The Black Aphid

Black aphids love nasturtiums. Love them to death, in my case. I’d never seen a black aphid before I planted nasturtiums last year. They didn’t appear to move beyond my nasturtiums, so I simply observed.

I have been using nasturtiums in the garden as a natural pest control. They “repel squash bugs and whiteflies and draw beneficial insects”, according to one of my books. What I couldn’t decide last year was if nasturtiums drew pests away from my other plants or if they drew pests to the garden more generally, serving as a jumping off point.

The black aphid also loves cosmos. A volunteer cosmo was twining stalks with a tomatillo plant. The young cosmo stalks were covered with black aphids, while only a few peppered the nearby tomatillo stalks. Interesting. But not interesting enough to leave alone, because I am now also finding patches of black aphids on my beans. Not cool.

Last night I filled a spray bottle with water and dish soap and went to town on the dense aphid patches. This morning, the aphids appear…unaffected. Was it supposed to be special soap?

UPDATE 8/13: The soap treatment worked, though I had to repeat it a few times – not because it wasn’t killing aphids, but because more aphids appeared. I also helped myself out by removing the most heavily infested (non-edible) vegetation – the dying nasturtiums next to the beans, the cosmo plant intertwining with the tomatillos. I also added a few drops of oil to my soap-water mixture.

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3 Responses to The Black Aphid

  1. Kristin says:

    I use regular dish soap. I usually spray the plants and then spray off the bugs with a hose.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the note.
    I gottem too.
    Will wash.

  3. Rita says:

    I have these too. There really annoying. I don’t eat my nasturtiums I just love them color. Who laid these guys. So will be spraying with dish soap and garlic. Thank gosh they haven’t moved to their vegetable garden.

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