A little while ago I realised I had to do something about my aphid problem; I decided to go the non-chemical route and fight fire with fire so to speak. I bought biological weapons I hoped would take care of the aphids the way nature intended.
I purchase hundreds of ladybird larvae and also a few more than that of parasitic wasps; both have their main prey as aphids although the larvae will eat scale and mealy bugs given half a chance.
So, being impatient I assumed nothing had happened but looking back it was only a little less than two weeks and now there has been a significant decrease (in some parts down to zero) where the larvae have been active. I can’t really take photos of an absence since I have no before shot so below is the cunning work of the parasitic wasp
The light brown aphids are mummified as the wasp has laid eggs inside and then created a nice little creche for her young by making the outside of the aphid nice and crunchy so the larvae can live in there until they ‘hatch’ (they cut a hole out near the aphids’ butt) out as new wasps.
I bought a new camera so I am just getting use to the manual focus on the macro lens – hence the strange photos.
Here is a fat ladybird larvae – you can’t tell through this picture but it is quite a lot larger than when it was released. You can see, however, that it is is a two spotted ladybird as it has two orange spots behind its legs. The harlequin ladybird are multi-striped orange and black and much bigger.
Evidence of other visitors; the beans are now covered in babies and adult ladybirds from other gardens so that is a plus.
However, it is hard to tell which lady bird is which and this could be a spotted or an orange (the orange eats mildew so unlikely to be sleeping on a bean plant, I guess)
This one is on the pumpkin instead so it must be eating random aphids that land on the leaves and flowers. (Instagram extra)
The thing that worked really well was the combo of barrier glue to keep away the ants and the larvae. The ants attack the ladybirds but they seems to eat around them. The ants, though bring more aphids from other places if they are allowed to roam freely. The rhubarb did not have barrier glue and you can see they are over run.
The rose and dahlia that have survived the aphid attack; the rose is a miniature and the dahlia is yet to open. Strangely, the dahlia is just red but the camera could not help but pick up its iridescence so ended up with purple tips.
That’s all (I can’t count); probably will end up with alot more random pictures as I test out the new camera and lenses. For other six on Saturday head over to The Propagator to see posts from around the world.