Pests in an ideal environment like the greenhouse can get out of hand really quickly. Fortunately, while I was distracted in the garden, ladybugs were on scene to help clear up the problem. There have been ladybugs hybernating in the greenhouse all winter. With the arrival of warm temperatures, the male and female ladybugs did their thing, and now the infested plants in the greenhouse are covered with larvae ... voracious little things that eat, and eat, and eat ... and they love aphids.
Though they look spiny and scary, these little orange and black alligator-looking bugs are DEFINITELY the good guys. The rose shoot in the photo above was particularly full of aphids, and these two little larvae babies were busily eating their fill. (all of the white things you see are aphids they've already eaten)
I have spent the past two days in the greenhouse ... potting up the few roses that will be available in the nursery in May, and tidying up my own roses that are wintering over in there. It was hard to keep my concentration at times, because I was so fascinated by the ladybug circle of life that was happening in that one corner.
In addition to the hoardes of larvae, I also found two pupae ... each stuck to the middle of a leaf, just like I have read that they do.
I didn't find any eggs. Truthfully, I didn't take the time to look all that closely. I was trying valiantly to stay on task ... to tidy up as many of the potted roses as possible.
It's weird that there is hardly an aphid to be found on any of the other roses except these few. I'm not complaining, because these larger roses are better able to handle any damage caused by such a concentration of nasty sucking insects.
If the aphids are still a problem when I'm finished grooming the rest of the roses in the greenhouse, I will probably have to do something about them ... capturing the ladybug larvae, washing the plants with a hose, and returning the larvae to finish off the remaining aphids. In the meantime, I'm putting my money on the ladybugs.