One of the scourges of the home garden is the aphid. They suck sap from stems, leaves, branches and the fruit of plants. They also carry some particularly nasty diseases, principally viruses. Their poop (of sort) called honeydew, draws ants which can transport aphids to other plants. So the next time you see ants climbing the stems of okra, peppers, crepe myrtles, etc. they might not be the problem. Consider this one of Mother Nature’s hints. Check for aphids on the bottom of the leaves and act accordingly.
Aphid control comes in biological, all-natural and synthetic forms. For years the primary biological/all-natural solution for aphids has been lady bugs. This year’s lady bug crop was lost due to a refrigeration failure. Yes, we have no lady bugs. As the saying goes “pick your poison”. The control product you pick should be the one that fits your needs. The insecticides I use on my crepe myrtles I don’t use in my vegetable gardens. That might change if I have to start eating the crepe myrtles! Insecticides kill both beneficial and non-beneficial insects. So that once you start spraying you need to keep spraying. Malathion and Pyrethrin are two products we carry here at Wells Brothers that would help with aphid control. No matter what product you choose always read and follow the label directions.