Netjer

Couple of Questions About Aphids

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So, I came home today to find my s. purpurea covered in aphids. I've manually removed as many as I can but I'm sure there are a lot more lurking around so I want to treat further. A couple of quick questions:

1) Are there any insecticides you guys recommend? (bonus points if it's available on Amazon!) 

2) The plant has a lot of dew from them on it, any tips on removing this? 

3) There is already some black mold which has formed on some of the pitchers, obviously where I hadn't noticed dew. Should I be doing anything about this?

4) The plant is kept on a windowsill next to my N. Bill Bailey and VFT. Neither are showing signs of aphids at the moment but is it worth treating them as well?

Thank you in advance for any help. 

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I use Provado Ultimate Bug Killer. If the mould is sooty mould forming on the plant nectar then you can just leave it as it causes no harm. I would certainly spray the vft as well but don't know about the nepenthes. BTW the usual advice is to prepare the bug killer at half normal strength.

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Thanks for the reply linuxman, I'll get some Provado ordered tonight. I think I'll treat the VFT as well, but I'll avoid treating the nep unless I really have to as I only got it last week and don't want to aggravate it any more than I have to whilst it's acclimatising to its new home.

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Whoa Folks! Hold on just a mo!

Provado is a neonicotinoid, it's pretty potent and long-lasting, and it kills bees. Well, if the plants are on a windowsill, you probably don't get many bees coming in there? It will get into the nectar and in that way the bees will be poisoned (we have a bee crisis in this country, like in many other countries)

It's worth at least knowing about SB Plant invigorator. It is not a poison, it acts physically (so it's also not systemic) It kills many small pests, but does not harm bees, ladybirds, etc. It kills aphids pretty quickly. It is also a foliar feed. To eradicate an aphid infestation, in my experience you may have to spray 2 or 3 times in one day. This is possibly because in "good" conditions they reproduce every hour and are born pregnant. You have to spray it very thoroughly all over every surface, nook, and cranny of the plant.

Very important - It is never a good idea to use pesticides at anything below recommended strength. This can leave a few bugs alive, which can then go on to manifest resistance in their descendants. Like not taking your full dose of antibiotics. If in any doubt, it's better to go a bit above the recommended strength to be sure of a complete effect.

You can get SB Plant Invigorator on Amazon and eBay.

Edited by Karsty

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I use SB plant invigorator on my nepenthes and vft as a foliar feed twice a month with no problems, and no green fly most of my vft and one of my nepenthes live outside.

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4 hours ago, Paul.m said:

I use SB plant invigorator on my nepenthes and vft as a foliar feed twice a month with no problems, and no green fly most of my vft and one of my nepenthes live outside.

I am intrigued Paul, which Nepenthes are you keeping outside? Is it really outside all year round?

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I keep a nepenthes ventrata in a plastic tent in the garden it's to big for indoors really , but it comes in in the winter end of August to late September will have to cut it back soon I think.

 

18 hours ago, Karsty said:

I am intrigued Paul, which Nepenthes are you keeping outside? Is it really outside all year 

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5 hours ago, Paul.m said:

I keep a nepenthes ventrata in a plastic tent in the garden it's to big for indoors really , but it comes in in the winter end of August to late September will have to cut it back soon I think.

Ah! Thanks Paul. I've had Ventrata for 18 months. It grows like billy-o but produces practically no pitchers.

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13 hours ago, Karsty said:

Ah! Thanks Paul. I've had Ventrata for 18 months. It grows like billy-o but produces practically no pitchers.

Mine to , new leaf every 2 to 3 weeks but no pitchers had lovely pitchers when i got it , I keep it at right humidity and temp and it has plenty to hang from ,maybe i pamper it to much . 

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26 minutes ago, Paul.m said:

Mine to , new leaf every 2 to 3 weeks but no pitchers had lovely pitchers when i got it , I keep it at right humidity and temp and it has plenty to hang from ,maybe i pamper it to much . 

There's one method that says starving Nepenthes forces them to make pitchers from the growing need for nutrients. And one grower thinks Ventrata produces pitchers if it has something to cling to to grow upwards........?

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I have just given it a lot more to climb up if that does not work , well then I will cut out the t bone steaks and just give it bread and water just joking 0 tds water see if that works ,I was feeding it a lot but the garden is clear of bugs now , I will let you know how I get on.

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Bit of an update - I've moved the sarracenia and VFT to a room with no plants in to limit any spread of the aphids. The window only gets a few hours of sunlight per day which isn't ideal, but I guess I don't have many other options.

I had a bit of a wait for the SB plant invigorator so gave in and picked up some Provado. The first treatment seemed to slow the aphids down quite a bit and after a second treatment I'm now seeing one or two of the little pests on each plant every day or two. I'm manually removing these as I find them. 

Is it worth trying the SB to finish them off for good or is it likely to do more damage with the plants having had a couple of doses of Provado so recently? Alternatively, am I best just keeping on with the manual management?

Ideally I want to get the plants back to my sunny windowsill, but I really don't want to put my nepenthes at risk.

On a positive, both seem to be putting out healthy new growth, though they have understandably slowed a bit.

Edited by Netjer

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One spray with Provado should be more than enough to finish off an attack of aphids as it's systemic. You shouldn't need to spray anything else now, unless you get aphids there who have resistance. That's the advantage of SBPI, it's not a poison so there's never any danger of resistance developing.

If you want to switch over to SBPI once the Provado has worn off, just think, in warm conditions aphids give birth once an hour and are born pregnant. So one may give birth just after you've sprayed, and this offspring survives and continues the infestation. Or one flies in and starts a new infestation. So you may find you have to sometimes spray several times in one day to polish them off. If there's absolutely no danger of bees, ladybirds, etc getting near the plants, I would also probably use something pretty potent. I did recently to get rid of some insidious Brevipalpus mites.

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I think I must have aphids which have a resistance, as I sprayed once and found quite a few more a couple of days later (prompting the second spray). The fact that I'm now finding them again, albeit in much lower numbers, has got me a bit worried.

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I wouldn't even try to use the same stuff again if it hasn't already wiped them out. The only conclusion from this (and there may be other as yet unknown factors) is that they are resistant, and whatever you use next, make sure it isn't imidacloprid.

 

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And just think how good you will feel if you support the use of something which is not a poison, kills many small pests, and doesn't harm bees or ladybirds! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Edited by Karsty

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In the old days when we used to use Malathion, we used to dilute half strength for VFT's, they can be a bit stroppy.

As long as you didn't soak the soil, you could well get away with rinsing the Sarracenia under the tap, to wash off the aphids.

If you put a VFT in a bucket of water (rainwater) and keep it submerged for 24 hours, maybe weighing it down with a plastic milk bottle. Take it out, then repeat one week later. This will get rid of the aphids. I have never tried this with a squat Sarracenia such as purpurea, but it could work. Hopefully, it wouldn't be submerged for long enough to get the dreaded grey mould..

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Thank you both for the replies. I've gone for the SB - I used it late last night and then again this morning, will apply another spray this evening. If this doesn't work I'll try soaking them, though I'm worried I've stressed the plants enough already.

I'm just thankful my nep and darlingtonia haven't been affected!

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So I'm hopeful that the SB will have done the job. In case it hasn't though I want to get my head around submerging the plants. Would I need to completely remove them from the growing medium or could I just submerge the entire pot? 

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I'm going for "Submerge the entire pot, everything"! I believe that S. purpurea ssp. purpurea grows in very high water levels naturally, and may be submerged completely sometimes in nature.

 

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How about the VFT? I guess with that in particular I can leave it standing on a gravel tray for a day or so after to drain the soil a bit if need be.

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