GIMME SHELTER- Aphid attack! Act now to save your plants

Peter Warren
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources

Q: I have some young plants I am planning to put my garden, but now I see they are infested with aphids. What should I do?

A: Some plants can tolerate populations of aphids without sustaining any direct damage from the feeding itself. This can be good news as long as the plants are not susceptible to some disease the aphids may transmit. At higher populations, aphid colonies can consume so much plant fluid that leaf curling or distortion may occur.

Indoors, aphids can be managed with insecticidal soap. To keep them under control, try the following tactics:

• Carefully inspect any plant you plan to purchase or propagate for evidence of pests.

• Buy or propagate only pest-free plants.

• Isolate new plants from the vicinity of existing plants for at least a month and look for evidence of pests before placing them among clean, healthy plants.

• Remove and isolate any existing plant at the first suspicion of pest infestation.

• Avoid placing plants close together to discourage pests from crawling from plant to plant.

• Never permit compassion for a sick plant to justify bringing home diseased, pest-ridden plants to recover and (in your dreams) become beautiful again.

• Use clean pots, potting materials, and soil mix components.

• Use only sterilized soils or soil mixes.

• Do not contaminate potting soil or pots with garden soil, compost, old soil from used pots, or cuttings from infested plants.

• Select plant varieties known to be resistant or relatively free from attack.

Outdoors, aphids can be controlled by beneficial insects, spiders, fungi, and other natural control agents throughout most of the season. Using a broad-spectrum insecticide can kill many of these beneficial insects, spiders, and fungi and allow aphid populations to increase rapidly.

To monitor for aphids, check the underside of leaves each week. When you monitor the population and record the data each week, it's easy to see if populations are increasing, decreasing, or remaining relatively stable over time. You also learn to identify important predators and parasites during this process and begin to realize how plentiful beneficial insects really are.

If you use insecticides, try to alternate between chemical families when spraying to avoid selecting for the survival of resistant individuals. Use insecticides only if there's an existing problem. Continuous preventive use of insecticides will eventually result in resistant populations.

Peter Warren




How to kill pests without killing yourself or the earth......

There are about 50 to 60 million insect species on earth - we have named only about 1 million and there are only about 1 thousand pest species - already over 50% of these thousand pests are already resistant to our volatile, dangerous, synthetic pesticide POISONS. We accidentally lose about 25,000 to 100,000 species of insects, plants and animals every year due to "man's footprint". But, after poisoning the entire world and contaminating every living thing for over 60 years with these dangerous and ineffective pesticide POISONS we have not even controlled much less eliminated even one pest species and every year we use/misuse more and more pesticide POISONS to try to "keep up"! Even with all of this expensive pollution - we lose more and more crops and lives to these thousand pests every year.

We are losing the war against these thousand pests mainly because we insist on using only synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers There has been a severe "knowledge drought" - a worldwide decline in agricultural R&D, especially in production research and safe, more effective pest control since the advent of synthetic pesticide POISONS and fertilizers. Today we are like lemmings running to the sea insisting that is the "right way". The greatest challenge facing humanity this century is the necessity for us to double our global food production with less land, less water, less nutrients, less science, frequent droughts, more and more contamination and ever-increasing pest damage.

National Poison Prevention Week, March 18-24,2007 was created to highlight the dangers of poisoning and how to prevent it. One study shows that about 70,000 children in the USA were involved in common household pesticide-related (acute) poisonings or exposures in 2004. It is estimated that 300,000 farm workers suffer acute pesticide poisoning each year in the United States - No one is checking chronic contamination.

In order to try to help "stem the tide", I have just finished re-writing my IPM encyclopedia entitled: THE BEST CONTROL II, that contains over 2,800 safe and far more effective alternatives to pesticide POISONS. This latest copyrighted work is about 1,800 pages in length and is now being updated chapter by chapter at my new website at: .

This new website at has all of my original IPM encyclopedia in its original form and will continue to have more and more free, updated Chapters every week. So far we have electronically updated The Introduction, Chapter 11, 15, 16A, 16B, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and the Glossary of Terms. All of these copyrighted items are free for you to read and/or download. There is simply no need to POISON yourself or your family or to have any pest problems.

Stephen L. Tvedten
2530 Hayes Street
Marne, Michigan 49435

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." – Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader

STEVE and PETER: YOU ROCK!!!! No, I am not 16 years old...[Thank God!] This is the condensed version of my "Gone with the Wind" cheers for what you are doing for All of Us. I have been involved for 37 years myself and am now ready and able to do MORE. NOW is the TIME!! Sincerely, Linda Coombs P.S.: Consider me recruited... already in uniform and have been to Boot Camp.