How to get rid of aphids on cucumbers?
Quite often gardeners complain that cucumber beds in the greenhouse occupied aphids. Affected plants stop growing, leaves turn yellow on them, and gradually the cucumbers die. This article will discuss what aphids are and how to get rid of cucumbers from it using folk methods and chemicals, as well as ways to prevent the appearance of this pest on plants.
What is aphid?
The aphid species are numerous, but only two of them can be found on cucumbers:
- Melon aphid (Aphis gossypi) - insects can be dark or light.
- Peach aphids (Myzus persicae) - insects of green or pale yellow color.
Did you know? On a plant infected with aphids, galls (growths) are formed in which the pests hide from the weather. In case of damage to such a growth, aphids have to repair it, for this insects secrete a sticky substance, as a result of which they significantly lose weight and die. Still some of the insects get stuck in a viscous fluid, and with their bodies closes the gap.
Aphids always appear in the composition of numerous colonies, located first on the tops of plants, later spreading through the leaves and stems. When the colony grows sufficiently, winged females appear in it, which with the help of ants are delivered to new plants, after which new colonies are formed.
During one warm season, several generations of aphids appear, each of which numbers hundreds of individuals. Young aphids are similar to adults, but much smaller. These insects are especially dangerous for young plants.
Both species of aphids are very harmful to cucumbers, as they feed on sucking vegetable juices from them. For nutrition, they choose young, juicy shoots, leaves, inflorescences and flower buds. There are also varieties of aphids that feed on the juices of the root system.
Aphids cause weakening of the plant and complete inhibition of growth. Symptoms of damage to aphids of cucumbers: shoots and leaves curl, turn yellow and gradually dry. After the death of the cucumber, the aphid moves to other plants growing nearby.
Honey dew is also a nutrient for the development of fungal spores, which can be seen on the leaflets in the form of black blotches. Also, spores of pathogenic fungi often stick to sticky honey secretion, thus, gray mold spreads on cucumbers, which is a dangerous disease for plants.
Another threat to cucumbers is viral diseases carried by aphids from one plant to another.
Did you know? It is known that ants are breeders and shepherds of aphids, which they specially bring and plant on a plant "pasture", after which they guard, create shelters and regularly collect honey dew secreted by aphids.
How to fight and how to process cucumbers from aphids
As soon as the gardener notices the pest populating the cucumber plantations, it is time to take action. If the population of aphids is not too dense, it is worth starting the fight with folk methods: the use of herbal infusions, decoctions and other effective tricks. If these methods do not help, it's time to use chemicals.
Chemical methods of control
Biological preparations are good for everyone, they do not harm human health and the environment, but they also have one significant flaw - too slow action. Vegetable growers know that sometimes urgent measures are required in the fight against aphids on cucumbers.
List of effective aphid preparations:
- Agricol (Agricolle) - a concentrated drug that destroys aphids. Used on flowers, vegetables and fruits. The drug is used after dilution, for this 30 ml of the concentrate is dissolved in 10 l of water, and then sprayed on the plants.
- Fastak 100 EC - concentrate must be diluted before being used for spraying. The concentration of the drug depends on which plants the insecticide will be used on. The exact ratio is indicated in the instructions for the drug. Fastak 100 EU is recommended for use on cucumbers, as the drug has a short waiting period and quickly acts.
- Sumi Alpha 050 EC - the drug is available in the form of a concentrate, it is diluted with water before use. The insecticide is suitable for pest control on vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants. The processing of cucumber beds is carried out at a temperature below + 20 ° C. The drug is harmful to bees, so it is necessary to limit its use during flowering plants and honey collection.
Important! The waiting period indicated in the annotation for chemical insecticides is the length of time during which vegetables or fruits processed with these drugs cannot be eaten. In no case can the waiting period be shortened, non-observance of the recommended time interval can lead to food poisoning of consumers.
When the aphids have already settled on cucumbers, you can spray herbal preparations around their colonies, which are easy to do with your own hands. Such biological solutions have significant advantages over chemicals, since their effect is absolutely harmless to humans and the environment.
- Ammonia solution: add 3 tbsp. To a bucket of water tablespoons of ammonia and watered this solution with infected plants. A sharp unpleasant odor scares away pests and does not harm cucumbers at all. Water with ammonia serves as nitrogen top dressing on a leaf for cucumber beds. This treatment can be carried out every 10 days.
- Garlic infusion: 200 g of garlic are peeled, passed through a garlic press and mixed with 10 l of water. The solution is thoroughly stirred and left for 24 hours to infuse, after which it is filtered and the resulting liquid is used as an insecticide. If there is no time to infuse the solution for a day, you can make a garlic broth. Take the same ingredients, boil over low heat for 20 minutes, after which the broth can be used as intended. Both garlic infusion and garlic broth are used without dilution with water, both agents can be used against other pests and plant diseases.
- Onion broth: 75 g of onion is chopped, after which it is added to 10 l of water and boiled for 30 minutes. Ready onion broth is used without additional dilution with water, but after straining. It is acceptable to use a decoction during the fruiting of cucumbers. Onion broth is also used against fungal diseases on plants.
- Dandelion infusion: 400 g of leaves are added to 10 l of water and left for 3 hours for infusion. The finished infusion is used without diluting it with water, it can also be used to destroy other insect pests.
- Nettle infusion: 10 kg of water are taken per 1 kg of fresh nettle, collected before flowering, everything is mixed and left for 24 hours, after which it is used without dilution for one day.
- Nettle extract . It is also effective, simultaneously as an insecticide and foliar top dressing, to spray fermented nettle extract (1 kg of plants collected before flowering, pour 10 liters of water and leave for 3 weeks until the solution becomes clear). The solution for better fermentation should be mixed daily. To get rid of the unpleasant smell of rotting plants, you can add to the solution 500 g of dolomite. Fermented nettle extract must be diluted before use. To prepare the working solution, take 0.5 l of extract and dilute in 10 l of water. Nettle nettle extract can be stored for 1-2 months.
Unfortunately, despite good care, it is never possible to completely eliminate the aphid infection of cucumbers in the greenhouse.
Important! It should be remembered that plants of the same species, planted in large groups, create an ideal place for feeding and breeding aphids, and lonely plants scattered across the beds are attacked by pests much less often.
Therefore, experienced plant growers, as a preventive measure, launch other insects, natural enemies of aphids, into the greenhouse:
- Ladybug (Coleoptera Coccinellidae) - The most famous predator for aphids. A gluttonous beneficial insect eats up to 200 adult aphids per day. The gardener can collect a sufficient number of ladybugs in the meadow and settle in a cucumber greenhouse. In addition, ladybug eggs and larvae can be purchased at garden centers. Purchased eggs of ladybirds will fully develop at a greenhouse temperature of at least + 20 ° C.
- Creeper flies (Diptera Syrphidae) are also very effective insects in the fight against aphids. During the larval stage, one fly eats about 500 aphids. In addition, female flies are not afraid of low temperatures, their larvae are already active at + 8 ° C.
- Lacewing (Chrysopidae) are natural predators for aphids. To attract the lacewings to the greenhouse, the gardener can purchase special houses in the garden store, or simply fill the clay flower pot with straw or wooden shavings and hang upside down in the greenhouse, next to the cucumbers.
There are many ways to effectively control aphids on cucumbers, but it is better if the gardener takes preventive measures in advance that will not allow pests to affect his plantings at all.
Did you know? Often aphids reproduce by live birth, while most of the newborn insects are already pregnant. In this case, after about 2 weeks a new aphid will be born.
Therefore, the gardener must provide the plants in the greenhouse with optimal conditions for full development. Healthy, vibrant cucumber plants are more resistant to diseases and pests such as aphids.
Optimum conditions for cucumbers in a greenhouse include:
- correct arrangement of rows, row spacing and paths;
- sufficient distance between plants, necessary for normal air circulation;
- good ventilation and lighting;
- planting between cucumbers of single plants of marigold, lavender, dill or other aromatic herbs;
- moderate fertilizer of cucumbers (an excessive amount of nitrogen in the plant tissues and in the soil attracts parasites);
- harvesting last year's residues in which aphids can winter.
Important! To protect the cucumber beds from the attack of aphids, it is worthwhile to surround them with a border of volatile plants that repel insects. Such plants include: onions, garlic, lavender and mint.
Disinfection of the greenhouse is carried out in spring or autumn. Experienced gardeners recommend conducting this procedure in the spring, comprehensively, 2-3 weeks before the alleged planting of cucumber seedlings.
- Harvesting and burning of crop residues from the previous crop.
- Water washing with the addition of disinfectants: greenhouse glasses or polycarbonate, as well as internal surfaces.
- Disinfectant treatment: tools, pegs, cords, plates and other greenhouse equipment.
- When all previous procedures have been completed, soil disinfection is performed. It can be carried out in several ways: by steaming or fumigation. For steaming, the soil in the greenhouse is watered with very hot, almost boiling water, and covered with a film for several hours. The fumigation method involves fumigation of the greenhouse with burning sulfur at the rate of 100 g / m³. Both that and another procedure helps to get rid of pests wintering in the soil (aphids, whiteflies, spider mites) and pathogenic viruses.
- Since ants carry aphids on cucumbers, it is necessary to annually annihilate (with the help of poisonous baits) ant colonies living in greenhouse soil.
Processing cucumber plantings infected with aphids is carried out depending on the degree of damage.
Based on this, choose a processing method:
- Single leaves on which microscopic pests have settled are treated with water. Aphids are washed off the bottom of the leaves and tops of the cucumber with tap water from a hose, under a small pressure, so as not to damage the plant.
- Cucumber rows are treated with herbal tinctures or chemicals with a pump sprayer. This device allows the gardener to process fine cucumber with the whole dust, including the most inaccessible places (the lower part of the leaf plate).