Herb Garden Update

I have aphids! Boo…

I think they started out on the cilantro, which needs water every day and is now over two feet tall, and then moved on to the mint. I might throw these two plants away so they don’t get to my beloved basil… Or move the basil and try some different things with the infested plants: cutting them down and planting some garlic or onion in the pot with them supposedly helps…? We’ll see. One website even suggested spraying the plants with a mixture of blended onion, garlic, and cayenne pepper, but I would think that might change the flavor of the herb and make my apartment smell like bad breath.

Anyway, I’ve taken this opportunity to learn more about aphids. The first thing I learned is that what I used to think were aphids are actually ladybug larvae (pictures from wikimedia commons, not my plants).


Ladybug larva
(ladybug larva)

I’ve been wrong about this for approximately 19 years.

The second thing I learned was about aphid reproduction. They can reproduce sexually or asexually, usually depending on the season. Also, they can either lay eggs or give birth to live offspring. Even more interesting: A pregnant female can give birth to an already pregnant (asexually reproducing) female, which is probably why there were no aphids (that I saw) a day or two ago, and now there are lots). Also, most aphids don’t develop wings at all until they need them. And do you ever get that sappy stuff on your car windshield after you’ve parked under a tree? That is “honeydew” that aphids (and maybe other bugs?) leave behind — it’s sticky, sweet, and nutritious for ants.




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2 responses to “Herb Garden Update

  1. christophermgomez

    Why don’t you just call “honeydew” what it is: Shit. Poo. Excrement. Doo Doo.

  2. Lacey

    You can also try Ladybugs, it is fun to see them eat the aphids, very satisfying! Also this is a very natural non-toxic way to kill your aphids. I would be willing to bring you some I just put about 1000 ladybugs in my garden (they sell them in the thousands).

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