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Old 05-08-2004, 01:24 PM
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Default Ladybeetles v aphids, What is the balance?

I have a purple coastal lupine in a San Francisco garden about a mile from the ocean. It is three years old and doing nicely. I see dozens of ladybeetles and their young all over the plant. But I also see several flower stalks that are just covered with pale green aphids. About 10% of the total number of flower stalks are infested. At what point should I intervene and remove some of the aphids myself. I don't want to disturb the ladybeetle's food source, but I also don't want to weaken my most favorite plant in the garden.


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Old 05-22-2004, 07:40 PM
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Default Get those suckers...

Hi Galen:

There might be an underlying cause for such a high level of infestation. I often see tons of sucking insects on plants that are on drip, overwatered, or in a fertile situation (old lawn, amendments, fertilizer). If this rings true, you might want to address that situation as best you can. Also, you might consider pruning off the soft infected tips and letting the ladybugs take care of the new shoots as they sprout. Usually the predators do a good job of cleaning things up for you if the plant is otherwise in balance.
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:55 PM
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There also might be a problem with Argentine ants nursing the Aphids.
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