Tiny Black bugs

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Author Message

Lorraine Ciarallo

Hello, my nasturiums have hundreds of these tiny black bugs on the stems beneath the leaves which have spread to some vegetables. What are they, why are they there, and how do I get rid of them naturally. I have planted benefical insect plants, but next year I intend to plant way more.
Thank you.

Tuesday 16 August 2011 09:42:55 am

miyo stevens

Probably the little black bugs are aphids. Aphids love nasturtiums. I've heard nasturtiums referred to as a "trap crop" and that's why I'm giving the following a try. I've planted nasturtiums near my plum tree that is suffering from aphids for the last three years in hopes that the nasturtium will draw the aphids away from the tree and give the tree time to develop whatever it needs to remain healthy while I continue to give it water for my part of the remedy.

Tuesday 16 August 2011 10:18:23 am

Linda Gilkeson

Yes, indeed, those are aphids. They can only spread to a few related plants, however, and won't go onto all garden plants. Most aphid species are very particular about their food supply (bean aphids only attack legumes; cabbage aphids only go on cabbage family; rose aphids only go on roses, etc.). But the really great thing about an aphid infestation on nasturtiums is that it will attract many aphid predators to the aphid colony, where they will reproduce. Fom there, the predators will spread out to look for other aphid colonies in your garden.
Miyo's suggestion actually can work very well and is a strategy used by organic growers. It just works differently: rather than drawing away the aphids (plum aphids wouldn't go on nasturtiums), the infested nasturtiums will attract aphid predators to that part of the garden.
By now I would bet that your nasturtiums have lots of little aphid predators mixed in with the aphids--you might want to find a magnifying glass and have a close look to see if you can spot them!

Thursday 18 August 2011 08:41:54 am