The aphid invasion was met with a water spray blitzkrieg followed by a swift ladybug assault, Phase I and Phase II.
Phase I used multiple landings on each artichoke plant with negligible impact. Although I hope aphid morale was hit hard, damage to enemy camp was minimal.
Phase II rolled out two nights later and focused on one location...the artichoke masthead with the greatest aphid occupation. I gracelessly dumped the entire container of ladybug troops late night on one plant in hopes of retiring early, but the lack of over planning worked. The next morning the artichoke was blanketed with ladybirds sucking down aphids. What an awesome site...Aphid Guernica.
But the troops proved unreliable and fled later in the day. Despite their capriciousness, I may launch another late night lady bug drop to follow up to Phase I and II.