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Thread: Aphid Control Question

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Aphid Control Question

    I noticed the other day that the tip of an immature pitcher on one of my purps had a little kink in it. Upon closer inspection I saw a couple of aphids hiding in it which I removed. I closely inspected the plant, found a few more which I also manually removed. That plant was pretty far along in putting on new growth when this happened and now appears clear, but I just noticed a moderate infestation on a small leucophylla just starting to put out tiny pitchers. Why don't they pick on a Sundew?! I'm sure enough that I'm too ham-handed to remove them without causing as much or more damage as the damned bugs will to want to resort to a spray. Are any of the normal homemade organics such as red pepper, garlic, tobacco or tomato leaves safe to use on Sarracenias?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    As long as your homemade solutions are not using petroleum based high persistence oils or soaps containing salts they should not harm your plants. Blasting them off with water from a hose or spray gun works surprisingly well too.

    And don't worry, your sundews will get aphids - D. capensis, D. scorpioides, and D. filiformis are very susceptible to these pests.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info! Filiformis susceptible to aphids you say? I guess they must concentrate at the base of the rosette, I'll have to keep an eye out. Thanks for that heads up as well!

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    They'll infest the entire leaf on D. filiformis. There's a groove that runs the entire length of the leaf that they find sanctuary in. I don't think I have an pictures though. It's been a while since I've grown D. filiformis outdoors.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Yeah, get that under control reasonably quick- especially if you see ants around. Ants herd aphids kind of like cows- feeding off of a bodily secretion they produce (its either the secretion of the moldy soot that results, I don't remember for sure- either way, aphids=cows). Aphids in and of themselves are not that big of a deal other than making your plants look horrible and acting as vectors for diseases like nasty fungi and such- they are generally easy to control. The problem; however, is that ants also herd mealy bugs which are a huge problem and very hard to completely get rid of. Mealy bugs can get down into the root system and start sucking juices down there. No bueno!

    As far as treatments go,
    - I have successfully used neem oil on my sarrs.
    - I know that soap sprays are not usually suggested (and I respectfully acknowledge NaN's warning here), personally I have used both a home made dish soap solution and potassium salt based commercial spray on my sarrs without a problem. Soap sprays are incredibly effective on aphids across the board (more effective than neem oil). When in doubt, I usually wash the soap spray off after 10 minutes or so. I have found that with sensitive plants- this helps.
    - Ladybugs are hit or miss on CPs. VFTs usually chomp on them.
    - I have also successfully used Imidacloprid based systemic insecticides on my sarrs and found that they do ok with it (only tried it once). I just sprayed the leaves- not the crown. Don't use that on droseras. You will regret it... I speak from experience...

    To give credit where it is due- some of these ideas I got from this video by Jeff Dallas (check out the fungicide one too): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbRCdJ8ZNF0
    Others from experimentation and/or books. One book I am currently experimenting with is "Protect Your Garden: Eco-Friendly Solutions for Healthy Plants" by Ed Rosenthal. That book does leave a lot to be desired in terms of background information (IMO) but is handy nonetheless.

    If you guys come up with other treatments you find effective (for any species of CPs), I put together a section of my website dedicated to pesticides and fungicides which are found to be both effective and safe for different species of CPs. I would appreciate any input you can provide (Eventually, people will be able to add such data directly.... close to that but WIP).

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    I've read that growing basil in the area is supposed to repel aphids, mites, and mosquitoes amongst other undesirables. Unfortunately there's no scientific proof and it works for some but not others. I'm going to try it out and grow them next to my Sarracenia soon. I'm getting it mostly for the mosquito repellent because of the large bodies of standing water (don't want a breeding ground in my backyard). Worse case scenario I'll have some yummy basil!

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    Hello

    Last year i had aphids on my drosera spatulata, capensis, dionaea and some sarracenia.
    And REALLY infested!

    I just put all the problematic plants into a pool of rain water. The water have to be 2-3 inches over the highest leaf. All the aphids and eggs will drown.
    After 3 days under water, repot all the plants in brand new soil, and problem solved.

    All the drosera will re-make new dew after a week.

    And water seem to be good for the vfts and sarra, because they thrive like crazy after the bath.

    Hope this help!

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Ok great info folks! Nice to have options.

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