Pest Control: Aphids
Sadly this image is from the Demonstration Garden here at RTCO. These bugs are called aphids, and they are located on a few of our tomato plants. Aphids have sharp little mouths that gnaw on plants and can do damage to leaves and stems. Some varieties of aphids are capable of injecting toxins into plants that can harm the growth of tomatoes and other vegetables. Since that is the case we took to doing some research on ways to get rid of our not-so-welcome guests
Last year Alec detailed a couple of simple methods for removing aphids from your garden. If you have a small amount of the pests on your leaves you can smoosh them physically and brush them off with close inspection. Another technique is to spray the plants with a shot of water and knock them off of the leaves; but be certain not to shoot the water too hard in order to keep the plants safe as well.
There are several other ideas floating around the internet that involve slightly less organic means. There are theories about mixing some soap or oil with water before spraying them in order to make the surface more slippery. There are also a lot of gross pesticides and other toxic sprays that can be used that are likely to do just as much damage to your plants as they do to the aphids.
It seems that the best remedy for the pests is our good friend and au natural aphid predator, the ladybug. We have seen a couple floating around, so hopefully they will be multiplying in the near future, and feeding on some aphids.
Have you used any other techniques for removing aphids or other pests? What sort of pests have you come across so far this season?