|My first little lemon forming|
|My oranges look a lot like little pumpkins|
My friends, those are aphids. 3 of them. The ant is actually protecting them, hearding them like a cowboy. You see, the ant likes the honeydew they produce. He will gather it and bring it back to his colony. He will also carry aphids to other plants to start new problem colonies.
Today I went back out to see assess the situation.
|Same leaf and maybe even the same ant|
I didn't want to use anything too harsh since I have birds and beneficial bugs that may be frequent visitors to my little orchard, let alone the fact that I don't want to eat fruit from my own garden that is covered in pesticides. I went with a water and soap solution. This will wash off the waxy coating on the little destroyers and cause them to dehydrate and die.
Some websites suggest only a couple teaspoons of soap, others a half and half ratio of soap to water. I winged it.
I now have the cleanest oranges and lemons in town.
I sprayed the underside of the leaves where the aphids gather, but a lot of over spray fell on the tops. I will check frequently to see how things are going. Next time, if I need to treat again in a week. I will use soap, vegetable oil, and warm water. This clogs their respiration.