Aphids (Blackfly)

Latest Update 22nd January 2018.
 
Aphids (Blackfly).
  • Family:                                           Aphididae.
Notes.
  • Blackfly are a relative newcomer to my vegetable garden, but recently they have made a nuisance of themselves on my alliums.
  • I use a foliar spray of aerated compost tea in late winter to encourage an early microbial response to young blackfly, but if I find a small colony developing, I disperse them with jet of water from a hose.  It pays to be vigilant and deal with them before they infest your crop.
  • If dispersing them doesn't help, I use diluted organic horticultural oil as a thorough foliar spray to smother them.
Why Blackfly are a Pest.
  • They have only attacked alliums and sweetcorn so far in my garden, but I watch all my edible plants for early signs of their presence so I can control them before they become a significant problem.
Pest Control.
  • You can use a jet of water to clear blackfly off any affected plants, but unlike greenfly, some of them will return to your plant again.  Repeated applications eventually remove them for good. 
  • Although I have no direct evidence, I believe that regular monthly foliar sprays of activated aerobic compost tea helps strengthen plants so they can resist the attentions of aphids. 
  • It pays to be vigilant and deal with any pest before they do too much damage.
  • In summer, look out for ants as they breed colonies of aphids for the sugary secretions they provide.  Track the ants until you find the aphids colony they are nurturing.
  • A foliar spray of organic horticultural oil or even home made organic soap solution will kill aphids by smothering them.