Aphids and ants on butternut squash plant


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The butternut squash plant is getting big now, and under almost every leaf, I see ants with aphids, and eggs. Whenever a flower opens, it will get a few ants going in it.

I don't see any damage to the plant, but I don't want it getting worse and worse until it's a massive problem.

The plant is too big to be spraying under the leaves. I sometimes see long legged flies, but it obviously isn't helping that much if I see aphids everywhere.

What do I do? :(
 
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The ants are farming the aphids. They will actually move the aphids around let them eat and poop and then they will feed on the honeydew. But when you get tired of observing this little movie of mother nature you can lift up the leaves and use spinosad. The plant is NOT to big to spray simply because the leaves don't weigh much.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071009212548.htm
 
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Ok ok Chuck. I'm going to spray the plant tomorrow. Can I use peppermint essential oils in the mix?
 
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Ok ok Chuck. I'm going to spray the plant tomorrow. Can I use peppermint essential oils in the mix?
Why would you want to do that? Anyway I don't think I would. I don't know what harm it could do but I don't know what good it would do either.
 
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The ants are doing just as Chuck says.
The aphids suck the sap out of the leaves and turn it into honeydew, upon which the ants feed.
Why would you want to do that? Anyway I don't think I would. I don't know what harm it could do but I don't know what good it would do either.
I don't think ants or aphids like mint.
I'd suggest one of four things:
1) As Chuck suggests, it will be effective.
2)Butternut squash can grow huge, and if the infestation isn't too bad, live and let live, at least for the time being. Your infestation has gone past that point.
3) What I do is squish them with my fingers, no chemicals, and if you don't want the feeling on your hands, wear kitchen gloves.
4) Look up the garlic and chili spray on the organic forum and use that.
 
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Update.

There are still a lot of aphids on the plant, so I did a a big pruning and sprayed the entire plant with Soap, neem, and spinosad. The aphids are currently gone, but this plant is really stressing me out. None of my plants have aphids besides this one, and I don't want these stupid aphids spreading diseases on my plants.

I don't see any honeydew under the leaves, but I do see it on the actual squash. I don't think I would feel comfortable eating aphid diseases on the squash.

Is there anything I can do to wipe them out forever? I transplanted a buch of marigolds in the squash container, but I doubt it would help.
 
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Definitely the ants we're eating up the aphids, I wonder if by spraying you knocked out enough ants that they started leaving the aphids alone?

Ladybugs also eat aphids. Some garden centers sell bags containing approximately 1000 ladybugs, I've done this in the past for aphid control. Plus, sort of cute.
 
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Update.

There are still a lot of aphids on the plant, so I did a a big pruning and sprayed the entire plant with Soap, neem, and spinosad. The aphids are currently gone, but this plant is really stressing me out. None of my plants have aphids besides this one, and I don't want these stupid aphids spreading diseases on my plants.

I don't see any honeydew under the leaves, but I do see it on the actual squash. I don't think I would feel comfortable eating aphid diseases on the squash.

Is there anything I can do to wipe them out forever? I transplanted a buch of marigolds in the squash container, but I doubt it would help.
If you spray the plants underside with spinosad or safers soap you will kill the aphids. Once you killed the ants the remaining aphids went to town and had a field day. But you say you killed the aphids and there are still a lot on the plant. Which is it? You know how to kill aphids. As far as the honeydew goes, why not just wast it off. As far a marigolds go, they are an attractant.. The marigolds attract the aphids from you plants onto themselves. IMO marigolds are a detriment to a garden as they invite unwanted insects instead of repelling them.
 
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I thought I killed all the aphids, but there are still more. I didn't know marigolds attract aphids. I thought they repelled them.

I'm just currently not having good luck with aphids. It would be better if I had benificial insects. I see the long legged fly, but it doesn't do anything besides for hopping on the top of leaves.

Where can I buy ladybugs?
 
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I thought I killed all the aphids, but there are still more. I didn't know marigolds attract aphids. I thought they repelled them.

I'm just currently not having good luck with aphids. It would be better if I had benificial insects. I see the long legged fly, but it doesn't do anything besides for hopping on the top of leaves.

Where can I buy ladybugs?
The problem with buying ladybugs is that they will fly off. Aphids aren't that hard to eliminate. When an aphid bites and starts sucking the juice out of a plant it literally is attached to the plant. It cannot let loose. That is why when you spray aphids with a strong stream of water and wash them off of the plant it kills them. The water literally rips their jaws off of their heads. Soap and other insecticides kill the ones who haven't attached themselves yet
 
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I thought I killed all the aphids, but there are still more. I didn't know marigolds attract aphids. I thought they repelled them.

I'm just currently not having good luck with aphids. It would be better if I had benificial insects. I see the long legged fly, but it doesn't do anything besides for hopping on the top of leaves.

Where can I buy ladybugs?

Call a garden center locally.

Or Google "buy live ladybugs." I just did. Lots of online sellers, even Amazon. Apparently a very popular aphid control option. And they work.
 
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Pennyroyal is your answer. Keeps hornworms away too.
Probably the best way to use peppermint oil is to soak something like a champagne cork in it and place it beside the plant.
 
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I thought I killed all the aphids, but there are still more. I didn't know marigolds attract aphids. I thought they repelled them.

I'm just currently not having good luck with aphids. It would be better if I had benificial insects. I see the long legged fly, but it doesn't do anything besides for hopping on the top of leaves.

Where can I buy ladybugs?
I wouldn't buy them, but regardless, if you want ladybugs you gotta make habitat, like heavy mulch and water. Food (aphids) is just one thing, if they don't have the other requirements they will fly off in search of that. Ladybugs eat a lot of things besides aphids, so if that's all you got to offer them, they will leave.
 

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