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Aphids... EEEK!

Aphids habanero

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#1 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:53 AM

So, the Habanero, which is my favorite type of pepper, turns out to be one of the trickiest for me to grow. I had bought 1 originally from HD, very healthy and large, and within 3 days all of the leaves had shriveled up and fallen off, I assume this is due to transplant shock. I found it very odd as I am relatively skilled at stable and smooth transplants, so why this first one went so nightmarish is beyond me. The second, I had to spend 20 minutes looking through all the remaining Hab's to find one which wasn't disease ridden and seemed it could stand a chance, I chose one which had a few nasty leaves and decided what the heck! Let's see if we can save it..... Well that has gone down an interesting path. One of the first things I noticed, is that the transplant stuck, and some of the leaves instantly showed signs of improvement with the fertilizer and light watering I had provided. I then had a small(or so I thought) run in with a group of aphids on one of the lower nodes, so I chopped it and called it a day. Faster forward about a month later.... the plant has recovered beautifully and is growing nodes out of every branch possible and is exploding with growth, except I had noticed some of the leaves began showing signs of aphid damage. Upon taking another look and flipping leaves, in the time I had left the plant to just grow, it became INFESTED. Not too severely considering they were only very populous under certain leaves, but I was shocked and instantly winced at my poor hab! I took drastic and sudden measure, removed all damaged leaf matter and infected leaves, then created a fairly potent mixture of generic unscented mouth wash and dish soap. I completely drenched the plant several times over, and you could notice aphids coming out all pissed off. I removed any apparent, and I am hoping this nuclear treatment will eradicate them. Can anyone tell me of your experiences of aphids and what I should do from here? The plant still has a lot of very healthy green and new growth, so I have a great chance. Weirdly enough, no single other plant had a single aphid on them despite being within leaf touching range of one another! And if you're wondering the reason I took such extreme measure, I had seen a previous post about aphids and they had literally SATURATED the plant and upon seeing this, I knew I needed to take this seriously, so I hit the plant hard and fast.

 

Thank you all, in advance.

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Edited by superhotshot, 05 May 2019 - 11:20 AM.


#2 dragonsfire

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:20 AM

LOL, a never ending story these %^$#@ Aphids.

 

One of the simplest is to wash the plant regularly with just water, the other I find is make small rolls (wrap around finger, sticky side out) of packing tape and put them between branches and it will catch allot of them.



#3 CaneDog

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:21 AM

Hey superhot.  Cool that you're getting back into gardening and peppers in particular.  Sounds like you have about 6 plants right now indoors in containers. Is that right?  A little more info will help in getting good feedback.  Will the plants be staying indoors or going outdoors?  How big are they right now?  Any chance you can put up a picture?  The ways I've dealt with aphids has varied depending on the circumstances.

 

EDIT - I see the picture now.  Having the plant so low in the container will make rinsing it off more difficult.


Edited by CaneDog, 05 May 2019 - 11:36 AM.

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#4 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:30 AM

Hey superhot.  Cool that you're getting back into gardening and peppers in particular.  Sounds like you have about 6 plants right now indoors in containers. Is that right?  A little more info will help in getting good feedback.  Will the plants be staying indoors or going outdoors?  How big are they right now?  Any chance you can put up a picture?  The ways I've dealt with aphids has varied depending on the circumstances.

I posted a picture of all the plants on my original welcome thread, and just put one up of the Hab on this thread.. They will all remain indoors due to the fact I live on a 3rd floor apartment and it's much too windy and not enough sunlight on the balcony despite being in Texas. 



#5 CaneDog

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:32 AM

LOL, a never ending story these %^$#@ Aphids.

 

One of the simplest is to wash the plant regularly with just water, the other I find is make small rolls (wrap around finger, sticky side out) of packing tape and put them between branches and it will catch allot of them.

 

Hey DF!  Nothing like having the opinion of a battle-tested veteran! 

 

I really agree with the washing off/rinsing off strategy.  You can take the numbers down immediately and quickly without causing ancillary damage to the plant - like dehydration in particular, from which an aphid-infested plant will already suffer. I would usually do this at least once as the starting point before any other treatment, but how easily/effectively the plant can be rinsed off figures into the plan.  With smaller plants, rinsing with a lukewarm shower head a few times over the course of several days can make a huge difference (or an upside down bucket dunk).  I do typically treat with a dish soap solution at some point though.


Current glog:  Hirsute Pursuit – Rocotos, Wilds & Moar  - http://thehotpepper....tos-wilds-moar/


#6 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:41 AM

Question, was my overzealous treatment of dish soap mixed with antiseptic mouthwash and water, sprayed on very generously something that made a mark? My goal was complete obliteration on the first round of treatment so the plant can just recover and hopefully will not need further removal of vegetation.
 


Edited by superhotshot, 05 May 2019 - 11:41 AM.


#7 CaneDog

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:43 AM

OK.  Just a timing thing with the picture.  That really helps - in this case, I can see they're low in the containers so will be hard to rinse or dunk.  And since they will stay indoors, you need a real solution rather than just keeping their numbers down until plant out when nature pest control might lend a hand.  I'd keep two spray bottles next to the plants and spray with a dish soap solution periodically and a clean rinse solution. I'd consider hitting all the plants with the soap solution, at least at first, in case they're starting to spread. If you keep the lights off for 15-30 minutes after you soap spray then rinse the plant before turning them on again it will be easier on the plant.

 

EDIT - there's no need to remove any vegetation.  You should definitely follow up since they're staying inside, but perhaps with gentler treatments.  I would aim toward maybe 4-5 sprayings at 3-day intervals for 2 weeks. Spray the soap solution into the growing tips/clusters and underneath leaves as much as possible.  I would avoid alcohol (mouthwash) in the treatment.  Alcohol is hard on this type of plant.  I would use a quick spray bottle rinse (15-30m after treatment) to remove the soap after treatment so it doesn't dry the plant's foliage as much.  IMO, treat them with a good consistent plan over a reasonable period of time to address the full life-cycle and you will be most likely to have good results.


Edited by CaneDog, 05 May 2019 - 11:53 AM.

Current glog:  Hirsute Pursuit – Rocotos, Wilds & Moar  - http://thehotpepper....tos-wilds-moar/


#8 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

How important is the rinse solution? I have not rinsed yet... might need to do that asap considering how much I hit the hab and just let it soak multiple times. I can tell you what aphids were on the plant are dead! No movement at all... 



#9 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:00 PM

Alright, rinsed very thoroughly, noticed all the run off was very cloudy.... Very glad I rinsed. Made sure all the drip off was clear when I finished and that none remained. At this time I see no aphids, and if there is any i'd confidently say they are dead. A small concern of mine is the run off into the soil, is this something to worry about? Also, good news, I can confirm the aphids have not spread whatsoever and this was the only plant affected.



#10 CaneDog

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:01 PM

Many plant treatments are hard on plants at the same time as being hard on the bugs. You want to effectively kill the bugs with as little set-back to your plants as possible.  Weakening the plants simply makes them more susceptible to future infestations and other maladies.  The rinse is not necessary, but it's a way to massively decrease aphid numbers without any stress to the plant - soap treatments have a desiccant effect.  Having soap on the leaves when exposed to strong light will be hard on the plants, so rinsing after the treatment has had time to work will help in this manner and also to clean all the aphid bodies and gunk off the plants.


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#11 dragonsfire

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:07 PM

From my brief experience with kratky I have decided its much easier to grow without soil inside, soil is great for harboring pests, kratky/hydroponics do not, you can still get bugs but it much harder for them to get a hold. Plants also easier to wash if required.



#12 CaneDog

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:08 PM

Good news so far.  I try to tilt the container to keep as much of the soap solution out of the soil as possible, but if you use the proper concentration of soap it shouldn't be an issue.  You can also put paper towels or what not over the soil while you spray to catch much of the soapy water.  Very little soap is needed and more isn't better. 

 

Aphids have a life cycle and there are very likely little guys still crammed down into crevices etc.waiting to pop back out and eggs waiting to hatch. Even though your plants are still young and treatment will likely be more quickly effective, I wouldn't stop treatments now.


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#13 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:15 PM

What is a good treatment schedule to prevent a "relapse" and re-population of the aphids that is not too severe on the plant? I will say that my initial solution was, quite potent, and I intended it that way. I let that soak for an hour or so, and then just rinsed it all off, alas it did go into the soil.... At this point not much I can do except say lesson learned for the consecutive treatments, I will lay paper towels. I really appreciate the assistance, this is my first time around with aphids and like dragons said, hydro is better and I am good with it, I believe next go around will be from seed, into kratky in the same kind of environment, but i'd definitely like to get the best that I can out of this run. 



#14 CaneDog

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 12:24 PM

I think our timing was goofed up, but if you look back I made a couple edits to my posts based on yours popping up while I was still typing. These add a little as to periodic treatment times, etc. 

 

My experience with aphids is I've have them indoors several times and I've always been able to eradicate them.  I get the feeling some varieties of aphids may be tougher than others because I've seen other people fight them for extended periods with good methods without full success.  Older plants also seem more difficult - perhaps more places to burrow in and hide.  I'd aim for every 3 days or twice/week for 4-5 treatments of normal strength soap solution. My thought is that's a good trade-off of time and effort invested against likelihood of success.

 

EDIT - As for relapse, cure them the first time to avoid re-infestation from survivors and eggs.  Then watch for signs of honeydew (sticky wet on leaves), exoskeleton "shucks" on leaves, and periodically turn leaves over to look for aphids where they congregate underneath leaves to catch them early if they resurge or are reintroduced.


Edited by CaneDog, 05 May 2019 - 12:27 PM.

Current glog:  Hirsute Pursuit – Rocotos, Wilds & Moar  - http://thehotpepper....tos-wilds-moar/


#15 dragonsfire

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 01:49 PM

You can always wash off the soil and transfer them into a Kratky jar, Ive done that. This way you can wash the whole plant in a Bucket/tub and remove most if not all the aphids.



#16 superhotshot

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 02:10 PM

Thank you everyone, this has been extremely helpful... So from what i'm hearing 1. Hit them hard the first time and aim for full resolution. Follow with 2-3 more treatments albeit lighter, to make sure if any smaller aphids, or those in hiding/hatch-lings re-surge, they are eradicated as well. Always rinse afterwards as this makes it less hard on the plant, and aim to not get any in the soil.

 

 

So far the plant is responding well, although not necessary I removed damaged leaves leaving only untouched leaves to get rid of any possible eggs in the congregation areas. There is not wilting and it is still nice and green, i'm going to watch it closely while following the regiment to make sure these guys stay gone. I'm hoping for a thriving hab for here on out... here's to hoping she still has it in her to thrive and give me a bountiful harvest with no other complications!


Edited by superhotshot, 05 May 2019 - 02:12 PM.


#17 Ruid

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 04:51 PM

Imagine if you just released a shitload of ladybugs in your apartment.

#18 jedisushi06

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 05:34 PM

That's why i never bring outside plants from a nursery into my pepper grows.  



#19 Gargoyle91

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 02:36 PM

I'm beginning to thing that Aphids germinate with the Peppers , I'm in a area where you wouldn't think Aphids would be a problem because it's a apartment type of area but no I caught Aphids within a month of putting my plants outside do they have Pepper plant GPS ?



#20 Bicycle808

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:51 AM

Aphids are almost always lurking, looking for tasty plants to vamp out on. They /will/ find your plants. I have the most problems with Aphids while hardening off.... The plants go outside and pick up Aphids, and then I bring the plants inside and, without predators, they go wild for the 18 hours or so that they are on the plants indoors. Aphids bang like bunnies.

Once the plants are outside more than inside, predatory insects pretty much decimate them immediately. And, the problem doesn't recur, I guess bc there's enough good bugs out there just lunching them.

Aphids don't come along with seeds or germination, Gargoyle, but they could very well be present in whatever media you're starting out with...

I'm always careful not to reuse media on new seedlings, bc I'm paranoid about past uglies recurring with my new plants...

**Edit: y'all are some real sweethearts, for tolerating my many typos and even thumbs-uppin' my least intelligible posts. Thanks for understanding. My phone "corrects" my posts in the worst ways...

Edited by Bicycle808, 09 May 2019 - 03:32 PM.

You are entering the buttocks with the spicy hand of Chinese pepper? And pleasure from this low pepper? I am not sure but the scorpion pepper musk when raw, is the sexual experience. This is granted, and evident in the taste, and the woman jealous. 






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