by germinatrix | December 29th, 2009
It started with the molecular antennae sent up by one of my Kalanchoe beharensis…
Not bad, wouldn’t you say, ESP?
I imagined that the Kalanchoe might be signaling another planet with that bizarre contraption, but little did I know that I was actually fairly close to the truth of the matter!
Yesterday, these small, round, orange aliens began colonizing the spike. They are multiplying rapidly.
These little monsters are clearly bent on world domination.
Thank GOODNESS they’re only aphids! We know how to handle these – a strong jet of water is all I ever use to control aphids – I don’t use pepper sprays or insecticidal soap because a blast of water every morning controls them within a few days. I don’t need to obliterate them completely – that isn’t my style. What would my ladybugs eat if I got rid of all of my aphids? If we want our beneficial insects to work for us and with us, we can’t eliminate every beastie. The Good Guys would have no jobs to do! Gardeners who use Integrated Pest Management have to tolerate and even welcome the Bad Boys and their works – it’s all about balance.
I haven’t been able to blast away at these little creatures. I love the color! Yes they are Garden Baddies, but they are CUTE! They are like little cartoon bugs. I just wish they weren’t excreting sticky honeydew all over the fuzzy kalanchoe leaves, because the goo attracts ants, plus dust and dirt sticks to the gunk and it’s a big mess. So I WILL be terminating (as opposed to Germinating) them soon. But doesn’t it look like an Artisan from the East is encrusting the tender stems with little amber chips, as if to make a jewel-encrusted necklace? Wouldn’t that be SOOOO cool?
There is beauty in bugs. Even in aphids. I have heard tales of an elusive aphid that lives on certain species of Podocarpus that is a lovely lavender-violet. I have been looking for these aphids for years and have never seen one. When I do, I’ll take plenty of pictures – and maybe I will find an Artisan from the East to create an Amber and Amethyst necklace inspired by these icky little beauties!