I found aphids colonizing my grow room. They are leaving behind exoskeletons visible in the picture of the leaf.

I found aphids colonizing my grow room. They are leaving behind exoskeletons visible in the picture of the leaf.

How should I respond to this problem?
Connor

Your identification is correct. Your plants are under attack by aphids. Ants often herd aphids for their high sugar exudates, termed “honeydew”. If this is the situation you must eliminate the ants to get rid of the aphids. Ants are repelled and killed by the cinnamon and cloves and other pesticides. Herbal based pesticides such as ER's Zero Tolerance and other brands eliminate aphids. You can make a water solution using one rounded tablespoon of a combination of cinnamon and clove powder soaked in a liter of lukewarm water for six hours. To get the extra killing power of the spice oils soak the powder in about 60 grams of vodka for a few hours before adding the water. The oils dissolve in the alcohol. You can strain the mixture, but you can also use it with the powders. Pyrethrum is a natural pesticide derived from plant flowers found in some commercial anticides. Ant stakes and ant baits contain minute amounts of poisons, usually imoclad, that the ants carry back to the colony, resulting in community poisoning. The minute amount of poison is so targeted it is considered safe.

A tiny solitary wasp, aphidius coleman, lays a single egg inside an aphid nymph. The larvae spends its life feasting inside the nymph, turning it into a mummified skeleton. When it matures it pops out “alien” style and is soon mature enough to mate and start laying. A single wasp can lay more than 300 eggs over its lifespan. Adults feed on aphid honeydew.

 

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