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Fava Bean pest, may be aphids?

Novato, CA

I found what I think may be aphids on several of my fava bean plants yesterday. There are a LOT of them, but so far only on the very tops of the plants and only on about 1/3 of them. Anything I can do to save them? Get some ladybugs?

Thumbnail by cbnovice Thumbnail by cbnovice
Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Lady beetles will do the job for you if they find the plants. If there are no Lady beetles, you might try hosing them off with the garden hose first, spraying with a combo of liquid dish soap and water, if the hosing doesn't work. I'm not sure they are aphids though so maybe we'll get more info from other members.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

No to worry. I also did have some of those blacks bugs.
I just sprayed with the hose first and after with soap and water just like witrsna suggested.
My solution is to plant a lot of Fava Beans to sacrifice a few of the plants ...
Good luck !

Novato, CA

Thank you both for your responses. I tried the hose yesterday with little effect. So today I tried the soap and water. Thank you so much for your input!!

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

I suggest you post this picture on the VEGETABLE FORUM. There are a lot of DG members there and they always have a great answer.
Good luck

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

You might also want to post on the Insect Identification forum to see if someone can identify for sure what your bugs are. This might lead you to some information about how to get rid of them. Good luck!

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Did the soap and water work?

Ladybugs are an over rated purchase at best, and worthless in most cases.

You would have needed to get the ladybug population up and running well ahead of the aphid explosion, so that the ladybugs would have started taking care of the first few aphids that showed up.

Look into a way to get the ladybugs to live in your garden year round (they do- I live less than 50 miles from you).
When the first aphids show up on my plants I already see ladybug larvae working their way through them. By not spraying (except one part of one tree that overhangs the driveway) I am encouraging a healthy population of aphid predators and parasites so the aphid population does not get out of hand.

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Gee, i don't know Diana about the lady beetles. Some months ago i had a large Aristolochia that was covered with aphids and i didn't want to even use soapy water because caterpillars were eating on the vine...then i noticed some lady beetle larva and subsequently some lady beetles and between the larva and adult beetles, they cleaned up that vine within a month so that i could not find one little aphid. It was truly miraculous. I once read that an adult lady beetle will eat 4000 aphids in a lifetime. Multiply that by lots of lady beetles and the results are kind of extraordinary. It has been my experience that the lady beetles will converge where the food source is and when that food source is taken care of, they move on to a new food source. Of course the ladyb's need a friendly and welcoming environment free of insectides and such. Maybe i have just been lucky? But i've never experienced the ladybs to be in any way worthless.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

These are lady bugs babies ... just in case you kill them thinking they are bad ones !

Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor Thumbnail by drthor
Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Those are super photos of the babes drthor...but of course, there are many ladyb larva that look very different from this. I was amazed to discover how different some larva are after some internet searches which i found truly instructive and i feel more confident now that i am not causing damage to anything that has come to help out in the garden. I discovered that both lady beetles and their larva come in so many various designs and patterns. There was a new (to me) ladyb in the garden this year, very small, gray with two black spots and the cutest little yellow flounce at the rear and adorable little yellow legs. Actually there were quite a few of them and they cleaned up those aphids nicely.

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

Hi cbnovice, i just returned from the insect id forum and found this:

Does it look like this might be what is paying so much attention to your Fava Beans?

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

are you planting the FAVA BEANS at the correct time for your zone?
I am asking because I just remembered that my first year of vegetable garden, when I really didn't know what I was doing ... I did plant some beans in the spring and they were attached by the same kind of insect.
I did plant again the same bean in the fall and I solved the problem.
Just an idea ...

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

When the plant is on the ground at the wrong time it will get stressed and that is when the insect do attach.
Let me know if this could also be a possibility. I love Fava Beans.

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