Insects Invade


We’ve been vigilant about removing cabbage worms, cabbage loopers and Japanese beetles from our garden as well as chasing away the moths that lay the worm and looper eggs.

Now that the Japanese beetles seemed to have disappeared, we’re faced with another insect infestation: aphids and whiteflies.

“Aphids and whiteflies tend to go together,” said Stephanie Drozd, The Organic Gardener maintenance crew member. “It’s a problem we’re seeing many places. They’re mainly attacking tomato plants.”

“You can find them on new growth or the undersides of leaves,” added Courtney Behrens, The Organic Gardener maintenance crew member.

While I thought the number of insects was pretty bad, according to Behrens it wasn’t a bad infestation.

“I’ve seen it where you’d turn over a leaf and there would be lots of them,” Behrens said.

So how do you get rid of these pesky bugs?

Jet them with water.

“Spray them with the hose carefully but forcefully enough to get them off with water,” Behrens said, adding you don’t want to use too much force and knock tomatoes off the vine. “You can also use Safer Soap.”

If you do jet the insects off with water, you have to be consistent, Drozd added.

“Using the jet setting [on a hose] is the easiest if you can do it every day,” she said, adding aphids will return if it’s done inconsistently. “If you do it once a month, it won’t make much of a difference.”

Seeing the influx of insects was disturbing, but hidden among those insects there was a silver lining; we spotted a green lacewing, an insect that preys on aphids.