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Aphid Control

This is the foliar spray from Mike at Hydro Gardens suggested for aphid control.  I had massive numbers of aphids infecting the cucumbers.

  • 15% Rubbing Alchol
  • 85% Water
  • 1 Tbsp Dish Detergent per gallon or 1 tsp per quart (about)
  • Spray on aphids during morning / evening – not during hot part of day to prevent leaves from absorbing blend


As a backup plan I was using Spinosad.  On review I was mixing 1 teaspoon per quart instead of 1 Tablespoon per quart.  This resulted in insufficient concentration for aphid control.  My strategy is to use the recipe above to reduce the population quickly.

After (hopefully) the population comes to a reasonable level, I’ll setup a fogger tent using the spinosad (correct concentration), to fully treat the infestation.  I chose the alcohol spray because it works immediately, and reducing the population was critical.  Spinosad takes 24-48 hours, and a couple of days delay would have give the already many aphids more breeding time, which would have been very destructive — especially if the tent didn’t work.

Well… The tent didn’t work.  I created a canopy and a fogger.  I tried it on the zucchini to combat the powdery mildew.    Basically the fogger/fan combo wouldn’t produce enough mist to cover the leaves.  Don’t want to spend the money to get a bigger fogger.  argh

Ordered a 1 gallon sprayer.  Hopefully it will make it faster to spray the affected plants with aphid spray.  Since the cukes also have powdery mildew, I’ll add some silver to that mix too.

Available Aphid Controls:

  • Ladybugs – worked for peppers, but they are flying and have abandoned the cucumbers.
  • Diatomaceous Earth – good but will kill the ladybugs because it will soil them and damage their digestive system.
  • Spinosad – probably the best current choice.  Tedious to apply with hand sprayer
  • Alcohol Detergent Mix – Killed many but leaves are stressed by residue.


  1. Update. Many of the aphids, after the homemade spray are gone. They died within hours. 24 hours later, fruit development has restarted. Leaves are recovering.
    Still have aphid problem and will use a spinosad fogger for a second pass when I get an hour or so.

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