Q. "Honeysuckle attack! This happened last year, and this year I thought my honeysuckle was looking healthy until I noticed the leaves curling and the young flower buds are covered in what I presume are aphids. There are so many that I haven’t tried picking them off by hand and I did start to cut off the affected parts but realised that I may as well cut the whole thing down. Do you think an army load of ladybirds mights be able to tackle this, or do you have any other advice? Many thanks." Stella Williams
A. Thanks for the message and Ladybird Larvae are the answer, but I would spray 1st with a natural spray to give them a hand. Our natural spray SB Invigorator is very effective and being chemical free you can release ladybirds as soon as it has dried. So I would :-
- Spray 1st with SB Invigorator. This will kill as many of the aphids 1st without harming beneficial insects. Aphids are fast breeders so if you don't cut their numbers back 1st they will breed faster than the ladybirds can eat them.
- Release Ladybird Larvae – the larvae will be better than adults as they cannot fly and will stay in the honeysuckle. Ladybird Larvae can eat 5000 aphids each before pupating and then breeding to produce the next generation of larvae to continue the fight against the aphids. BOTH the larvae and the adult ladybirds eat aphids.