I've been battling bugs like crazy this season too. I tried brushing them off with diomataceous earth but not sure that did anything but physically sweep them off. I've also tried mild soap spray, just dishwashing liquid and water, and using sharp streams to get them off, and I've been hearing people talk about buying ladybugs, but not too sure where to do that
I'm saving that for my last-ditch defense because I've found that it tends to hurt the plants as well. For now, just squishing and spraying with water.
I've got ladybugs (and even baby ladybugs ... they look so mean and uncute!), but they're not hanging out on the daisies despite the aphid feast that's waiting for them there. I know Richters sells them at $38 per 1/2 pint, which is apparently a lot more than us balcony gardeners would ever need.Just discovered caterpillars on my collards a minute ago. Ugh! It never ends :)
Is yours home-made? I find adding seaweed emultion and a little surfactant to the spray to make it stick helps the plants recover.
No, it's store-bought and pre-mixed: Safer's Insecticidal Soap. What kind of surfactant are you adding to your mix?
Yes, those are most certainly aphids. Definitely spray with a bit of kitchen soap (clear soap is best, Seventh Generation is an inexpensive brand) and some canola oil. I use about a quarter cup of each per gallon in a hand pump sprayer. Also, if those are in pots, you can take a hose and just hit them with a hard spray of water to get rid of most of them and then spray with the soap and water mix. Good luck!
Thanks! I've been diligently squishing and spraying for the past week, and looks like that's taken care of the problem.