As optimistic and excited as I am about my increased focus on eco-friendly urban farming this year, I’ve come to accept the fact that it’s probably going to take a season or two before thing are rolling along nicely. Seeing my big Honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.) completely infested with aphids as of late has certainly reminded me of this in a big way.
The cool thing about learning as I go (and encountering these issues) however, is that it gives me lots to write about here!
In the last week or two I’ve been trying to decide how I should best deal with this aphid explosion. Various possibilities have come to mind, but I still hadn’t settled on anything (I was actually going to write about it here to see if I could get some ideas from others with more experience).
Then, in a VERY bizarre turn of events, I started finding Lady Bug larvae on my deck. I’ve read that these ferocious looking things can eat something like 50 aphids a day, so needless to say I’ve been really excited to find them and have been transporting all of them over to the Honeysuckle.
It is amazing to watch these larvae at work! Literally, as soon as they are within biting distance of the aphids they start attacking them. I’ve even witnessed one grabbing them off the plant while still on the little piece of cardboard I was using to ferry it over – and believe me, once they’ve got one in their mouth they are more than happy to stay where they are and finish their meal. haha
In all honesty, I haven’t found enough of these larvae to have a serious impact on the aphid population, but it will be interesting to see what happens. Hopefully I’ll be able to attract some more lady bugs into the garden in general.
[tags]aphids, lady bugs, pests, ipm, natural pest control, insects, organic, honeysuckle, gardening[/tags]