making a clean cut with our pocket knife, we removed every leaf & blossom within contact of the aphids. i noticed two pumpkins that were beginning to shrivel on the vine. after much research on aphids, i found that aphids can carry viruses that will stunt the growth of various fruits, especially squash & melon. another interesting observation was the pack of ants hovered around the aphids. although at the time we believed the ants were on our side, they actually act as a protector for aphids. aphids & ants have a working partnership... how frustrating! a great way to prevent aphids is actually to rid your garden of ants, too. creating an insecticidal soap or garlic spray will do the job, too.
unfortunately, our pest issues were not over. after our episode with aphids, we soon noticed caterpillar droppings on the leaves of our tomato plants. we took action immediately, checking each leaf & stem of our tomatoes.
we found five caterpillars & squished them relentlessly as they cried, "mercy!"
the moral of the story is, of course, keeping a close eye on your garden as a key to controlling pests. that, & keeping an insecticidal soap close by just in case aphids begin taking refuge under your beautiful pumpkin leaves.
recipe for insecticidal soap
1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap
1 to 2 heads of garlic
1 quart of water
mix & add to a spray bottle clearly labeled.