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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch of young fruit trees in the backyard and while doing work yesterday I noticed my cherry tree was covered in aphids. I am looking into organic ways of controlling them but in the mean time I was thinking about using them as feeders. My one reservation is that I used "weed and feed" on the lawn, in pretty close proximity to these trees about 3 months ago. Does anyone have any input on wether these guys would be safe or potentially harmful if fed considering there may be chemical residue still in the yard..

Thanks in advance
Chris
 

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Hmm, not sure about the chemicals, but I've fed the ones that up in our blackberry briar without incident. Nice little summer treat for the smaller frogs.
 

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There are 2 methods I've used to kill the aphids. First is a mix of dish soap and water solution in a spray bottle, don't need a ton of soap. The soap causes dehydration by washing off the aphid's protective waxy coat. The second is a mix of vegetable oil mixed with water in a spray bottle. The vegetable oil clogs the respiratory spiracles of aphids. I've used both methods with success. I'd recommend spraying all the plants with either method (under the leaves too) and then giving a day or two to die. If there are more aphids still alive use the other method. Just switch back and forth between the two if needed. When I've done it I gave a full spray of everything and only had to spray once and that was with a very dense population of the aphids.
 

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Here is a link for making organic pesticide that works quite well on aphids.

Organic Aphid Sprays - Two Homemade Organic Sprays for Fighting Aphids
I can't comment on the tomato leaf spray that they list but I'm not sure all the work is necessary for the garlic oil spray. I don't know how necessary the garlic is in that mixture as I have seen just a water/dish soap spray work very effectively. They have dish soap in the garlic mix, so is the garlic really doing anything or is it just the dish soap? Same with the mineral oil. Maybe the mineral oil is replacing the vegetable oil so you are just hitting them from two sides basically. I'm not saying it won't work, just that it seems to be more work then may be necessary.
 

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Buy some ladybugs, natural predators of aphids. When I lived in MI I had a lot of fruit trees along with an aphid problem. I was able to source ladybugs in bulk. When released some left, but a lot stayed around my yard and went to work.
 

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and just remember that aphids are often family specific in their feeding preferences, so aphids from plants in the rose family shouldn't attack bromeliads or orchids or ferns
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone for your responses! I fed out aphids to everyone this morning and it was a hit with most. I really like how slow the aphids are because it makes it easy to feed without any escapees. I don't know how long they will stick around, but is it bad to be second-guessing treating my trees? Having a feeder in the backyard that is so readily available is pretty nice!
 
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