Tuesday, May 15, 2012

what are these black little things on my strawberry plant?

I was checking and pruning the plants this weekend. Everything looked fine and healthy. I noticed some brown leaves on the strawberry plants and began to clip them off. As I pushed aside the ribbed green foliage, I noticed little black specks on the stems. At first I thought it was bits of soil that got stuck on the fuzzy stems but at closer inspection, they were moving! I was grossed out by this discovery and checked the other pockets and noticed there were similar black specks on the fuzzy stems!

infestation!


I immediately sprayed the strawberry plants down with an organic insecticide soap by Safer Brands. I sprayed directly at the infected areas as well as the tops and bottoms of the leaves. I checked the other strawberry jar planter, which didn't look like it was infested. I moved it to the other side of the balcony. I proceeded to spray the tomato plants that are placed near the strawberry plants just in case. Again, I sprayed the tops and bottoms of the plants.

Annoyed by the discovery of the tiny black infestation, I wanted to find out what I was dealing with. I eventually found someone else who had the same problem, and explained what the black bugs are - black cherry aphids! I was horrified...

We had a bad experience with aphids a while ago when we attempted to grow tomatoes on the balcony. Though I found a home remedy of mixing dish soap and water, the grossness of having to deal with the pests put us off from balcony gardening for a few years.

The organic insecticide soap seemed to have did the trick though for good measure, i'm also going to get some and release live ladybugs. Ladybugs are a safe solution to ridding gardens of pests such as aphids. The larvae and adult ladybugs eat aphids and other soft body bugs. Stay tuned to see how things are resolved...

2 comments:

  1. Hmm... did not know that. But wouldn’t ladybugs, in turn, be detrimental to the garden as well? Once they run out of aphids to eat, won’t they switch to your plants nexts? Best stick with the organic insecticide soap, I guess.

    Maurine
    Mosquito Squad

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  2. I bought some ladybugs to put on my plants. They all flew away.

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