Aphids are small insects commonly found on the stems and underside of leaves. Also known as plant lice, these insects are notorious for sucking up the sap of plants, leading to withering and eventually death. They also leave honeydew, a sticky sugary liquid that promotes fungal growth and attracts other insects like ants.
These small but destructive insects reproduce at a high rate and can quickly infest a garden, causing plant death in some instances. Fortunately, aphids are easy to control and manage. Read on to know how to get rid of aphids before they harm your garden.
Naturals Methods to Getting Rid of Aphids
Use these natural methods to keep aphids at bay.
1. Spray with Water
A strong water stream can dislodge aphids making it difficult for them to find their way back to the plants. While this is an inexpensive method, it may not be very effective because these small insects are virtually everywhere.
2. Spray Soapy Water
Mixing soap with water can also work to control aphids. You can also add cayenne pepper and spray for 2 to 3 days in a period of 2 weeks.
3. Homemade Organic Sprays
You can create a homemade organic spray using garlic and tomato leaf. While this spray can help get rid of aphids, you should use it with caution as it can eliminate beneficial insects.
4. Horticultural oils and Insecticidal Soaps
These are also natural methods that work provided the oils are directly applied to the aphids. These oils and soaps can help disrupt their membranes. Neem oil is another potent treatment that works upon contact with insects.
Ladybugs are beneficial insects that eat and kill aphids and other insects like mites, leaf hoppers, and mealy bugs. The predators are mostly found on plants such as wild carrots, carrots, parsley, fennel, dill, and more.
They are also drawn to flowers like tansy and dandelions. Other useful bugs include brown and green lacewings, amphibolites, and aphid parasites & predators.
6. Plant the Right Crops
There are plants that can attract beneficial insects to help control the population of aphids in your garden. Some of these plants include mint, dill, clover, yarrow, and fennel. while others can repel aphids.
Furthermore, planting plants that repel aphids will keep them away from your garden. Natural aphid repellants include strong-smelling alliums like onion, leeks, garlic, and green onions and herbs like sage, oregano, basil, and chives.
Still, you can plant aphid favorites that trap aphids. Plants such as cosmos, dahlias, zinnias, nasturtium, mustard, and asters will lure aphids, keeping them from plants you want to protect.
7. Monitor Your Plants
Check your plants regularly for signs of aphid infestation. This is especially true in late spring when these insects are more active. If the infestation is not heavy, apply light pressure to crush their soft bodies with your fingers.