The leaf Aphid life cycle starts on the leaf and ends on the leaf however some may use the soil to access the plant stem. Eggs can be seen with a microscope but often are misidentified as trichomes. Generally speaking, an Aphid egg is larger than the trichome and oblong in shape and may be seen with a white, light green, or brownish pigmentation. Aphids, in general, will have a teardrop shape with two antennae-like protrusions at the rear of the insect. This shape is common for both leaf and root Aphids with root aphids tending to be much more colorful.
Before applying any pesticide, make sure the plants are fully hydrated. Flush the plants well with water and show a good amount of run-off. Wait 1 hour before application.
Professional Pesticide Applicators Note: Many infestations come from stress caused by excess fertilizer in the growing medium. Check EC/PPM of the last few ounces of run-off from the pot. It must be the same EC/PPM as the water you used to flush with. Repeat the flush procedure until you get matching numbers, then treat for insects.
- We recommend you spray the surface of the soil to penetrate ½ inch down to where the insects may be crawling. Treat all plants in the greenhouse or home.
- Spray the leaves and stems for crawlers and breeders, making sure that every square inch of the plant has been treated. Treat all plants.
- Hang sticky fly traps (blue and yellow) throughout the growing area, including areas of the greenhouse or home that has grown plants or exposed soil. These traps will help you keep an eye on the situation.
- Infestation application or to gain quick control of the crop. Spray three times on day one, wait for the spray to dry between applications. Then, spray once a day for the next three days, then spray once every three days until you observe a pest-free crop. Note: Since you chose the infestation application method to gain quick control of your crop, you now know you are prone to extreme pest attacks from incoming plants, guests, workers, or a source unknown. If you have pest issues you also have plant quality and harvest quantity issues. In the end, the company that supplies the market with the most consistent produce wins. Just like buying fertilizer, weekly pest treatments are part of the cost of doing business.
- Alternate application for this pest: Apply Protection Plus once a day for three days and then go to spraying once every three days until the infestation is under control.
- Spray the plants every 7 days throughout the plant’s life as part of your IPM (Integrated Pest Management program). This will assure you that there will be little chance of pest problems.
- Dosage should stay at 4 ounces (120 ml) per gallon of water. These insects are hard to control.
- Since they fly, they will go airborne when they feel the spray hitting the leaves of nearby plants. If the plants are in a vegetation state, then you might want to spray over the plants so when they do go airborne, you will hit them with the spray. If your plants are in bloom, you will have to determine the severity of the infestation. If the thrips are placing the blooming crop in danger of failure, then you will have to kill them. As we have addressed before, by just spraying water on delicate buds you will notice some cosmetic imperfections. Most plants in the early stages of bloom growth will out-grow any cosmetic imperfections.
- The Aphid will die within seconds of the application and freeze in place looking like statues. This condition may fool you into thinking they are still alive but with closer examination, they are indeed dead. They will eventually fall off of the leaf or simply brush them or wash them off. If possible, use an airless sprayer. They emit a very consistent fine spray without a lot of pressure behind it. This will allow the plant’s leaves to not move around so much that you miss hitting the pests. 100 ft super light-weight hoses and extra reach attachments are available. Use the orifice supplied for fine mist applications. Make sure the sprayer is rated for food crops.