What are these creepy yellow buggies?
July 28, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

What are these creepy little bugs on my flowering plants? They don't appear to be causing much damage, but they're gross and are creeping me out. They steer clear of the herbs and veggies, and only seem to swarm on a couple of flowering plants, mostly on the leaves and stems.
posted by booknerd to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Best answer: They're aphids. Should be harmless, but wait a while and see.

Ants have little aphid ranches and milk them. So if you hate ants you might want to get rid of them.
posted by nasreddin at 10:15 AM on July 28, 2008

yup, looks like aphids to me. certainly not harmless to the plant, but won't hurt you any.
posted by lester at 10:19 AM on July 28, 2008

Response by poster: Awesome, that was fast. I always thought aphids were green, so that didn't cross my mind. Also, I thought they were really common to roses, so it surprised me that they were ignoring my roses in favor of some other things. I'm ant-phobic, so these little buggers will be eradicated immediately.
posted by booknerd at 10:20 AM on July 28, 2008

They definitely look like aphids. They're plant-eaters, so you might not want to keep them around for long...
posted by curagea at 10:20 AM on July 28, 2008

Go get some ladybugs, either online or from the hardware store (I've seen them at Home Depot).

To a ladybug, aphids are a taste treat sensation.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:20 AM on July 28, 2008

Large grasshoppers, katydids, and praying mantises will also eat them into a population-controlled state. I'm not sure how easy it is to introduce them to the environment, though.
posted by Citrus at 10:25 AM on July 28, 2008

Maybe invest in some ladybug houses/feeders.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:01 AM on July 28, 2008

Also, they are edible. But they don't taste very good. Reminiscent of clover petals.
posted by Rinku at 1:01 PM on July 28, 2008

If you do get ladybugs, make sure they are the local sort and not the imported, invasive species.
posted by batmonkey at 1:32 PM on July 28, 2008

As much as ladybugs love aphids, buying them is a waste of money. All of the advice on how to get them to stay in your garden is worthless. As soon as you release them, they're going to fly away.

Make a garlic/soap spray instead.

In a blender, whiz up 5-6 cloves of garlic with a pint of water. Strain it into a spray bottle. Add 3 or 4 drops of liquid dish soap (do NOT use antibacterial soap). Spray onto aphids.

It'll kill the ones it comes in contact with. You might have to spray again in a day or two to get the ones that escaped the first time. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Alternatively, you can buy insecticidal soap, such as Safer Soap.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:36 PM on July 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

They're aphids. You can get rid of them with some lightly soapy water. They don't like that, and it isn't a poison.
posted by lottie at 3:31 PM on July 28, 2008

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