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Neem oil and pollen... and a couple other questions

Over the last week I noticed an increase in ant activity on my plants and thought nothing of it. Further investigation has revealed I have an aphid problem and need to do something about it ASAP. From what I read Neem oil seems to be the way to go. Pyrethrin would be the other option I'm considering. I blasted the garden hose on the undersides of the leaves to knock a few off until I can get some kind of product picked up to deal with them.
One concern I have is I have a ton of blooms on each plant. Will Neem oil affect the mobility of the pollen? I'm concerned with it gumming up the whole pollinating process of the blooms I have.
Also.....any thoughts on how to apply ANY form of aphid control to 75+ plants would also be appreciated. There's just no way I can attend to each individual leaf.... It would take a month!
I've done a lot of searching and each poster seems to have their own form of aphid control. Please feel free to post up your concoctions that have worked for you in the past.
Thanks in advance...
sidenote: I think I may have bit off more than I can chew with 75 plants for my fist ever pepper garden :rolleyes:
Nightshade said:
Get one of those spray buckets and do soap first
I was also considering soap but figured if I was making a trip to the store I may as well get the Neem oil as popular opinion seems to be that it works better.
Any idea how much soap a person should use? teaspoon per gallon? or more? From what I read it needs to be phosphate free?
I just used some dawn when I had aphids about 7 months ago? Haven't seen any since. Just put a couple squirts in two a water bottle and poked holes in the cap and sprayed
Nightshade said:
I just used some dawn when I had aphids about 7 months ago? Haven't seen any since. Just put a couple squirts in two a water bottle and poked holes in the cap and sprayed
OK.. Thanks.
I'll give that a go tonight on a few plants and see how they fair...
Still curious on how spraying these bug formulas affects pollination...
So, initially I tried soap on half a dozen plants tonight. Used what we had on hand (Palmolive) with a couple teaspoons per misting bottle. If they have no ill effects by tomorrow night I will give them all a spray.
The Aphid problem is much worse than I thought. Half a dozen of the little buggers on every leaf I check.
I took the opportunity to strip a lot of shaded/tight growth on the lower main stems. Maybe a good idea?? Seems there were a lot more aphids hiding in the shadows down there..
I have been spraying neem oil on my cayenne and habanero plants all summer and it hasn't stopped or hindered them producing.
Also, if you're looking for organic ways to prevent aphids, plant some marigolds between your pepper plants.  Aphids do not dig marigolds.
i keep a fresh bottle of Pyrethrin based Shultz that is available at walmart and it is my main product. i have neem oil but i just can't get the formula correct and it always cooks my leaves, if not the full plant.  i have 75+ container plants and use a misting bottle from walmart to spray them. on neem i have been down as far as 1/2 teaspoon per litre with table spoon of soap, still cooks the leaf.
for aphids i spray around 8pm, the little fuckers seem to breed(i mean multiply) at night, so this interrupts that pattern, in the daytime they are trying to avoid the light.
in the house, in my hydroponic station, after using the pyrethrin i can see the aphids dropping, so it does work.
good luck man, i know everyone wants ladybugs but when infestation hits, instant kill is the only way...plus, i don't remember if neem cares if it is aphid or ladybug.
Spraying anything, even plain water, will kill the pollen it hits but that generally won't effect pollination rates as there's almost always fresh pollen being produced so after spraying stops pollination will pick right back up.
If you've got a lot of plants it's worth investing in a pressurized sprayer, you should be able to find a 1-2 gal one for around 50$.  I'd suggest getting one with a hose so it's easier to spray under leaves, as well as trying to find one with a metal nozzel.  Any that I've had with a plastic nozzel got jammed up and broke within a year, for the slight extra cost it lasted 4-5 years before I sold all my gear.  Well worth the investment.
Thanks for the replies!

The plants I sprayed with soap already have fewer aphids. I'm guessing I blew most of them off with the mister tho..

Tonight I stripped all the lower sucker leaves and shoots. I neglected to remove ANY of the lower growth previously and in retrospect I should have. Each plant had half a dozen or more leaves sitting in the dirt and the main stems were a mess of tight, small growth providing shelter and protection for all sorts of creepy crawlies. Lesson learned... I'll never allow that much sucker growth again...

I picked up a good quality 2 gallon sprayer for only 25 bucks and will continue the soap regime. Tonight I only sprayed under the leaves with water... I figured they were traumatized enough for the day. If I don't continue to see results I'll look at Pyrethrin.

Oh... Also picked up a dozen Borax bait stations for the ant problem too.