Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Rebecca from Boston, MA
Try Safer-soap, a non toxic mild soapy spray. Can also be applied by wiping down the plant with a sponge, but when finished, throw the sponge away so you don't infect other plants.
For around $10 dollars you can buy about a 1000 ladybugs who will be more than happy to clean up those aphids and probably a few of the others as well. They will likely also set up a colony near by and be around for years.
But it sounds as though your plant is having trouble for some basic reason. Soil balance or nutrition not right, moisture? The plant isn't doing well there, otherwise it wouldn't be such a victim, poor thing. Might need some companion plants as well that repel those bugs. I think soapy water also helps repel aphids.
Alcohol kills mealybugs, scales, aphids, spider mites, white flies, slugs, and earwigs by acting as a surfactant, or wetting agent, that can penetrate an insect's waxy coat of armor and kill on contact with the body. Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) works fine and is easy to find, but be sure it doesn't have additives. Ethanol (grain alcohol) seems to work best. Alcohol usually comes in 70 percent strength in stores (or 95 percent strength purchased commercially).
To make an insecticidal spray, mix equal parts 70 percent alcohol and water (or if using 95 percent alcohol, mix 1 part alcohol to 1-1/2 parts water). To kill mealybugs, dip a cotton swab or cotton ball into alcohol and wipe off the infestation.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.