Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sustainable Aphid Control

I love the fact that my sunroom allows me to keep a number of plants growing in the winter, including a large bed of lettuce and a couple of dwarf apple trees.  What I do not love is the infestation of aphids that I believe came inside on a tomato plant and hopped over to the trees.

Since we garden organically, spraying to get rid of the aphids is out of the question.  Luckily, Mr. FC&G did a little research, and he found that aphids are a favorite snack of the yellow-ish bugs that look like ladybugs that have infested many of the areas in the Midwest.  (I believe they are technically Asian Lady Beetles.)  In any event, we certainly have our share that pop up occasionally flying around our bathroom, and rather than eradicate them, we've put them to work!

Mr. FC&G routinely catches the beetles and gently carries them on a piece of tissue out to the apple tree, where he releases them onto the branches.  They crawl quickly to the fuzzy home of the wooly aphids and start to eat.  Surprisingly, they can clear out a fairly large batch of aphids in quick order.  And, we have turned a problem bug into a solution to our aphid situation with no chemicals involved.  I love it!
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