Aphids On My Cucumbers! HELP!


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I have tried just about everything...lady beetle release, Neem oil and Castille Soap spray, rubbing them off, washing them off, planted mint and basil near by...they just keep coming back and my cucumber plants seem seriously stunted and the leaves are destroyed!

I don't know what to do! Do I pull out the calendula and lettuce (which is also infested) that's in the same bed or do I scrap the whole lot???? They are in the greenhouse and nearby to other veggies, luckily not infested like crazy...

Any guidance is welcomed!
 
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Those are determined aphids. It sounds like you are already trying all the things I would usually suggest.

Do you know what type of aphid you are dealing with? Is it a native species that behaves differently than the more common types?

Does one type of infested plant seem to be more of the main source than the others. If so, that is the plant to eliminate or isolate.
For example, once I had milkweed aphids (Aphis nerii) numbers so high that they were beginning to act like generalists and feeding on other types of plants. once I got the numbers down they went back to only being on their favourite plants in the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae). I never get rid of milkweed aphids, I just keep their numbers down.

You are growing inside a greenhouse in Summer. Perhaps the added heat and enclosure is favouring the aphids. Is there is some way to open the greenhouse more to let in other insect predators?

Of course, I will also encourage persistence with the efforts you have already made, but you are the one to judge whether that is possible or futile.
 
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Those are determined aphids. It sounds like you are already trying all the things I would usually suggest.

Do you know what type of aphid you are dealing with? Is it a native species that behaves differently than the more common types?

Does one type of infested plant seem to be more of the main source than the others. If so, that is the plant to eliminate or isolate.
For example, once I had milkweed aphids (Aphis nerii) numbers so high that they were beginning to act like generalists and feeding on other types of plants. once I got the numbers down they went back to only being on their favourite plants in the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae). I never get rid of milkweed aphids, I just keep their numbers down.

You are growing inside a greenhouse in Summer. Perhaps the added heat and enclosure is favouring the aphids. Is there is some way to open the greenhouse more to let in other insect predators?

Of course, I will also encourage persistence with the efforts you have already made, but you are the one to judge whether that is possible or futile.
Thank you Mark.
Yes, I open up one end of the greenhouse (we are in a cool temp climate and the season is slow) everyday, it has netting on it big enough for predator insects but not for the cabbage butterfly thankfully. So far i have seen hoverflies in the GH but not much else despite having a healthy patch of nastursium in there...

Not 100% sure what aphids I have though they look like Green Peach Aphids which prefer curcubits. Hence the cucumber infestation and now they are migrating to my capsicum which are in the neighboring bed!

Tonight I used white oil with neem and a few drops of peppermint oil, hoping that makes a difference. Sprayed everything in the GH and will wash/water it off in the AM. Besides that I am thinking I could plant some Chives or Garlic around the cucumbers in the hope it will drive them away??? I also have Catnip which is said to help. What perplexes me is that Marigold is suppose to drive away Aphids but the Calendula seem sto be attracting them! Aren't they in the same damn family?
 
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Those are determined aphids. It sounds like you are already trying all the things I would usually suggest.

Do you know what type of aphid you are dealing with? Is it a native species that behaves differently than the more common types?

Does one type of infested plant seem to be more of the main source than the others. If so, that is the plant to eliminate or isolate.
For example, once I had milkweed aphids (Aphis nerii) numbers so high that they were beginning to act like generalists and feeding on other types of plants. once I got the numbers down they went back to only being on their favourite plants in the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae). I never get rid of milkweed aphids, I just keep their numbers down.

You are growing inside a greenhouse in Summer. Perhaps the added heat and enclosure is favouring the aphids. Is there is some way to open the greenhouse more to let in other insect predators?

Of course, I will also encourage persistence with the efforts you have already made, but you are the one to judge whether that is possible or futile.
So turns out Worm Castings have Chitin in it which erode the exoskeleton of certain insects including Aphids! Going to give this a try this week around the cucumbers and Caps and see how it goes....hoping its like cryptonite for them!
 
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I use the cheapest soap, that is really soft, with an old shaving brush. the brushing seems to physically damage them, but the brush is soft enough not to damage the plant. When I haven't had soft soap I have used washing up liquid, not quite as effective but it still works. Going all round each plant with a little brush is an awful faff, but it is rewarding seeing them dead.
PS. Look out for ants, I don't know about the Australian types, but here they 'milk' the aphids for their sugary excrement and will carry them from plant to plant setting up new colonies.
 
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So turns out Worm Castings have Chitin in it which erode the exoskeleton of certain insects including Aphids! Going to give this a try this week around the cucumbers and Caps and see how it goes....hoping its like cryptonite for them!
Actually it is a chitinase enzyme that is produced by earthworms. Chitinase enzymes break down chitin which is a common organic polysaccharide that occurs both in insect exoskeletons and fungal hyphae. Earthworms,fungi, and certain insects are sometimes in antagonistic competition for soil organic matter, so that may be the reason.
However, I'm not sure if loose chitinase in the soil will have much affect on foliage-feeding insects, but do give it a try.
 
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Actually it is a chitinase enzyme that is produced by earthworms. Chitinase enzymes break down chitin which is a common organic polysaccharide that occurs both in insect exoskeletons and fungal hyphae. Earthworms,fungi, and certain insects are sometimes in antagonistic competition for soil organic matter, so that may be the reason.
However, I'm not sure if loose chitinase in the soil will have much affect on foliage-feeding insects, but do give it a try.
Ah ok! Had my wires crossed on the info but turns out, it worked! I have managed to remove and kill all the aphids on my cucumbers. Now I just need to get them healthy again :) Thank goodness!

Looking to feed them with a 1:1:1 NPK liquid fertiliser in the hope it wil give them a boost.
 
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I have tried just about everything...lady beetle release, Neem oil and Castille Soap spray, rubbing them off, washing them off, planted mint and basil near by...they just keep coming back and my cucumber plants seem seriously stunted and the leaves are destroyed!

I don't know what to do! Do I pull out the calendula and lettuce (which is also infested) that's in the same bed or do I scrap the whole lot???? They are in the greenhouse and nearby to other veggies, luckily not infested like crazy...

Any guidance is welcomed!
You have cucumbers in December? Where do you live? My organic cuke plants were **so awesome** this summer (CA), I grew organic bell peppers, too, and then canned loads of pickle relish. After such magnificent production, the plant leaves eventually succumbed to mildew and plants were goners by late November.

For any future cucumber plantings, I highly suggest organic compost and worm castings as soil amendments. You also really need to up your game on attracting birds to act as aphid predators. Healthy balance in the garden is everything.

The ladybug/beetle solution is almost always a bust, because in order to feed the ladybugs you have to have a ridiculous amount of aphids on your plants. Adults will quickly move on if there's not enough food for them. Pro-tip: Ladybug larvae consume 10 times the amount of aphids compared to the amount eaten by the adult bugs.
 
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You have cucumbers in December? Where do you live? My organic cuke plants were **so awesome** this summer (CA), I grew organic bell peppers, too, and then canned loads of pickle relish. After such magnificent production, the plant leaves eventually succumbed to mildew and plants were goners by late November.

For any future cucumber plantings, I highly suggest organic compost and worm castings as soil amendments. You also really need to up your game on attracting birds to act as aphid predators. Healthy balance in the garden is everything.

The ladybug/beetle solution is almost always a bust, because in order to feed the ladybugs you have to have a ridiculous amount of aphids on your plants. Adults will quickly move on if there's not enough food for them. Pro-tip: Ladybug larvae consume 10 times the amount of aphids compared to the amount eaten by the adult bugs.
Thank you for the insights :) We actually have plenty of bird life here, even bower birds which love to demolish everything. so sadly all beds must be netted and the cucumbers are in a greenhouse, so no bird access there.

Got on top of them though and now I'm just praying my cucumbers grow tall before the season is totally done. I'm in south australia.
 
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You have cucumbers in December? Where do you live? My organic cuke plants were **so awesome** this summer (CA), I grew organic bell peppers, too, and then canned loads of pickle relish. After such magnificent production, the plant leaves eventually succumbed to mildew and plants were goners by late November.

For any future cucumber plantings, I highly suggest organic compost and worm castings as soil amendments. You also really need to up your game on attracting birds to act as aphid predators. Healthy balance in the garden is everything.

The ladybug/beetle solution is almost always a bust, because in order to feed the ladybugs you have to have a ridiculous amount of aphids on your plants. Adults will quickly move on if there's not enough food for them. Pro-tip: Ladybug larvae consume 10 times the amount of aphids compared to the amount eaten by the adult bugs.
Thank you for the insights :) We actually have plenty of bird life here, even bower birds which love to demolish everything. so sadly all beds must be netted and the cucumbers are in a greenhouse, so no bird access there.

Got on top of them though and now I'm just praying my cucumbers grow tall before the season is totally done. I'm in south australia.
Hope your cukes thrive. We ate so many this past summer, it was exhilarating. The crunchy freshness. The awesome taste. Nothing beats growing your own. (Fond memories of S.A. I spent some time In Port Lincoln, many years ago. Also missed seeing Flinders Ranges wildflowers by only a few weeks. Wanted to make it to Coober Pedy, but never did.)
 
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