Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant fluids. They have long slender mouthparts they insert in stems and leaves and suck out juices.
Aphids attack common garden plants and several major crops. Almost every plant has a few aphid species feeding on it. A few aphids are harmless, but large aphid populations have adverse effects on plants.
- Aphids stunt new shoots, and turn leaves yellow.
- Some aphid species inject a toxin, causing the plant’s leaves to curl, further leaf damage and distorted growth.
- Some aphid species cause gall formations.
- Aphids transmit viruses from plant to plant. These viruses are even more harmful than the aphids.
- A few aphid species, such as the lettuce root aphid, attack the roots, causing the plant to wilt or die.
- Aphids secrete honeydew. The honeydew turns into an ugly black mass with the growth of a sooty mold fungus.
The good news is most aphid species are easy to manage. One effective way of eliminating aphids is using an organic garlic aphid spray.
How Do You Make a Homemade Garlic Spray for Aphids?
All you need to make a garlic spray for aphids is:
- Cloves of garlic
The quantity of garlic used depends on how concentrated you want your spray. For example, three garlic cloves mixed with ½ a gallon of water make a spray for preventative measures.
Use up to two bulbs with just a cup of water for a highly concentrated spray.
How To Make Garlic Spray For Aphids? Follow These Steps:
Here’s the recipe for your homemade garlic aphids spray.
- Peel one garlic bulb and put it in a blender. Add a cup of water and puree for about a minute until it’s finely chopped. A food processor or immersion blender will work if you don’t have a blender.
- Another option is to chop or mince the garlic using a garlic press and stir the garlic with the water.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl or a large mason jar and add 3 cups of water and two tablespoons of liquid soap. Cover it and let it sleep overnight. The liquid dish soap spray coats the larvae and smothers them.
- Strain the mixture with a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer and put it into a spray bottle. Straining ensures no garlic clogs the nozzle.
- Add a teaspoon of crushed cayenne or hot pepper while the garlic sleeps to strengthen your spray. Adding pepper enables the garlic spray to repel a wider variety of pests.
What Makes Garlic Aphid Spray Effective? Does Garlic Repel Aphids? Does Garlic Kill Aphids?
Indeed, the strong odor of garlic is known to fend off a variety of creatures. It kills or repels many garden pests, such as aphids, slugs, caterpillars, and whiteflies. Using a 2% concentration of garlic extract, about 75% of aphids on tea cuttings were killed in a 24 hour span. [nsat.org]
Garlic is so effective it will keep away even some beneficial insects.
But what makes garlic spray work so well is the sulfur and allicin found in garlic. By itself, garlic is a powerful fungicide. Coupled with allicin, it confuses the bugs’ sensory receptors.
How Do You Use Garlic Spray?
Use a garlic spray on your plants – whether they’re vegetables, herbs, flowers, or fruits – to keep aphids away.
Spray the undersides of the leaves, as it is a common place where most pests, including aphids, prefer to lay and shelter their eggs.
If aphids have infested your plants, spray daily. Reapply if rain or watering washes the spray away. If you want to prevent aphids, spray once a week or every few days.
What Are the Benefits of Using Garlic Spray?
Garlic sprays, made mainly of garlic and water differ from regular pesticides that often contain toxic chemicals. This makes them an eco-friendly and green alternative.
A healthy garden needs a balance between beneficial bugs, like lady beetles and lacewings, and harmful insects. This balance helps control the population of destructive bugs. Organic pesticides such as garlic spray are eco-friendly and help maintain that balance.
A garlic water spray also helps eliminate common aphid pests and diseases like powdery mildew on foliage.
In contrast, typical pesticides destroy all insects without discrimination. Killing all insects disrupts the natural balance of beneficial and harmful garden bugs. It leaves the garden without a natural defense system.
Additionally, contact with some harmful pesticides can lead to health problems. These problems can include minor issues like skin irritation or allergies. More serious health problems include intense headaches, dizziness, or nausea.
For this reason, be wary of pesticides due to the danger your children and pets face.
A Word of Caution
Ensure you use the homemade garlic spray in moderation for the following reasons:
- Does garlic kill aphids? Yes! A garlic oil spray is great for getting rid of bugs like aphids. But if you use too much garlic spray, may die, but it can hurt the beneficial soil microbes. Try to avoid spraying more than twice a week.
- Even though garlic spray is non-toxic, it can bother your eyes, especially if the mix contains cayenne pepper or soap.
So, keep kids and pets away from plants that have been sprayed. Point the spray nozzle away from your face. Also, remember to wash your hands after using the garlic spray.