oh no Oleander Aphids

One of our summer projects is designing and maintaining a butterfly & bee garden.  Recently we started some milkweed seeds that we proudly harvested and saved from our mother milkweed plant.

Today we realized our new milkweed seedlings have aphids, bright yellow Oleander Aphids to be exact.  When large colonies of these aphids exist they can harm or even kill the host plants.

So what to do?! After doing a little reading, Oleander Aphids love milkweed, butterfly weed, and of course, oleander.

It seems most sustainable gardeners use blasts of water to remove the little yellow guys, and then a natural insecticide soap or oil to finish them off. Some gardeners introduce lady beetles and braconid wasp to their gardens.

Since our milkweed sprouts aren’t very big, and we were worried the blasts of water would cause harm to the plants, we removed the aphids by hand.  We are hoping that takes care of things.  It took awhile to gently remove and squish them. I even got a little q-tip out to get them off the tiniest leaves, while still trying not to damage the milkweed.  We will keep a careful eye on them.  Insecticide soap or oil isn’t harmful and doesn’t leave a lasting residue, so if the little guys return they will be doused!

6 thoughts on “oh no Oleander Aphids

  1. Reminds me of a Botany class I took in the 70’s .For extra credit ,to raise your grade you could volunteer for Greenhouse Duty where the Instructor would assign various tasks . I got Aphid Removal duty which was carefully removing them by hand .

  2. i agree with daisy…we have had milkweed in the yard for years- and lots of yellow aphids…but the ladybugs always find them…we have never had a problem with our plants suffering due to them. just let it ride and see what neat buggies you collect in the next few weeks! glad to have found you too Bee! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s