Macrosiphum euphorbiae aka Red aphids


#1

Red aphids have invaded my aeroponics rig and they love tomato leaves (gourd leaf pictured). Unfortunately the lady bugs that successfully controlled green aphids don’t eat them. In the photo you can see they get pretty big and create these white castings. Has anyone dealt with these critters before?

Dr. Earth sprays help but I’d prefer a natural predator if possible.


#2

Eek - have you tried Neem oil? I had Melon Aphids on my Strawberries and spent months trying to get rid of them. Honestly I never found a solid “organic” solution - but also never tried biologicals.

Well, I learned something:

“Aphids can reproduce both sexually (male and female, the birds and bees — you know the drill) as well asexually when the females clone themselves. This proliferation is even more amazing than you might think; not only are female aphids able to reproduce a new female aphid every twenty minutes, but the “baby” aphids often already have clones inside them. Three generations of aphids inside one aphid body is not just incredible but, for growers, incredibly annoying. Aphids spread through crops quickly.”

https://university.upstartfarmers.com/blog/how-to-control-aphids-now-and-forever


#3

Thanks for the link. Latest idea is to see if praying mantids will eat them. I have a couple of egg cases that should start hatching any day and a juvenile live one on the way.


#4

Found this too:


#5

Success! The praying mantis eggs from one case have hatched and they are methodically eating the red aphids. They are about 1/2 long bodies so they look and act like adults just small and thin. Hopefully, they will feed on the red aphids until there are non left.

I just happened to notice a red aphid walking up close to this mantis and just scooped it up. In the foreground and next to the mantis you can see the white aphid casting.

Egg cases purchased here - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MR7B26