Hap's Definitive Aphid Advice
Every bit of advice you’ve given me has been so spot on,
now I’m having a problem that is making me so mad.
They are farmed by my many many ant colonies in the yard,
and every time any of my succulents produces a flower,
BAM! Black aphids cover it, and I just clip it off,
because it’s so nasty. Even my giant Kniphofia flower stalks are not immune.
What would be a good plan of attack so I can enjoy my succulent flowers
for awhile before the black aphid plague descends down upon them?
Thanks so much.
PS. Your advice on Sluggo was great.
I have to reapply often, but the snails got the message.
Stay away from my succulents!
With Aphids on succulents you have a couple of choices:
Hose them off the blooms with a soft spray of water, being soft bodied insects they are easy to dislodge and then you can really blast them when they hit the ground. Think Aphid soup! I usually hold the bloom stalk with one hand and spray with the other. It is sort of messy, but usually works.
Use insecticidal soap, and then after they are dead you still have to wash them off, since they die in place, still piercing the plant with their vampire bites, their zombie bodies are still annoying. But the soap usually leaves eggs unharmed so you may need to retreat before the blooms are done.
Use a more aggressive insecticide like Pyrethrin which will kill them and most of the eggs, but is absorbable by you… so use with care and caution!
Of course as you know they are farmed like dairy cows by the ants, so you also need to work at knocking down the ant population which with the Argentine Ant Super Colony that is eating California will be difficult, try adding some ant treatments around the succulents as well.