With such a wide variety of species, one aphid picture may look different from another.
Aphids are insects that live in colonies and usually have no wings, so they are easy to control. However, winged aphids can be a big problem since they spread so rapidly within days.
The aphids multiply rapidly, but they travel slowly from one plant to another. They like green things.
Aphid control is relatively easy for all types of aphids.
If they come into contact with an insecticide chemical like Malathion or floral oils (horticultural oil), or a natural organic aphid spray like Neem oil, they will be killed.
When insecticides are in contact with aphids, they stop or block their breathing pores, killing them.
Aphid eggs hatch rapidly, so you might have to repeat treatments several times in order to kill them. Keep an eye out for airborne eggs, as you may need to reapply your treatment.
For those without access to commercial insecticides, try making a homemade castile soap aphid spray – liquid soap mixed with water, applied as a foliar spray to your plants.
It is important to make sure that the underside of the leaves is thoroughly sprayed as well. Soap works effectively on aphids and is non-toxic to people and the environment.
My favorite natural insecticide is Neem Oil, which I have found highly effective in controlling aphids.
Aphids attract ants that want to consume the sticky, sweet honeydew excreted by the insects. Ants will thus keep aphids as “livestock” in order to maintain a supply of honeydew.
Aphid honeydew that does not attract ants tends to accumulate on plants, causing a black sooty mold, which blocks sunlight.
It further compromises the health and survival of your plants and interferes with photosynthesis.
Is It Possible To Eliminate Aphids?
The only way to completely eradicate aphids is to spread poison over the entire garden. Unfortunately, this is harmful to beneficial insects, natural predators, and you.
Keeping your aphid population under control is preferable to eliminating it all together.
If left unchecked, aphids reproduce quickly, so it’s crucial that you stay on top of this project.
If the infestation is more advanced, in addition to basic soap and water, essential oils, neem extract, insecticidal soaps, or other anti-insect solutions may be used.
Aphid control through natural methods is the preferred method for many homeowners. Here are over a dozen methods to control aphids naturally.
Approximately 4000 species of aphids exist, including 250 types that are very harmful to crops. Aphids are a serious problem for gardeners and farmers alike.
14 Organic Ways Get Rid Of Aphids Naturally
Picking Them Off!
If you see a few aphids on your plants, you can easily remove them by picking them off. If your infestation is minor, this method may be enough.
A good pair of close-fitting gloves is necessary for pinching off aphids and brushing them away if you have quite a few.
Remove Affected Plants
It is better to remove aphids that infest just a few branches or plants, keep the plants quarantined, and kill them with soapy water.
For infested branches, you can soak those branches in soapy water for aphids, which will kill them, or burn the branches in a pile if you have one.
It is crucial to eliminate the food source of aphids, as well as the food source of any other pest. No food – no Eat!
Hose Them Down!
After selecting aphids from mature plants, a storm of water from a garden hose will knock them off. This is an excellent way to manage an aphid invasion in established plants.
The use of water to blast small or young plants is not recommended because it could harm them or kill them.
Spraying Them With A Dish Soap!
By dissolving the waxy coating on aphids’ bodies, dish soaps cause them to become dehydrated and die very quickly.
There’s no need to make a powerful insecticidal soap solution. Simply spray two tablespoons of dish soap in a quart of water directly on the aphids and it will kill them.
It is not recommended to spray this insecticidal soap everywhere as it will also kill good insects along with any natural enemies, including ladybugs, praying mantises, and the like.
Insecticides that are specific to aphid infestations can be applied.
Neem Insecticide Oil
In addition to killing aphids, Neem oil is also antibacterial and insecticidal, making it suitable for adding to soap or replacing dish soap in the same manner.
Neem oil is one of our favorite natural insecticides, but like soaps it isn’t friendly to good garden bugs so use it sparingly.
Essential Oils For Aphids
Essential oils combined with a quart of water make a veritable multipurpose spray that is effective against aphids, spider mites, and mosquitoes. In addition, you can also spray it on yourself to repel insects such as mosquitoes.
Maintaining A Healthy Population Of Beneficial Insects
Try adding beneficial insects to your garden once your aphid population has been reduced.
If your garden lacks natural predators, you can purchase green Lacewings (known as aphid lions) or their eggs to help control aphids.
A single aphid midge larva can consume up to 65 pests per day. Phids midges have powerful mouthparts and paralytic toxins, which reduce pest populations.
Maggots of hoverly larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects, including scale insects and thrips.
During the larval stage, parasitic wasps lay eggs in colonies of aphids. The larvae of the parasitic wasp kill the aphids, which are then dried out and turned into “aphid mummies.”
In addition to planting fragrant herbs throughout your garden, you can naturally attract beneficial predator insects.
Be aware that catnip should not be included in this mix if you have cats or if cats roam your neighborhood.
Repel Aphids With Plants
The flowers of garlic and onion will also attract beneficial garden insects, so you can repel aphids with these plants. As an added bonus, the fragrance of these plants will attract beneficial garden insects.
Keeping The Ants Away!
It has been mentioned that honeydew (sticky substance) makes ants and sooty mold more attracted to it, and the ants tend to protect their aphid herds.
An ant infestation can be detrimental to birds’ ability to eat aphids, so it’s important to prevent them from finding aphids on your plants.
A baited trap can assist in keeping ants away. You can place it on the ground or near plants with infestations.
Honey or sugar water added to the lid of the jar will do the trick.
Create A Habitat For Birds!
Birds are great at keeping insects down, including aphids! A healthy bird population will help keep aphids at bay!
Small birds like titmice, chickadees, and wrens consume most aphids. To draw them, provide bushy hedges and small trees where they can hide. The best plants for your garden include hydrangeas, privet hedges, and boxwoods.
Provide birds with shelled or black seed sunflower seeds to keep them entertained and eat the aphids! Place birdhouses strategically, and you’ll end up with more birds!
Distract The Aphids!
Plant a decoy garden along with the other strategies you are using to attract the insects. A garden of asters, the cosmos plant, dahlias, and zinnias is sure to attract aphids!
If you follow the example of the ants, you can cultivate your aphids this way so that your bird population always has plenty of good food.
Furthermore, you should be aware that mixing these plants with your other plants can increase your aphid problems.
Keep Your Plants Healthy!
It is important that you understand how each type of plant should be cared for. Strong healthy plants naturally repel insects and diseases.
Control Garden Pests With Diatomaceous Earth
As aphids crawl on DE they become absorbed with the fine-powder, which then kills the pest as they dehydrate while dehydrating. Diatomaceous Earth (food-grade) is another effective pest control solution for aphids.
Cayenne Pepper Mix Spray
Use cayenne pepper to control aphids and other small garden pests. Add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a cup of water. Blend one hot chili pepper into a cup of water and spray the insect pests until they are covered.
Stay In Balance!
While you might think you can kill off aphids with a systemic insecticide and they will not return next year when the poison wears off, the natural cycle tells us otherwise.
Instead of focusing solely on aphids, it’s better to cultivate a good populace of beneficial insects and birds as well as distractions to keep them away from your prized plants.