Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Aphids Vacuum Cleaner

Last week, I gave a talk for the "3rd Australia Sex Summit" conference at Yarra Valley, Victoria. The title is a bit misleading. To avoid misunderstanding what the conference objective and purpose was really about. Let me clarify, this is purely scientific academic purposes. It is mainly on the evolutionary, biology, genetic about sex chromosomes,  sex determination and sex differentiation for gonadal development, or disease that is associated with it. I was really nervous. The first few slides when I was explaining it, I think it was obvious that I was shaking. I found it a bit intimidating at first since I have to talk in front of expertise in this field. It was exciting to meet them as well since for years I have been reading about their findings and papers.
Earlier this month, I noticed that our dill and some other plants were badly infested with aphids. I got very annoyed as those aphids have been mainly aiming on the parts that are developing seeds. Spraying with chilli water did not have any effect at all. Before I left for the conference, I noticed that they were some ladybirds on the plant. Those ladybirds were doing a great job of eliminating those pest. I think it was really a grand banquet that those ladybirds enjoyed.  Relying on those ladybirds will save money and friendly to the environment and us.
Close inspection shows that the nearest part of ladybirds has reduced number of aphids compared to other place. After I returned, the number of aphids on the dill plants were significantly reduce. They did a wonderful job. I think in just a few days only 25% original numbers of aphids remained now.
I hope this is a fruitful union with many offspring!
Bees are getting a bit drunk these days in the garden.
This is the first time I have seen a blue sky banded bee in our garden. It was really difficult to get a good shot of this bees as it does not stop that long. I hope you can see how blue those bands are. 

29 comments:

Sunray Gardens said...

Thankfully you had the Ladybugs come in and take over.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Sean L said...

You got Mother Nature's aphid buster! Good for you. I usually get aphids and no ladybugs :-(
Sex summit, now that event title must have been a head turner.

DANI said...

The Ladybugs are doing a great job ! And the children love them ...

hearts_in_asia said...

I thought from your title you meant you had really vacuumed the aphids from your plants! Now, I wonder if that would work? A dust-buster maybe? Hmmm...

hearts_in_asia said...

PS Last year I had almost no ladybugs in my garden, but this year I have loads which is really nice.

takaeko said...

I also suffered many aphids on my vegetables, especially on my Chinese cabbages.
I wished lady bug had come to my garden!
In my case, Spraying solution of water, salad oil and dish detergent against aphids was effective but not enough to ward them off perfectly.

tina said...

What good shots of the ladybugs and aphids. Really beautiful!

Mr. H. said...

Congratulations on a successful presentation at the conference.:)

Over the past few years ladybirds have really helped with aphid issues in our garden...looks like they will do the same in yours and create a natural balance over time.

rainfield61 said...

Your last picture shows a similar bee that I have had earlier.

Have you talked about the bees, the ladybirds in the sex summit?

Mark Willis said...

Being a professional Lecturer myself, I understand how you must have felt when delivering your presentation. I trust that it was well received? Next time you do something like that it will be much easier. Maybe you should give some talks about gardening and veg-growing? I feel sure they would be popular.

homeschoolceo said...

Wow, awesome photos!

Why I garden... said...

Aphids are horrible little creatures. Glad the ladybugs helped out.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

It is always tough to face a distinguished crowd..., but some we will get better each time.

Stephanie said...

They did a good job for you. With the rainy weather that we experience of late, I wish I have lots of ladybirds in my garden now. Then I don't have to check on my plants so frequently.

Liz said...

I need more ladybirds - aphids are attacking my tamarilllo - whereever I find one in the garden I move it onto the tamarillo but then I never see them again. That is fantastic work they are doing on your dill.

Malar said...

Thanks to the lady bird! Please sent some to my garden! hahhaa

apa saja yang boleh dikongsi... said...

nice pics... :)

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

Birds also do a great job of clearing aphids especially at nesting time!

Autumn Belle said...

If only they sell ladybirds at the market or nurseries, it will be great news for my garden plants. During this rainy season, aphids are causing havoc to my beloved hibiscus and torenia plants. Yes, I saw your blue banded bee!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Beautiful pictures!

cikmanggis said...

tahniah sebab dapat bercakap di khalayak ramai walau pun menggigil hehe...wah ada vacuum semula jadi:)selama ini cm tak tahu tugas lady bugs kat kebun tu.

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

I'm loving the ladybirds at our house too - they have totally cleared a massive aphid infestation on our maple tree.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cher~Those ladybugs were ;ife-saver.

Sean L~ Small but a force to be reckon with...hehehe...I found that ladybugs seems not like the place which I had sprayed chilli on. It was kind of hard to reply when people ask which conference you are going too with title like that.

Dani~Ladybugs make gardening more interesting for children I guess.

Hearts_in_asia~It will be great if there is a mechanical invention to vacuum aphids from infected plant.Your garden must have a lot of lovely things that win the admiration of ladybugs. At the moment ladybugs are liking our flowering dill plant the most.

Takaeko~It is probably too cold for ladybug to be around in your garden at the moment. Since you are appoaching winter. Hope you have big Chinese cabbages.

Tina~Thanks. I was happy when I found that ladybugs were eating those aphids.

Mr. H~ Thank you. I am planning to grow some flowers again to attract predators near our vegetable patch. Everything must be balance I think.

Rainfield61~ Hahaha...no insects presentation these time but they were a few marine organisms talk other than mammals or chicken. Yup that bee look similar with the one in your photos.

Mark~I think my supervisor was happy with the audience responses. I really enjoyed it and now thinking whether I can present another oral presentation at another conference if I have the chance. It will be fun to give a talk on gardening but I am an expert in that area still a novice.

homeschoolceo~ I was worried whether that picture with aphids were too gross.

Kelli~Tiny pests but do great damage in just a few days. Lucky that ladybug came like a knight in a shining armor.

Bangchik and Kakdah~Hope with more exposure and experience, I will get more used to it. The worrying part is always the question time as whether I will able to give a good reply or not.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Stephanie~After the rain your plants must feel very refreshed. Our plants are always thirsty as Adelaide is the driest city in Australia.Hope aphids will take a break from your garden.

Liz~ I tried moving those ladybirds in other plant but it seems more fond on the dill and fennel flower rather than at other plants at the moment. I guess they have their favourite plants too.

Malar~I imagine there will be many ladybirds visiting your garden too.

Apa saja yang boleh dikongsi~terima kasih.

Sue~We seems to be adopting a family of bird at the moment. But I guess we pampered them too much with left over foods. I observed birds that visited is help with caterpillars sometime.

Autumn Belle~I think in America you can get ladybird delivered to your home. You can also adopt bees as well I heard. I hope aphids will spare your plant.

Sonia~ Thank you. I kind of salivating looking at your lime muffin recently.

Cikmanggis~Dulu masa kecik-kecik perasan banyak ladybugs kat pokok cili mama.

Kirsty~Wow those ladybirds did a great job on your maple tree!

catmint said...

I do sometimes think about buying some ladybirds - i very rarely find them in the garden. when I do they are yellow not red.

Oh, Vanille! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lena said...

if you dont mind me asking, what do you do as a profession? I think my legs will be shaking like crazy too if i'm up there giving a presentation to a whole group of expertise. I'm not sure if i hv read in your blog earlier or someone else's blog , they talked abt the same thing too of the ladybirds and pests. Good for me to know that.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Catmint~I found many kinds of ladybirds in our garden. I am curious whether it is possible to buy ladybirds here in Australia.

Lena~Oh I am a struggling PhD student trying to finish up her thesis. Thats why I got so nervous in front of audience like that.

lena said...

good for you! that's gives me an idea now why you were also talking about writing your thesis..