Aphids meet their nemesis

Aphid Control

Hi folks! Been away from ninja blogging for a short while with lots of busy happenings, but back now and I’m glad as I’ve missed posting. Astra came home the other day with a ‘surprise’ she proclaimed whilst handing me a A4 piece of paper folded into a 3D triangle. I was intrigued but also thought it may be a cute present from her pre schoolers, until she said open it – my eyes lit up when I saw this little dude crawling about inside! A LADYBIRD! The timing couldn’t have been better as I’d noticed that a few Aphids had started to appear on my new Chillies. (They do seem to arrive out of nowhere and it’s one of the very few things I have a almost irrational hatred for, oooh hatred seemed a bit strong when I typed it, ah well, in their stupid wee green faces!)

I’ve always wanted to try a totally organic way of protecting my Chillies from infestation and I had read that there is none better than a ladybird. Apart from being a lovely looking creature altogether, they can eat hundreds of Aphids and other pests during the course of a day. This little guy got to work almost instantly when I put it on the plant and when I came back later there was zero Aphids left so I moved it onto another of my Chillies.

Aphid Control

Aphid Control

The LB seemed very at home and explored every surface on the plant. Aphids like to prey on the small delicate leaves so often it is really hard to get all of them when you are picking them off or spraying but it’s no problem to this guy.

In the past I’ve tried various methods of pest control and I’ve even made my own organic spray but this is definitely my favourite and the most effective in my eyes. I love the no nonsense approach and it’s a win win for all parties, my Chillies are Aphid free and the Ladybird gets loads to munch as well as having a cool place to hang out.

Have any of you tried this method or do you have any other great pest control ideas.

Oh, I’m trying a new gallery thingy at the bottom of each new post (just click on one of the images) let me know what you think, thanks!  Chilli Ninja.

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10 thoughts on “Aphids meet their nemesis

  1. See if you can find some more, I’ll have to remember to do this.
    The gallery is great, such lovely pics.

    • Chilli Ninja says:

      Thanks Marcus! I think I’ll keep it as a new feature in my posts. Yeah I’ll definately be getting more. Apparently there are small insect homes that you can build that ladybirds are drawn to. Good luck with yours.

  2. Dave says:

    These are overwintered chillies yeah? How’s this years crop coming?
    Think I may have some Habeneros on my hands too (had my own “seed destroyer” experience that mixed up a whole second tray) – very slow growing.

    No sign of Aphids on my Piri Piri so far. Some brown spots and a few warped looking leaves – any ideas what could be causing these? Not a huge amount and most plants seem to be unaffected.

    • Chilli Ninja says:

      Hey Dave – yes these are the overwintered Chillies and they are growing really strong, I so surprised and happy with them.
      Congrats on the Habeneros! and unlucky on the destroyer! I feel your pain :)
      2012 crop are doing ok but the growing season has been slow to get going this year in Eire as you know. So hopefully a good few weeks of the good weather will brill them on to were they should be.

      Mmm… brown spots eh? Right away it sounds like they are getting too much water, this can happen if you water them a bit too much which starves the roots of oxygen. It can happen to outdoor plants that are in pots also, when it rains for a long period of time and the water effectively drowns the plant as opposed to the plant soaking up the necessary amount to prosper.
      I wouldn’t be totally certain unless I had a look at them though – maybe you could send a picture or two to the address below and I’ll see if I can shed some light on it for you.

      • Dave says:

        Yes, the overwintered chillies look very promising for this year! They look like they will bush out nicely.
        Not sure if the slow plants I have are habaneros, hope they are – love the flavour they add.
        Yes, could well be over watering, things were up in a heap here for a while moving house, they weren’t getting enough sunlight either until recently. On the plus side the new (rental) place is ten times more insulated and airtight than the last place so the chillies are enjoying a higher average and generally more consistent temperature.

        I have that address now (thanks!) so you can delete it if you want, just in case.

        • Chilli Ninja says:

          No problem Dave! Glad to hear that you have better growing conditions now, it makes all the difference especially in our country :)
          Keep me posted on your slow plants and I’d love to see if they turn out to be Habaneros. Good luck!

  3. Karen says:

    It’s lovely to see a gardener reach for the organic method to control aphid….you cannot get more organic than a ladybird for aphid munching! I love them!

  4. Astra says:

    That does do the trick so well, but they’re hard to find around here… I’m thinking of making a ‘bug hotel’ for this winter to encourage them to the garden

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