wash out your sprayer good afterwards. Neem makes them infertile and messes with there ability to reproduce. Spray the neem in the evening when the sun is down and the bees are done flying, you can also mix this with spinosad. What is the percentage of neem oil you are using even good cold pressed 100% neem oil you probably want to go full strength at 1.5 tsp per quart.
What about introducing ladybugs at night directly to the bushes?
You can buy a pack of like 1500 at a pick up nursery or through the mail though,usually like 9 bucks. I have tons of ladybugs awake outside but it was basically 80 yesterday and also seeing grasshoppers now.
When you put them out do it at night and inside the tree/bush that has the issue, the main goal is they set up and lay babies overnight, when the sun comes out they are groupies and chase it all over the place.
Will they freeze out? It still 32F every other night… I was going to buy the LB when fruit are formed and I install netting above everything. Then I can put LBs under the net and hope they will do the job.
I think deep freezes would hurt them but they huddle against plants and make it through light frosts, Mainly you want to hit the aphids early on and “flatten there curve”. You may have already affected them with the neem but i would heat it up shake it real good and apply it again warm if it has been a full 3 days. I am not sure how there eggs do against light frosts
My Plum trees get attacked by Curly Leaf Aphids every Spring.Soap and oil was used and worked well the first time trying,applied before the flowers opened.Then some years,it might rain after and some effectiveness went away.
I read a post,where Richard stated that Aphids are easily controlled with Ortho Tree & Shrub Fruit Tree Spray.A small amount was added to the normal mix this year and there doesn’t appear to be any of them around.
The three ingredients are Pyrethrins,Piperonyl Butoxide and extract of Neem Oil.bb https://www.ortho.com/en-us/products/garden/ortho-tree-shrub-fruit-tree-spray-concentrate
I have aphids pretty bad on the fresh apple growth every year. If I spray soap with some neem it knocks them back, but I have to do it like every week or even more often until later in the season when aphid predators get ramped up. I’ve tried buying and releasing lady bugs but that has not helped much.
I see that here as well on certain trees: Albemarle Pippin, Gravenstein, Winter Banana, Granny Smith, Etter’s Katharine. They’re larger, dark-colored aphids rather than the small green ones that afflict my plum. Fortunately, they’re a lot easier to keep under control. I spray them once or twice with the same mixture that you use until the ladybugs arrive.
Neem oil has to b done systematically. You should spray wait 3 days spray again and then 3 days after that. The reason being is neem does not kill the eggs and they hatch very rapidly so you have to spray the newly hatched. Then one more in 3 days to get any stragglers. If you want to learn how to get rid of these types of pests. Ask a weed grower.
With the rain I have a lot of aphids on the apple flowers. Most of my trees are in containers and small, and can be reached from the ground. I use a very small kid paintbrush and a trigger sprayer water bottle. The paintbrush is good to lift the leaves to spray the underside, to reach the small space between the stems, and to gently rub off the stubborn ones without damaging the flowers and the fruitlets.
When the fruits get bigger, and with citrus trees, I use a big water gun for a stronger blast
The problem I have that it doesn’t kill even live aphids(at least not the oil I have ) in 12 hours. I understand, you need to use it systematically, but what the point if the control group of aphids I use for experiment didn’t dye? The worst thing about gall aphids, even few of them deform the leaf and that couldn’t be recovered afterwards. So I have to deal with it before they spread to other leaves.
Looks like I finally found a solution that at least kills ALL the aphids on a bush(may not work on a tree). I bought cheap loose tobacco leaves($7 per pound + shipping, 2 pounds go long way). Last night I made a plastic cover to cover whole bush. In a small saucepan I made a fire using birch bark and topped it with tobacco leaves. It took me several attempts to make sure tobacco smokes but do not show open flame. And placed it under the plastic cover. It took about 20-30 min for tobacco to stop smoking. I kept the cover closed for another hour or so. This morning I brought home couple leaves that were on the longest distance from saucepan and looked at them with strong glasses. The aphids , green and happy yesterday, look like dust this morning. I do not know if it kills the eggs, but at least, it really kills all the aphids not depending on me spraying every single leaf. I am going to watch this bush to see when they will be back. But next spring I am going to smoke my currants from early spring on a regular basis. I only sorry I can’t do the same with my young UFO cherries - the structure is too large to cover easily.