Summer has arrived, and the bugs have come with it! When you think of summertime pests and bugs, your mind probably goes to mosquitoes first, especially if you’ve been a resident of Alaska for any amount of time. However, there are some other common insects you should worry about that, while maybe not attacking you directly in the same way mosquitoes do, could very well become a nuisance around your property.
Aphids are one such category of insect. While low or moderate numbers of aphids are not harmful, heavier populations can result in some significant damage to plants, causing their leaves to yellow and wilt and stunting the long-term growth of the plant and its general vigor. Several species of aphids also transmit diseases between plants. That’s a lot of power for such a tiny little bug to have!
So how can you prevent aphids from overpopulating your gardens and potentially causing some irreversible damage? Here are a few tips for help with aphid pest control in Alaska:
- Prune: If you see leaves or other parts of a plant that have been heavily infested or affected by aphids, pinch them or prune them off to prevent the issue from getting worse.
- Hose: You can occasionally take the hose to your hardier plants, letting a strong stream of water blast the plants for a little bit to get rid of bugs that may be trying to settle in them. This should help to prevent pests from appearing in large numbers.
- Release beneficial insects: You could also bring other bugs into the environment and let them hunt the aphids. Ladybugs and lacewing are both examples of insects that feed on aphids, and they are commercially available. The best results here are when aphid levels are still low to medium. If aphid populations are high, it’s going to be a better idea to use a low-toxicity pesticide, because the predatory insects won’t be able to cut down the aphids’ numbers that quickly. Once the pesticide has done its work, then you can introduce the predatory insects to help maintain control of the aphid populations.
- Be careful with watering and fertilizer: You should be careful not to over-water or over-fertilize your plants. Aphids are attracted to plants that have high nitrogen levels, as well as soft, new growth. If you are going to fertilize, consider using organic fertilizers, which release their nutrients much more slowly than other types of fertilizers you’ll generally find on the market.
- Use traps: There are some traps you can purchase that can help to keep aphid populations in check. Yellow sticky traps are effective for both outdoor and potted plants, and ribbon traps are ideal for greenhouses and row crops, as they are designed for larger-scale protection.
- Sprays: There are a variety of repellant sprays available on the market that can help to keep the aphids away and prevent them from becoming too much of a problem. For example, Garlic Barrier is a type of spray that aphids hate, and can be used for either large- or small-scale applications. Various types of knockdown sprays are also available, if you wish to try them out.
These are just a few examples of some of the best ways you can keep aphid populations under
control on your property. If you’re interested in learning more about insect control in Alaska and
how you can avoid letting the bugs take over your gardens this summer, contact Pied Piper Pest
Categorised in: Bug Control
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