Aphid Control for Spinach

Well, if you don’t know, I have an aphid problem on my spinach plants.

Yesterday I was rash and sprayed them with a 2 water: 1 dish soap mixture.  Today, most of the aphids seemed to be shriveled up.  They definitely looked different than they did yesterday.  And there didn’t seem to really be any more of them.

Following the advice that I got on GardenWeb, I bought some Q-tips today to wipe them off since most still remained yesterday after spraying them.  I didn’t want to use just water, since many insects survive water dunkings, so I got out a nearly finished bottle of Burnett’s Vanilla Vodka, dipped my Q-tip in that and then wiped them off.

04-14-2011 Aphids From Spinach in Vodka

Pretty sure they all got alcohol poisoning and died.  Or shriveled up and died.  I don’t like killing animals, even “pests”, but I really saw no alternative.  I want to eat my spinach.

They say if you have aphids, to stop fertilizing, as they love the new baby shoots especially after fertilization.  So I have to get rid of these guys now so I can actually fertilize my spinach and actually get some leaves that I can eat.

This method is for meticulous people with patience.  You have to get ALL of the aphids off the plant.  Just as soon as you think you’re done, you discover a leaf with a whole new colony on it. Be patient, be thorough.

After I made sure that I had every aphid I could see, I then sprayed the plants with a fierce-spraying water bottle.  Holding the leaves up to make sure I got to the underside where the aphids reside.  I sprayed A LOT to be on the safe side, and since my spinach needed some watering anyways.  Wanted to make sure I got all the alcohol off since I don’t know how that will affect the spinach leaves, and to make sure I got any tiny aphids I missed with my Q-tip.

04-14-2011 Spinach After Being Sprayed

I have to go out of town this weekend unfortunately.  You need to be vigilant with a pest infestation.  Hopefully I don’t come home to a bigger problem – aphids with a vengeance.  Hopefully, they won’t come back and I will be able to fertilize my spinach.

As a final thought, being the scientist I am, maybe I should give each of the spinach plants a different treatment to see which is most effective.  But only one spinach is really infested, so it would be hard.  I’m not going to purposely infest my other ones.  And when it comes down to it, I really just want to eat.  I don’t want to risk losing a plant.  This is my first year trying to grow spinach, no need to go experimenting now.  Got to learn how to just get it to grow and produce first.

[Update] This approach essentially took care of the problem.  I continued to check for aphids and heavily sprayed the plants with the water bottle until I was ready to harvest.

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About demintedmint

Just a gal from the mountains of North Carolina. I love to travel and explore nature. So far, I have been to several areas of the US (mainly East Coast and Southwest), Ireland, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. My passions are anything to do with the environment and art/photography/DIY hobbies. As of December 2010, I have a B.S. in Environmental Technologies. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but get a job travelling and saving the world. The blog I keep (demintedmint.wordpress.com) reflects my passion for the environment by addressing many pressing issues. Also, lots of other random little things that I care about.
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One Response to Aphid Control for Spinach

  1. Pingback: Bad News Spinach: Aphids! | hugging you GOODBYE

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