Over the last couple of weeks the Nectarine Tree was treated for ‘Leaf-Curl. Now its hosting an infestation of black/brown Aphids!Gardening is probably not the best endeavour for people who lack patience!
While I was out in the garden this afternoon, having a good chat with the Snow Peas (telling them to hurry up and flower), I noticed out of the corner of my that some of the buds on the tree were discoloured…. on closer inspection I thought the tree had a new disease to deal with. Then I saw the Ants!
Ants are always a tell tale sign of Aphids. The Aphids eat the sap from new growth and buds and excrete ‘Honey-dew’. The ants then eat this honey dew. Ants will aggressively protect their food source and attack any Aphid predators like Lady Beetles, Hover Flies and Lace-Wings.
In the sequence below, you can see one Ant attacking a bug on top of the branch and a second one rushing into to help…. Im not sure what they other bug is but can only assume it was an Aphid predator, and they Ants went to work to protect their food source 🙂
During the ‘raid’ on the Reardon’s garden, thankfully a bottle of White-Oil made it into the plunder so I was able to treat this infestation straight away.
Normally, my preference would be to let nature run its course or to treat aphids by splashing on soapy water… but this infestation has come on so quickly and heavily that i thought white oils was the best choice.
There are 2 main types of horticultural oil on the market and sometimes both are sold as white oil. The difference is one is vegetable based and the other petroleum based. Be sure to read the label if this is important to you.
You can also mix your own solution with some warm water, soap and vegetable oil…. Here is a simple recipe from the Gardening Australia website