Man, I Gots All Sortsa Pests

Thrips. THRIPS!

Aphids. APHIDS!

I bought a few Cherokee tomatoes at the farmers' market a week ago.

I potted them in their own single pots that I bought on Wednesday.

Today, I noticed that there were these weird blobs on one of the stems.

I touched one.

It moved.

I shuddered and grabbed the Neem bottle and finally found out how to set the nozzle to mist. I misted the hell out of those effers and I clipped off all the leaves with thrips aphids on them.

Ugh. Never will I buy plants from others again. That's one of the reasons I'm such an adamant seed-starter... You avoid so many insect pests if you start yourself from seed. You never know what the plants might have if you get them from someone else. Gah!

Also, I determined the bug ID on the basis of a swift Google. If any of y'all have more insight, click on the picture and let me know (it's a large one, you should be able to see some pretty good detail).

Grumble grumble grumble bugs grumble.

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10 Responses to Man, I Gots All Sortsa Pests

  1. I think they're actually aphids, not thrips. Thrips are usually just barely visible, long and thin. This is actually good news, because aphids are really easy to get rid of. The one time I had them on an indoor plant, I just took it to the kitchen sink, sprayed the aphids off of the plant with the sprayer, and put it back. Never had them again.

    It's theoretically possible that the process might be more involved with tomato plants than with my plant (it was a Senecio macroglossus), but it shouldn't be a lot worse.

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  2. Mr. S, I think you're right, the Google images do look more like aphids! I remember thinking aphids were red (and some are), but there are clearly a whole lot of aphids out there.

    Either way, bugs bugs bugs! Gah!

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  3. Wow Indoor, those guys look sick. Thats a shame that you have to worry about bugs coming from a place that you shouldn't really have to worry about. I haven't seen any aphids yet. I am watching the garden like an owl on speed. I have noticed that there are several ladybugs that have found a home in my garden. I am encouraging them to stay and if the aphids show up I hope the lady bugs get drunk

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  4. ::shivers:: I detest aphids with their sticky residue and evil faces. Hope you zapped 'em good with the neem oil!

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  5. You scare me silly with that Neem:
    Do what you have to do but do it mechanically, not chemicallyCan you buy those sticky sheets, like A4 size or slightly larger, often bright yellow to attract unwanted flying objects. They come in packs of ten and are covered in extremely sticky super glue ( don't touch them after you take the protective cover off).
    Hang them up near the plants and wait for them to stick themselves to extinction. Better than watching paint dry :-)
    Much safer.
    jo

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  6. You are always going to have a headache with bugs if you go outdoors to indoors. Once you have pests indoors, it becomes more about controlling them than keeping them out.

    Hopefully the Cherokee Purples recover. I have some in my garden and I am eager to see how yours turn out.

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  7. ATW, I wish I had outdoor space... It's a bit more homework, but creating a garden that encourages beneficial insects/animals to visit while repelling icky ones, that would be awesome. But I thought, indoors, y'know, I wouldn't get bugs, so I wouldn't have to worry about stuff like that, right?

    Ha. Yeah, right. I don't want lady bugs in my apartment just as much as I don't want aphids! LoL

    Christy, aphids look like creepy miniature crosses between grasshoppers and spiders, both of which I like, but together, an abomination! I neemed 'em good, and clipped the leaves and tossed 'em (didn't even compost those). Hopefully they won't be back!

    Jo,

    I get the problem-with-chemicals thing, and I think I ranted about it in a comment on the MACA Vs. Michelle post I did. But Neem isn't toxic to humans or plants, and since I'm not encouraging beneficial bugs in my apartment (except for the worms, which are not in my garden box anyway), pretty much any creepy crawly or freaky fly-y is a pest (whether to the plant or to me). So, despite Neem being a pretty broad-spectrum insectistat, that's what I'm going for. I tried to research it pretty intensively prior to using it, and I haven't found anything really negative about it (unless you use it improperly). The least "OMG NEEM IS AWESOME" post I found is here, and it provides a nice balanced view of the product. Do you have any information as to why I shouldn't use it, other than the fact that it's a chemical that I'm applying to the plant (naturally derived though it is; gasoline is naturally derived too, and I wouldn't spray that on my plants, so I get the argument, but I think that's a different situation altogether).

    Red, I think I've pretty much gathered that. Gah. LoL

    But I'm growing some sundew (native to Maryland, just like me!), so in three (!) months, I'll have some natural pest control plants!

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  9. I started reading up on this Neem tree: you are right, it sounds fascinating. I still wouldn't use it until more clinical trials have been completed, but as a tree it is very interesting.
    Just don't you start one indoors, will you?

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  10. I searched on Pubmed. There have been instances of adverse reactions to neem (rashes, some kid went into shock, vomitting, diarrhea), but a lot of these don't specify what part of the tree was eaten/applied, nor do they give amounts, etc. Heck, since, like, pretty much anything (raw kidney beans, anyone?) can be toxic, and these cases seem pretty difficult to track down considering the extent and length of neem oil use, I feel pretty okay using it. People use it as toothpaste or mouthwash, even. I don't, but some do. Since it can be used as an insectistat and fungicide, I kind of think I'd rather not put it in my mouth. I know insect and human systems are different, but you never know if you're going to be the one exception to the general rule!

    I think I should do a big research post on this. Call some peeps up and get the scoop. This isn't something I want to leave to quick readings of abstracts on potential cancer therapeutic effects of neem oil extracts or stuff; I need it from the horse's mouth! I'm comfy using it, 'cause I know, chemically, that most of the constituent chemicals (terpenoids) should break down pretty readily. But it's such a complex mixture... I need to know what else is in there.

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