06 August 2010

Mealy Cabbage Aphids on my Brussels Sprouts!

Last year it was caterpillars, this year it's aphids. Something always seems to want to eat my brassicas!

These were found on the tips of the sprouts last week and weren't immediately obvious.  We first noticed yellow patches on the young leaves that were starting to wrinkle.  On closer examination (hidden inside the new leaf) we found this colony of Mealy Cabbage Aphid.

A heavy attack can kill the tips of the shoots which may encourage new side shoots.  The aphids also like the taste of radish and swede so keep an eye on those veggies too.

As they are a sap eating insect (and can therefore spread virus') control is encouraged.  An insecticidal soap spray can be used (see blog on home made recipes).

We suffered a similar problem last October on the kale.

This year I've removed the infected leaves as I'm attempting to garden without the use of any sprays, including home made soap or garlic.

Although the broad beans were heavily infected with black bean aphid, it was interesting to observe how many predatory insects were on the plants too - particularly ladybirds and what I'm fairly certain were soldier beetles, offering some form of control. 


  1. Einstein was a pacifist but still knew when it was time to go to war. You've got to spray; if you don't take care of pests they will take care of your garden. Don't be an idealist. You'll get nowhere.

  2. Thanks for your comment Anonymous, but I have to disagree. We didn't use any sprays this year (I've used garlic in the past) and could see a noticable increase in beneficial insects -in particular ladybirds and hoverflies (and their larvae). Spraying kills everything - not just the 'baddies'. Next year I'm tempted to try out more biological controls though, especially Steinernema Carpocapsae for caterpillars.


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