Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Why not all bugs (even aphids!) are bad
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-02-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
damdaman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 551
Liked 22 Times on 19 Posts

Default Why not all bugs (even aphids!) are bad

Ever year my hops get aphids. Most of the time I don't sweat it though. I am a firm believer that a healthy, fast-growing plant with plenty of water, sun and soil nutrients will easily outgrow any pests. Plants have plenty of natural defenses against pests and diseases, and insects will naturally attack weaker plants.

So when the aphids first show up in spring, I keep an eye on them, but generally let them be. As long as the plant keeps growing strongly and they don't reach plague levels, I know in a week or two the ladybugs will show up.

Right now I probably have about a dozen adult ladybugs crawling all over my plants, eating 100+ aphids a day. I probably have about 3 dozen ladybug larva doing the same thing at 50+ aphids a day, and I can spot at least 5 clutches of ladybug eggs on the undersides of my hop leaves just on one plant.

Why do the ladybugs love my hops so much? Because there's food for them! If I had attacked the first aphids with insecticidal soap or whatever it is you personally use, killed them off, not only would I risk contaminating/damaging my plant, but the ladybugs wouldn't have made a home on my plants and be on their 3rd generation right now.

But because there was abundant food in the form of a low-but-noticeable population of aphids, they made themselves at home, got fat and laid eggs, knowing their larva would have plenty to eat when they hatched.

So I've attached pictures from one of my hop plants showing this whole thing. Aphids sucking juices from my hops, adult ladybugs, egg clutches, and larva. If you're not familiar with ladybugs hopefully these pictures will help you identify them on your own plants. A lot of people see the eggs and larva and kill them, assuming they're bad. They're not.

And my hops easily outgrow this level of aphid infestation, they're at about 15' right now and starting to put out side shoots. I have leaves easily larger than the size of my palm.

Using this method to control aphids has worked for me for 5 years. I use complete, mineralized organic slow-release fertilizer that contains all the plant nutrients needed (google Steve Solomon's complete organic fertilizer if you're interested). Only once later in the season did I get into a situation where I decided to spray insecticidal soap on some leaves. I think I didn't fertilize enough and the plants weren't healthy enough.

I hope this helps!


Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1326.jpg
Views:	346
Size:	62.2 KB
ID:	203265   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1420.jpg
Views:	349
Size:	52.7 KB
ID:	203266   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4516.jpg
Views:	439
Size:	45.9 KB
ID:	203267  
damdaman is offline
4
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 06:01 PM   #2
j1n
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
j1n's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Northern, Virginia
Posts: 1,781
Liked 719 Times on 402 Posts
Likes Given: 274

Default

Natural pest control is the best. Prey Mantis is also good for pest control. You can buy lady bugs and release them into your garden if you need a boost in numbers.


__________________
On Deck - Kolsch, Farmhouse Sour Saison, Flemish Red
Fermenting -
Kegged -
Bottled - Hard Cider
On Tap - Vienna Lager, Citra IPA w/ Funktown Pale
Aging - Flemish Red
j1n is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2014, 08:40 PM   #3
WayFrae
Homebrew Enthusiast
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WayFrae's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,244
Liked 180 Times on 147 Posts
Likes Given: 41

Default

Awesome! I hope to see some ladybugs on my plants soon!
__________________
Primary:Pale Ale
Secondary: Simple Cider
Kegged: Ahtanum Pale Ale | Rye Stout 3.0
Bottled: Rodeo Clown RyePA | Rye Stout | Robust Porter | Nut Brown Ale
WayFrae is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 01:40 AM   #4
damdaman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 551
Liked 22 Times on 19 Posts

Default

The larvae have gotten nice and fat on aphids and are about to metamorphise into pupae before finally becoming adults. Also caught these two adults working on the next generation of larvae.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2453.jpg
Views:	239
Size:	42.1 KB
ID:	205168   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2571.jpg
Views:	256
Size:	51.8 KB
ID:	205169  
damdaman is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
JohnSand
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: , Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,851
Liked 386 Times on 281 Posts
Likes Given: 1516

Default

Thanks for posting. I saw an unfamiliar bug on my Cascade the other day. Now I think it was a larval lady bug.
JohnSand is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2014, 08:38 PM   #6
heckler73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
Posts: 382
Liked 37 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
so, is that an aphid or a ladybug larvae? I just found a bunch of them on my 15' high Centennial, but no red ladybugs or little yellow eggs.

here's what I found:
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4343.jpg
Views:	138
Size:	48.0 KB
ID:	210929   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4344.jpg
Views:	135
Size:	48.7 KB
ID:	210930  
heckler73 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2014, 08:48 PM   #7
ChefRex
I once had a thought,
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
 
ChefRex's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Posts: 7,243
Liked 3198 Times on 1987 Posts
Likes Given: 4535

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by heckler73 View Post
so, is that an aphid? I just found a bunch of them on my 15' high Centennial, but not ladybugs.
Hope you didn't kill them, that is a ladybug larvae, aphid are small and white.
__________________
Make sure 20% of your fermentables come from ketchup or fruit cocktail cups, or you're out of style for "hooch".

1977Brewer (Rufus)
ChefRex is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2014, 08:54 PM   #8
heckler73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
Posts: 382
Liked 37 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Good old google. Ladybug I think!

http://www.ladybuglady.com/ladybugweb9.htm


Thanks ChefRex! I squished a couple down low, but there's still many of them up high. They will live.
heckler73 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2014, 10:52 PM   #9
JohnSand
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: , Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,851
Liked 386 Times on 281 Posts
Likes Given: 1516

Default

I saw the same on mine, have ladybugs now.
JohnSand is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2015, 07:29 PM   #10
DNKDUKE
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DNKDUKE's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Erie, Pennsylvania
Posts: 283
Liked 81 Times on 49 Posts
Likes Given: 479

Default

So I had aphids too but I never noticed them until I had picked the cones and started drying them. Then hundreds of them emerged and of course were killed off due to the heat of the dehydrator I used.

But I'm questioning whether to use the dried and frozen hops with the possibility of dead aphids in them.

Would you use them - Bueller - anyone?


__________________
Qui bibit, dormit;
Qui dormit, non peccat;
Qui non peccat, sanctus est;
ergo: Qui bibit, sanctus est.
DNKDUKE is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Aphids anyone? HoppyDaze Hops Growing 2 06-15-2013 02:34 PM
help with aphids! oze152 Hops Growing 10 10-15-2012 07:05 PM
Aphids help!! mfitz24401 Hops Growing 2 07-25-2012 03:40 AM
Aphids and mold? Chemiker Hops Growing 5 09-08-2011 07:41 PM
Aphids!!!! Gabe Hops Growing 28 04-16-2008 12:01 PM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS