Home Forums Gardening Questions blackfly on my dahlias

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  dandlyon 4 years, 3 months ago.

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    hi there
    I have away for a week or so and have returned to find blackfly and farmer ants on my dahlias. Has anyone had a good experience with an organic remedy for this? I tried manually taking the blackfly off, but had to dodge the ants, so if anyone’s had a similar experience and can offer some advice I’d be very grateful!
    Thanks a mill :bye:



    Hi Nic. I think if you spray the plants with soapy water, it prevents the aphids from feeding, and won’t harm their natural predators (ladybirds etc) or bees which may visit the flowers when open. You will have to keep repeating this, and it may take some time to work – but it should also discourage the ants by dispersing the sticky aphid secretions they are after.




    Aphids breathe through there skin as do ants, so if you use anything that coats the skin you will suffocate them. I use washing up liquid as its easy and my personal view is as its used on human contactable things ..Ie.washing up and your hands…it isn’t so bad out there in the garden. You could use the Ecover brand, if you are a really ! eco minded person.



    I also try to wipe off as many as I can with my hands, not pleasant but organic and soapy water is good too



    Thanks for the tips! I have just done a blitz of squashing, dodging and weaving the ants! I will try the soapy water trick too… No sign of any predators yet so I’ll also try the soapy water trick as I couldn’t get all the blackflies (especially those teeny tiny ones) and maybe will get some predators along the way which would be good.
    Got some beans nearby so am watching them like a hawk. Good thing about the ants though, if you first miss seeing the tiny blackfly in the nooks and crannies, you might see an ant nearby! You got to marvel at nature :-)



    All the organic bug killers will do the job, the big problem is they only kill on contact [as Simon pointed out aphids breathe through their skins so clog that up and they die]. Because the insecticides only kill the ones they land on its almost a daily task as black fly breed so fast plus ants move them around. On my chrysanthemums the flowers are covered with bloom bags so no bees on them this allows the use of a systemic bug killer, this is a sure way to be rid of black fly but not a route everyone wants to take



    A lot of the systemic insecticides are not suitable for Chrysanths Tony,Check the label ,It usually says on there.When we have a settled spell of weather ,I use diatomous Earth dust to get rid of them.



    Thanks for the tip Al will check this morning. In our local shops there seems to be just one systemic spray Bayers super bug all the others have been withdrawn

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