I want to begin a compost pile starting with some corn stocks but noticed
they are spotted with live black aphids. Would the compost wind up being
contaminated with these critters or their eggs next season?
From the link you cited later in the thread:
"As corn begins to senesce later in the season, winged aphids are
produced and migrate to other suitable hosts."
Aphids have complex life cycles that alternate between asexual
(parthenogenetic) reproduction and sexual reproduction. The
sexual reproductive phase can be on an entirely different host
plant than used during the asexual phase.
The aphids on your corn right now are in the asexual phase--they
don't lay eggs. That's for the winged generation, and the article on
corn aphids suggests that they may do that somewhere else.
Should be perfectly safe to compost those stalks. If you were able
to compost then in a hot pile, you could feel even more certain.
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
I think it is not a good place to live in the compost.
Besides it depends from when you are going to use that compost.
During the developing of the compost the temperature rise, cause of the
fermentation and perhaps you could have some hard-boiled eggs :-)
Besides when perhaps the little nymphes get out they will find a not
good environment for their life and you know the most of the aphids live
on a a leaf, or the stem of a plant. What could they do in the humid
compost? ...probably they will die because the humidity promotes fungi
infections on their bodies.
I hope this will help,
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