Aphids can be a major problem for many plants, but fortunately there are many ways to get rid of them. These include hand removal and encouraging predators. You can also use a pulverisation of pyrethrum insecticide to limit the aphid population. However, it is important to note that this insecticide will only work on vulnerable plants and will not affect adult plants.
The first step in managing an aphid infestation is to identify the pest. These little creatures live on plants and cause a great deal of damage. Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects with a wide range of colors. The most common color is white, but they can also be black, gray, light green, and even pink. They have a pair of short tubes on the end of their abdomen and are often found in large groups. Some species of aphids can have wings, which can help them move from one plant to another.
Aphids are very common in gardens, but you can manage their population by encouraging beneficial insects to fight them instead. You can do this by cultivating plants that attract these beneficial insects. For example in our blog post “Plants to attract ladybugs“, you learn what plants you can use to attract those little beautiful helpers.
Aphids are preyed upon by several insect predators. Ladybirds, soldier beetles, and lacewings are a few of the many species that feed on aphids. These creatures lay their eggs on the affected plant growth, and can consume hundreds of aphids over a lifetime. Hoverflies and wasps are also effective aphid predators, and can control their populations.
Aphids are attracted to certain flowers and can become infested if you plant these flowers. Besides flowering plants, you can plant certain weeds to attract these predators. Some of the best plant materials to plant to encourage predators to fight aphids are marigolds, sunflower, and calendula.
Get rid of aphids by hand
Aphids are a common pest in houseplants, and they feed on plant sap. The good news is that these bugs are relatively easy to eliminate. You can easily remove them by hand, or spray them with a hose to dislodge them. However, if the problem is particularly severe or the plant is very young, you should avoid using the hose. If you must spray your plant with water, try using a strong jet of water from a hose. This spray should be strong enough to knock the aphids off, but it should not damage the plant’s stem. Another way to remove aphids is by picking them off with your hands and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water.
You can also apply insecticidal soap to the leaves of your plants. This soap will kill the aphids by smothering them, and is safer than conventional pesticides. However, this spray requires several applications and is most effective when used early in the season.
Use soapy water
You can use a spray bottle of liquid dish soap and water to spray on your plants to get rid of aphids. The soapy water will kill the aphids while leaving the other beneficial insects alone. It is best to use pure natural soap for this method. Unlike detergents, natural soap contains more oils that will kill the aphids without harming your plants.
The most effective way to kill aphids is to use a spray of pure liquid soap. It should not contain any degreasers or moisturizers. The soap will dissolve the protective outer layer of the soft-bodied insects. However, it will not harm hard-bodied, beneficial insects such as birds.
Soapy water is most effective for smaller insects like aphids and scales. A small amount of the soap solution applied to plant leaves should be enough to kill the insects. You can also add a little bit of ground garlic and red pepper to repel the insects. If you are worried that the soap might harm your plants, you can test the solution on a single leaf first.
Use neem oil to fight aphids
You may not realize it, but neem oil is a natural pesticide that can effectively kill aphids. The compound azadirachtin contained in neem oil can kill a wide variety of bugs, including aphids. It also acts as a fungicide and miticide to protect plants. You can use neem oil on both indoor and outdoor plants. You can also add it to fertilizers and soil amendments for a more holistic approach to your aphid problem.
Neem oil is often used as a spray, but you can also soak your soil in the oil. It is best to use raw neem oil because it contains higher levels of Azadirachtin. This compound disrupts the feeding habits of aphids, and interferes with their growth and reproductive cycles.
Unlike synthetic pesticides, neem oil does not cause a “death zone” around plants. Instead of affecting beneficial insects, neem oil is effective against leaf-sucking and chewing aphids. You can apply neem oil to your plants as often as necessary, or once a week or twice if your plants are actively attacked by aphids.
Ensure your plants are strong
Aphids are insects that attack your plants by sucking out the sap and nutrients from them. They form clusters and pierce the leaves and stems of the plant.
The best way to get rid of aphids is to make sure they do not even show up because your plants are strong and healthy. Aphids prefer stressed and weak plants, so ensure your plants are strong and healthy.
Plant herbs to repel aphids
You can prevent aphids from attacking your plants by planting herbs that repel them. Peppermint, dill, rosemary, thyme and garlic are all excellent options for repelling aphids.
If you are looking for an effective aphid repellent, consider planting mint in your garden. Its bitter flavor will repel the insects. This plant also attracts hover flies, which can keep harmful pests away. Alliums, such as onions, leeks, and chives, also repel aphids. They all have a powerful smell and deter them from feeding on your plants.