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Old August 10, 2018   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SE Louisiana
Posts: 17
Default Aphid Horror

I screwed my back up last week & was unable to get out to tend the garden for 4 days...
When I did finally hobble out, THIS is what EVERY SINGLE LEAF of my melon vines looked like!
9 feet of vine top to bottom—yellowed leaves, dead leaves, twisted leaves, weird spots & brown viscous “goo” oozing from the stems! Sigh! So I cut it down & checked all of the other plants—
a few aphids & whiteflies on other melons & the toms were I checked my B Casaba vine & once again an aphid invasion! I just spent 2 hours in sweltering heat, rinsing aphids off of leaves!

Is this an all-around bad aphid year?? I have only had a few aphids wander in over the years. Water blasted at ‘em did the trick & that’s that. I swear, it seems like a billion of the little cusses suddenly materialized outta nowhere! I thought they didn’t hang around in very hot weather (we’ve been 90’s w/high humidity for weeks!)?
Has anyone else found this year to be exceptionally pest/disease-laden?

Oh! To add insult to injury— after I pulled the melon vines my arms were covered in “honydew” & lord only knows what else. Within an hour I had huge red itchy lumps on my arms & wheezing... went to urgent care & apparently I am allergic to aphid crud!
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Old August 10, 2018   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,706

Wow sorry to hear about your allergic reaction and hope you are recovering well.
Yes this year for the first time the tomatoes at my office garden were covered in green aphids, had to spray water or squish them daily. I couldnt use any insecticide cuz there were a lot of lady bugs helping me out too. Eventually the aphids disappeared but it took a couple of weeks.
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Old August 10, 2018   #3
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,964

Holy smokes! Sorry that aphids could actually affect your health. I had never considered such a thing. I have 2 pepper plants that are in containers in the midst of several others, and they have a similar affliction as your pictures show. I find it perplexing that 2 out of 9 plants have the honeydew/aphid/ant condition. I guess I should be delighted only 2 have it. I used Monterey 70% neem oil on them yesterday. Hopefully I won't be in a daily struggle with them. I also have a tropical milkweed plant that I have to spray aphids off of daily that is in an entirely different location. The aphids on the milkweed are a gold color while the aphids on the peppers look like yours. Did your aphids spread to my peppers?
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Old August 11, 2018   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 1,258

Wow, that's crazy. I guess that we can be sensitive to just about anything. Who would have guessed aphids?

It's amazing how quickly they can reproduce into HUGE numbers!
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Old August 11, 2018   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,584

Audrey you have my complete sympathies on this, and yes we're also having a terrible aphid year too. First they were on the tomatoes and kept coming back for weeks on end. Then I found them on my peppers indoors and ever since it has been non stop daily maintenance or else, skip a day and be REALLY horrified!!!! I hate spraying soap indoors. It makes a huge mess and no it doesn't solve the problem it just means you'll be spraying again and again and again. So I started out just squishing aphids on the peppers by hand. This is amounting to an hour of disgusting action every day. Skipped a day and had to spray with soapy water anyway. Next day they were as bad as before though. Worst of all they are after the flowers, buds and baby fruit and they are wreaking some carnage there. I keep telling myself, home grown organic peppers... PRICELESS. When you add up the labor, the price per pepper is out of this world.
I always thought aphids were barely moving little sucking cows. Now after my 'squish fest' I realize these suckers can run pretty fast. And seem to survive a fall just fine, will get up and carry on. Climb, jump, drop, cling, run - they're as good as monkeys.

That is also awful and even worse, to be allergic to their hideous muck. I'm allergic to ants, their bites and whatever they leave behind, I will get itch and rash on my hands from touching places they've been. Detest em! And of course, the aphids they bring with em.
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Old August 11, 2018   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alabama
Posts: 6,714

My bell pepper plants look just like your melons with just masses of aphids and nothing will stop them for long.

I found out the hard way not to spray neem oil on bell peppers in this summer heat. The affect on the leaves was terrible. I know it can mess up tomatoes if sprayed early in the day but spraying late in the evening I never had a problem with it until I used it on my bells this year.

So far the most effective thing has been the Permethrin, DE and Dawn combo but even that won't stop them from appearing on every bit of new growth that isn't coated with it.

They haven't even bothered my tomatoes which are in adjacent beds so I guess that is a small blessing. They covered my new okra plants when they were young but seem to have slacked off on them to keep concentrating their destruction on my bells.

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Old August 18, 2018   #7
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SE Louisiana
Posts: 17
Default Plant Death Toll

Howdy Folks!
Thanks for the well wishes—it has been a lousy couple of weeks health wise...but I’m on the mend.
I’m no longer in aphid hell. Mainly because they’ve already killed/maimed most of my stuff! I guess it’s more like “aphid heck”
Thus far, 2 cuke plants, both Bidwell Casaba melon plants, 1 Ginger’s Pride melon & the Ali Baba watermelon have all taken out by aphids &/or their cooties! (& the squash aren’t looking too good) Amazingly, the tomatoes are fine (knock wood)!
I was randomly chatting with a woman in Target about gardening & she too has had ridiculously large amounts of aphids (& tomato horn worms...eeeew!)
Guess it’s just a bad year for bugs...I’m just HOPING that if I plant fall pole beans, etc. that they don’t get zapped too...
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