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In early spring, there were a lot of discussions in the garden media over whether the harsh winter would have reduced numbers of garden pests.
The slugs and snails were slow to appear after the cold, dry April. But most other critters, good and bad, seem to be around in remarkably similar numbers. In my garden it’s business as usual: lily beetles have been feasting on my lilies, while scale insects appear to have increased in number.
But where are the aphids? We’re now into mid-July and I’m in no doubt that greenfly, blackfly and just about every other colour of aphid do not seem to be around in their usual quantity. There have been a few on the okra plants I’ve raised from seed and the odd one on the roses, but that’s about it. I’ve also noticed fewer ladybirds in my garden this year. I expect they’re missing the aphids, too.
Perhaps the birds are obligingly collecting the aphids up for their young, or they’ve all been parasitised by some wonder wasp. Who knows, maybe it was the hard winter after all?
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