There are all kinds if insects in the garden some beneficial, some not so. In the tropical kind of weather the aphids an mealy bugs cause a lot of damage to the plants when left unchecked.
Most often aphids go unobserved as they stay under leaves and are super tiny. The problem with aphids is that while they may not kill fully grown or mature plants they can cause considerable damage due to the rapid pace at which they multiply. Besides that their excretory juices which is like honey becomes food for ants and other insects.
Aphids and mealy bugs are vectors for other diseases. The sooner you find them the better for your garden as they tend to spread rapidly. Mealy bugs are more dangerous than aphids as they go right down to the roots and destroy the plant completely.
I also talk about how you can easily control them and save your plants. at the end , so read on.
Here I captured the larvae of the grey lady bug. You can see it scavenging on the bugs on the leaves here.
Another view of the same bug. These are beneficial in the garden.
This is the next stage of the bug's life cycle.
Here you have the adult grey lady bug, though it seems brownish it was more grey in color. In my garden these are out numbered by the ants, aphids and mealy bugs.
These are aphids. These are food for the lady bugs and their larvae. These destroy plants when they are found in huge numbers. These can barely be seen on plants unless you are looking closely. These suck the sap of plants, produce a honey kind of liquid which is food for ants and other insects.
This is the biggest enemy in my garden - The mealy bug. They feeds on plant sap as well . These are known to kill even huge hibiscus bushes if left to multiply. When you see them on your plants it is best to isolate them right away before they spread to other plants in your garden.
Can you see its legs?These are so tiny that you would ignore them.
Look at the rate in which they multiply, Can you see the hundreds of babies it has hatched? The cotton like covering needs to be penetrated if you want to get rid of these. Oil helps to do the job. So don't worry if you do not have neem oil, cooking oil would do, you may have to spray a couple more times.
Take a closer look, there are a bunch of black aphids and a couple of mealy bugs with a whole hoard of babies.
The one effective remedy is a cocktail spray of dish wash soap 5ml three drops of neem oil in tepid water, mix well and spray.
It is important to spray under the leaves and on the stems to get rid of aphids and mealy bugs.
I usually do this three days in a row, then weekly twice until I see them no more.
If you see a plant wilting and mealy bugs on them be sure to check the roots. Wash the roots in a soap solution and a few drops of oil before re-potting them.
A word of caution.
Never spray neem oil when the sun is up, you could land up with leaf burn. Spray a couple of hours before sunrise or around sundown if you live in a warn climate.
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