The aphids and (their many relatives) are busy at this time of year, as our roses and other blossoms begin to emerge. This Thursday, I will release 5,000 lacewing larva – the babies are insect eating machines – and the lacewing is one of those amazing ‘good guys’ for our gardens (along with the Soldier bug, Lady bug, Predatory wasps...). We also must understand that aphids are food for these beneficial insects - so we DO NOT want to use chemical pesticides as a management tool.
From my favorite bug guy, Ron Whithurst of Rincon Vitova:
“Honeydew (sugary poop) on leaves grows sooty mold - a give away that you have honeydew producing pests like aphid, whitefly, mealybug, scale working the plant.
Spray with 1% soap (Dr Bronner’s or castile soap from Trader Joe’s is inexpensive with water in a spray bottle), let sit a while, 20 min, then wash off with forceful spray of water, then maybe follow up with an oil spray if you want to reduce population. (note from Jae: if you spray blossoms, such as roses, directly from the side, they won’t be damaged. If you are concerned about a stem breaking, you can support gently in your hand while you spray the water.)
Manage ants, they protect the scale from predators and parasites http://www.rinconvitova.com/ant_bait_antpro.htm
Release some lacewing and Lindorus if it needs more clean up in a week or two.
not familiar with the particular scale, a micrograph would help...
Biological Solutions for Pest Management
Lacewings are one of our best assets in the garden as well. Consider ordering eggs on cards or larva to release in the garden.
More to be posted in regard to the Microbiology of Soil! (My favorite subject.)
Landscape Design and Soil Ecology