Ladybug Fun for Aphid Control on Apple Trees

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My Gala and Granny Smith Apple trees were being attacked by aphids a couple of weeks ago. I sprayed them off the leaves with the hose and the ants were really putting up a tough fight, but there were lots of them and the leaves were starting to curl. Since this is the first season I’ll get apples from these trees, I want to give them the best chance I can. I ordered 300 ladybugs from Amazon and was so psyched when they arrived.


We released them as soon as they came. My son kind of freaked out when I let them go because he wanted to be involved and wanted to help but he had the woogies because there were so many BUGS (I think). So the release wasn’t quite as fun and lengthy as it could have been because by the time we were done, he was basically screaming. (ay yi yi)


The next day, I saw maybe a dozen of them lurking around on the trees. The day after that there were fewer and now, if I look, I might be able to find 3 or 4.


After that I sprayed 2 tbsp hand soap mixed with about 2/3 of a gallon of water all over the trees 2 days in a row. A LOT of the aphids were gone, but there were still some left. I went out to check the trees with Abbie the next day and while I was inspecting the leaves and worrying and wondering what to do, she starts gently taking the leaves in her hands and rubbing the aphids off with her fingers. “Look Mommy, I can take care of these for you.”

Hahaha! I couldn’t believe it. Why didn’t I think of that? My little girl is such a smartie. I’ll keep spraying every couple of weeks, but I won’t hesitate to remove them by hand now either.

2 thoughts on “Ladybug Fun for Aphid Control on Apple Trees”

  1. Out of the mouth of babes!

    In my companion planting book, “Carrots Love Tomatoes” the author suggests that you plant a circle of nasturtium around the fruit trees, the aphids will avoid the tree. “A scientist at the Connecticut Experiment Station found that the yellow color of the nasturtium blossoms causes flying aphids to avoid the plants growing above them.” She also says that tansy will keep the ants (which is the kind of aphid it sounds like you have)away from the trees and on the tansies.

  2. I had heard that aphids are drawn to nasturtiums too, but as a “bank” plant. They prefer to feed on the nasturtiums to whatever is growing around it. I did transplant yarrow around the fruit trees and it seems to be helping! I think whatever likes the yarrow is killing the aphids. I THINK. Either way, the yarrow gets to stay.

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