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Old 11-19-2015, 04:58 AM
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Default How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

I've had aphid infestations on a number of my outdoor plants. I had one outbreak on some penstemons, another on my nasturtiums, and I currently have an infestation of yellow oleander aphids on my milkweeds. I don't know what species were on the nasturtiums or the penstemons. I don't use pesticides or herbicides, and my only soil amendments are composted wood shavings and coffee grounds. The garden is watered with reclaimed water. Does anyone know if these aphids may be safe to feed to frogs, and how I can tell if aphids are safe to feed to frogs? Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

Should be safe to feed, though I'm not an aphid expert... Several people here are trying pea aphids though.

The biggest issue is probably inadvertently introducing a foreign pathogen/parasite from the garden or from inside the wild aphids themselves... Probably not a huge risk, but more then some might be comfortable with.
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

I had red ones on my plants and someone on the forum told me not to feed them to the frogs
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter7728 View Post
I had red ones on my plants and someone on the forum told me not to feed them to the frogs
Did they say why?
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

something to do with the plants they were eating, I guess some plants can be poisonous to the frogs. I just didn't even try not worth it.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

Very good point. Don't Monarch butterflies feed on milk weed as caterpillars and don't they have some sort of toxicity that the caterpillar color is indicative of? I may be wrong, but that was my recollection.

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Old 11-20-2015, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: How do I know if aphids are safe to feed?

Yes. Oleander aphids specialize in poisonous plants. If I'm not mistaken they're from the Mediterranean region, where oleander is native. Something I read on the internet says they pick up the toxins, called cardiac glycosides, according to a bunch of different websites, from the milkweed plants. I have seen ladybug larvae and other predatory insects happily eat them with no ill effects, however, so I'm not sure if they're actually dangerous to eat. Does anyone know anything about feeding oleander aphids to dart frogs? I don't want to risk it unless I'm sure it's safe.
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