Thursday, January 29, 2015

Aphids. Hate 'em.

I was admiring our swan plant and all the little monarch butterfly caterpillars feeding off it, when I noticed little clusters of tiny wee yellow bugs with lots of legs. But I wasn't sure what they were or whether they were a bad thing.

When it comes to gardening, if I'm not sure I let Nature worry about it.

A few days later I decided they didn't belong on our swan plant, so I scraped some of them off with a stick. I didn't do a great job, but then I was trying to avoid damaging the plant.

Then TLM googled "swan plants yellow bugs" (or something), and found out those little yellow things with tiny little legs that seemed wave at me were in fact aphids.

Apparently you have to kill them or they will kill your swan plant. And you have to keep at it or they will take over. Then you will have no swan plant with testicle-shaped seed pods, and you will have no  monarch butterflies or catepillars because they will have nothing to eat.

It sounds like aphids are the nits of the swan plant world.

When you crush them they leave a pretty yellow stain on your fingers...


Anonymous said...

Poor you! I read somewhere that you can use your vacuum cleaner to suck them off. Might help with the stained fingers. It's such a yucky job to get rid of them!

Violet said...

Ooh I don't know about using a vacuum cleaner. Even if I managed to avoid sucking up the caterpillars, I'd probably remove some of the plant as well! I need all the leaves I can get because butterflies keep laying eggs on the plant!