Little static critters
Hello dear bugman.
I noticed these little things on the underside of my pompom viburnam tree’s leaves. What are they?? I have a postage-stamp sized garden in downtown Boston , a few trees and perennials and usually bugs are not a problem; we get bees mostly. Some ants. Although we have had slugs. We don’t even get mosqiotos! SO I didn’t think I had a real pest, but then I noticed them on the underside of my dead cosmos as well. No other plants seem affected. I think they are pests indeed. Humph! Any idea? They don’t move much, usually are lumped up together in clusters, they are slightly varied sizes, seem teardrop shaped, and they have a matte charcoal finish to them. Oh and as you can see, tiny red ants like to crawl all over them. I can’t get close enough to count the legs, they are sooo small! I would love a super, natural solution that works in a tiny backyard (lots of folks close around this garden, so I don’t want to be spraying bad things in the air) Any ideas on my mystery guests?
J Thank you so much! (love the site)

Dear J.,
You have Ant Cows, a common name for Aphids. Aphids are pests which suck the juices from plants and spread viruses, though not to people. Ants “farm” the aphids because of the sticky Honeydew they exude from their anuses. A mild spray of soapy water on a daily basis will help rid your postage stamp garden from this vile pestilence.

Wow, that is a little gross! Off I go to suds up then… Thanks Bugman!!

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