Same as last year, I divided my harvested cones into paper bags to dry, about half full or less depending on the bag. And same as last year, within a couple of hours the rims of the bags were encrusted with aphids looking for a way off. They seem to sense that the cones are drying and they must move on.
I have lots of questions, but the three most relevant are:
1. Are my cones particularly infested? Does anybody else have aphids coming out in droves after setting them up to dry? They are forming a living green crust on the top knife edge of all the paper bags. It must be a bizarre world for them. Then it gets worse when I vacuum them off. Ideally I would be drying them outside somewhere.
2. How damaged are the cones, seeing as how aphids apparently have been in there sucking away for who knows how long? They look and smell beyond fine. I think I harvested them at about the right time.
3. What's a good control? I saw a few ladybugs in harvesting. Seems like the aphid population could have supported a lot more.