So you open your growing area and are deluged with tiny winged demons (and you’re sure the government has sent them). The first thing you need to do is close the opening and run for the insecticide. Start spraying at the furthest point from the opening and work your way out. An hour later, the majority of the critters will be dead, but not all. To get all of them, you have to do some digging, scraping, and wiping.
Digging, you ask? Well, critters such as aphids like to burrow into any tiny crevasse that happens by, and this includes the uneven and porous surface of your growing medium. You’ll have to take off at least an inch from the top of the growing container, and seal it up in a plastic garbage bag. Don’t replace the growing medium yet. The next step is to scrape any smooth surfaces to remove the eggs and droppings your critters have left behind. You then get yourself a rough rag and some insecticidal soap. Scrub everything, and I do mean scrub. Aphid eggs are tough and will probably be stuck to everything. After that is done, back out of the growing area, spraying the insecticide again. An hour later, come back and replace the top layer of growing medium. Make sure you’ve moistened the medium before you lay it on with pure PH balanced water, no nutrient.
All it takes is one aphid to start an infestation, and aphids breed in terms of hundreds of offspring or even thousands. Once started it is only going to get worse, so jump on it. If you see one little winged critter in your growing area, get the insecticide. Now a lot of people will poo-poo you on using insecticides, but the fact remains that you have to use them sometimes. You simply don’t have a choice because one aphid can mean the death of your entire crop in a matter of days. The chemicals in off the shelf department store insecticides such as RAID have been cleared for human use, so you’re not dealing with a life threatening entity here. And it doesn’t take a lot, a spray of a second or two will do the trick. If you’ve ever gardened, you probably haven’t even thought twice about spraying away the critters on your tomato plants, right? Most growers use a leaching process at the end of the growing cycle anyway. This leaching process gets rid of any chemical that is foreign to the plant’s biology. Spray away.