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In terms of the number of species (about 2200 only in Europe), aphids occupy one of the leading places among all existing insects. Individuals of aphids of different species differ from each other by the color of the body, size, and most importantly, by the plant-provider on which they parasitize. It feeds on aphids on the juice of young shoots and leaves, piercing them with its sharp proboscis located on the front of the head. Such feeding of aphids promotes the release of a large amount of honeydew - a sticky and sweet substance, which, in turn, attracts ants that feed on it. Ants always find aphid colonies on currants, protect and protect them from insects that are not averse to feasting on the pest. Gardeners have to deal not only with aphids, but also with an infestation of ants.
Types of currant aphids
Currants are a favorite berry shrub of many gardeners; in their gardens, they grow different types and varieties of these wonderful and healthy berries. The first place in distribution is occupied by black currants, followed by red and yellow (white). In spring and early summer, when the bushes form young shoots and actively grow the green mass of leaves, they are in danger of an aphid invasion - those who like to settle closer to the young growth.
Aphids on black currant
Name: sprout gooseberry (currant) aphid.
Characteristics: body length is from 2 to 2.5 mm, color is green, after the formation of wings, the head and abdomen become black, in an adult female the cover is yellow-orange, the body of males is black.
Features: female aphids are capable of laying eggs (black, shiny, oblong) 5-10 times per season, the last clutch hibernates on currant branches at the very bases of the buds.
How to deal: manually cut off all the upper growths of the currants, where the bulk of the aphids have settled, spray the bushes with chemical or biological products several times, apply folk remedies against aphids, feed the currants if it needs additional fertilization.
Aphids on red currants
Name: gallic leaf aphid (red currant).
Characteristics: the body of the red-gall aphid reaches a length of no more than 2.5 mm, it is painted in a pale yellow-green color, the surface of the body is covered with sparse hairs, the productivity of one female aphid is more than 200 eggs per season.
Features: colonies of gall aphids live on the back of currant leaves, pierce them and suck out the juices, and the plant tries to heal the puncture sites on its own, as a result, growths in the form of galls form on the leaves - multi-colored (often red-brown) formations, on the surface of the leaf they are similar on spherical bulges.
How to fight: in the first days, the reproduction of aphids on currants is inhibited by breaking off leaves or cutting off the tops of young shoots, where the main female lives with a "family", if she is lucky, she will disappear along with the removed parts of the plant. In the future, chemical and biological preparations and means prepared according to folk recipes are used.
Aphids on golden (white, yellow) currants
White currants, like red ones, are preferred by the same gall aphid, which reproduces only on colored currant species. Its main characteristics and features are described above (see photo and section: aphids on red currants). The control measures are also identical.
Each gardener with experience has his own favorite and time-tested method of dealing with aphids on different types of currants, they pay a lot of attention in this fight to the prevention and protection of the plant, they do everything so that the aphids do not settle on their currants, bypass, or, more precisely, fly around by her side. We completely agree with experienced people, and we will start with preventive measures, we will advise novice amateurs how best to protect currant bushes even before the threat of aphid infestation.
Prevention and protection
Many gardeners know what prevention is in crop production, therefore it is used everywhere and constantly in practice. For beginners, it is worth explaining that all measures aimed at protecting plants from the occurrence of a particular disease, as well as from the invasion of harmful garden insects, are called preventive measures that should not be neglected when caring for plants in gardens and gardens.
The first step of protecting currants from aphids: in early spring, all trees and shrubs in the garden, including currants, are treated with fungicides - chemical or biological preparations that can protect plants from fungal, viral, bacterial diseases, destroy pests, that is, protect currant bushes not only from aphids, but also other dangerous arthropods. The same means disinfect the soil. The eggs of many insect pests hibernate in the ground or on the plants themselves, by processing, you will destroy more of them.
The second step of protecting currants from aphids: in the spring, repellent plants are planted near the currants, which scare away aphids from fruit bushes. Such plants that protect currant bushes include:
- onion garlic;
- spicy herbs (parsley, basil, mint, coriander);
- other plants with a pungent smell (tansy, marigolds, tomatoes).
Planting repellent plants not only protects currant bushes from pests, but also benefits as excellent culinary seasonings, and if they are flowers, then they perfectly complement the nooks of the garden with their color, in the center of which healthy currant bushes with beautiful bright berries grow.
The third step of protecting currants from aphids: before planting repellent plants, the currants need to be fed, because after a long winter, the reserves of nutrients in the soil are depleted, and the weakened shrub will not be able to resist the attack of aphids. At this time, that is, in early spring, the main part of all the fertilizers required by the plant for the summer period is applied: manure, compost are spread under the roots of the plant and dry mineral fertilizers are poured, the soil is dug up and loosened. Before flowering, foliar feeding of currants is carried out by spraying foliage and shoots with nutrient solutions. We will tell you about what these solutions are a little later.
Treatment with drugs
Preventive measures are effective and efficient, but our currants are not immune from accidents, especially if there are negligent neighbors near your site who have not processed their plantings of currant bushes in time. Suppose that gusts of wind or ants brought aphids into your garden from a neighboring plot, and a hateful aphid appeared on the young growth of berry bushes. Hoping that you have protected the currants in the spring, you may not immediately notice that aphids are eating them, and this is not the first day. It is still possible to save currants, but now one cannot do without the use of chemical or biological preparations, as well as without household household products or infusions and decoctions prepared according to folk recipes.
- Chemicals: Karbofos, Aktara, Kinmiks, Tanrek.
- Biological products: Fitoverm, Bitoxycillin, Iskra-BIO. Biotlin, Anti-ant (from ants).
- Household products: ammonia, tar or household soap, soda, kerosene.
- Decoctions and infusions: from celandine, onions, wood ash, tobacco, potatoes (see recipes below).
Attention! Before processing currant bushes, prepare all products according to the instructions on the package, do not exceed the concentration of pesticides, protect yourself from contact with bare skin, wear hats, glasses, gloves and a respirator.
Spraying currants should be carried out in the following way:
- time - evening hours;
- the weather is calm, calm;
- spraying - spray solutions from a sprayer on both sides of the leaves;
- the number of currant treatments - regularly, every 10-12 days, until all aphid colonies disappear.
Of all types of currants, it will be easiest to get rid of aphids on black currants, it is more resistant to the attack of aphids, after 2-3 sprays, the aphids completely disappear from its leaves.
Resuscitation (scalding with boiling water)
Many gardeners have mastered the original method of saving currant bushes. In early spring, when the snow has not yet completely melted in the areas, they conduct shock resuscitation of dying currant bushes, pour boiling water or hot water over the bushes with a temperature of at least + 70 ° C. Such processing of plants, as noted by experienced gardeners, allows you to save currants not only from aphids and many other harmful insects. All pathogens of viral and bacterial diseases die under the influence of high temperatures.
It is necessary to pour over the currants in the morning or daytime on a sunny day, so that the bushes dry out in the sun after such a shower and do not become icy. A hot shower does not guarantee one hundred percent cure of an overly affected currant bush, but in 90% of cases the plant returns to full life and in the coming season gives a decent harvest of berries.
For those gardeners who are not ready to use pesticides on their plots, we have prepared several recipes for preparing safe and harmless to humans and the environment:
- onion infusion: pour 250-300 g of chopped onions into a bucket of water (you can take unpeeled onions), cover with a lid, stand for 1-2 days, strain, spray 2-3 times;
- ash broth: boil a bucket of water with 500 g of wood ash, after 2 hours add 50 g of laundry or tar soap, mix and strain through cheesecloth so that small particles do not clog the sprayer mesh, process the currants 2-3 times;
- infusion of tobacco leaves: pour 300-400 g of tobacco leaves with boiling water (5 liters), close the container tightly with a lid, insist until it cools completely, filter, spray currant bushes 2-3 times per season.
- infusion of celandine: chop fresh branches of celandine into pieces up to 5 cm, fill the bucket half with them, pour boiling water or hot water (+ 70 ° C), cool, spray the currants several times at intervals of 7 days.
The use of folk remedies does not threaten the environment, so they can be used in any growing season of the plant, you can alternate different decoctions and infusions so that the aphid cannot adapt (get used) to one of them, then the fight against aphids can become more effective. A lively and cheerful berry lover tells in a video about her method of treating a plant against aphids, look and smile.
Advice! Immediately before spraying the currants, we advise you to add a few drops of ammonia, tincture of calendula, kerosene or vodka to the solution so that the currant bushes "start up" and the hated aphids suffocate from the pungent odors of these substances.
Attracting beneficial insects and birds to the garden
Aphids, sucking juices from plants, supply themselves with many nutrients, in addition, they give off sweet-tasting honeydew, which attracts predator insects: ladybirds and their larvae, lacewings and sand wasps. When meeting with aphids, they are not averse to feasting on it: crickets, ground beetles, earwigs, spiders, hoverflies. Devouring the noxious aphids on currants, they save the plant.
Rescuers need to be lured with something, so you need to know their habits: earwigs like to hide in wood shavings, which means you need to put a container (box, bucket, pot) with such a shelter next to the currant, the hoverfly is attracted by the pungent smell of dill, plant a few bushes near the currant and everyone will be happy.
Many species of birds also destroy aphids by feeding on them and feeding their chicks, in order to attract birds to your garden, arrange feeders, drinkers, birdhouses. The main species of birds that eat aphids are starlings, titmice, warblers, sparrows and all forest birds. For them, aphids are an excellent supplier of glucose and other carbohydrates. One bird is able to rid the garden of many individuals of harmful insects per day, including up to 200-300 females and males of aphids.
Fighting with aphid colonies, you also clear the gardens of ants, aphids will disappear from your plots, followed by ants.
Taking care of the garden and garden for most amateur gardeners is not forced labor, for them it is a manifestation of their feelings for everything around them, because a person who loves plants cannot but love their relatives and friends, not take care of them the same way as about green pets in the garden. It costs a lot. Native people, Fatherland, Nature - there is nothing dearer than this, love them and take care of them all your life.
For a complete overview of ways to combat aphids on currants, we have posted useful videos in a way that it is impossible to tell about everything in one article. See, study, apply. Good luck.