Aphids. ACK!

These little buggers have successfully killed all of my sunflowers (including the fab moulin rouge ones), and are now attacking my purple coneflowers. Aside from putting out a hit on them, any quick fixes to kill them? Anyone know where one would buy ladybugs?
I've tried the diatomaceous powders to no avail, and another "insectigone" spray, which, if anything, seems to have given them a good laugh at my expense.
Thanks!
Lori in Montreal, Canada
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MissGinger wrote:

Are you sure aphids are the actual culprits for the fatalities? While they can seriously impede the growth and development of small seedlings, aphids seldom can be traced to the cause of the demise of an established or fairly mature plant. And one would have to question the reason why at this late stage of the season you have an aphid infestation significant enough to cause a problem. Typically, it is the result of over-fertilizing resulting in excessive succulent growth combined with a lack of natural predators.
Diatomaceous products will have little effect on sucking insects like aphids. Best to try and blast them off with a strong spray of water or low toxicity insecticide like insecticidal soap or Neem oil. Encourage natural predators by avoiding true chemical pesticides and increasing your biodiversity. And back off on the fertilizers - it is time to wind down on those now anyway.
pam - gardengal
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Hi again
A month ago, it was earwigs causing a huge problem on the sunflowers, but they're gone. Aphids were all over the flowers themselves, the only part of the plant sustaining any damage. I tried an insecticidal soap a week ago, and if anything, it seems to have left spots all over the purple coneflower petals.
As for fertilizers, I very rarely use them.
Any idea where to buy ladybugs?
Thanks!
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Strong sprays of water from the hose works wonders.
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