Pea Plant – Small Grey Things on Stems

Q: I’m a new gardener and my pea plant stems are covered with small, dark gray creatures.

A: In May/June each year aphid populations can explode on susceptible plants like peas, onions, and peppers. They weaken plants by sucking the sap from stems and leaves. Look closely and you might also spot ants feeding on the undigested honeydew from aphids.

You might also see orange and black “alligators” (larval ladybugs) feeding on unlucky aphids. Since we don’t want to hurt beneficial insects, the easiest solution for aphids is to blast them off plants with a strong stream of water. They have difficulty crawling back up the plant and hungry ground beetles will have an excellent meal.

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