Aphids are common garden and houseplant pests. They feed on the sap of plants. To control them many plant owners shy away from chemicals and want a natural remedy for aphids.
While a few aphids may do no serious harm, large numbers can devour so much sap that they destroy leaves and flower buds and harm plant growth. In this article, we share tips on natural remedies to get rid of aphids.
What Natural Remedies Will Help Get Rid Of Aphids?
Many insecticides can eliminate aphids. However, insecticides can be toxic to beneficial insects, including the insects that prey upon aphids, and toxic to pets and small children.
At best, they smell unpleasant and can leave stains on furniture. So one may not wish to use insecticides in every situation or at all.
Here are some natural remedies to use when eliminating aphids:
The first course of action is to simply spray the plant with a water bottle or a garden hose with a spray nozzle.
The force of the water should knock the aphids off the plant and onto the ground.
Heavy watering to remove aphids is best done in the morning so the plant has time to dry over the day and avoid any chance of having fungus.
Soap And Water
If you have only a few plants affected by aphids or some indoor plants that you don’t wish to subject to a garden nozzle, a spray bottle of dish soap mixed with water will also remove aphids.
A half teaspoon of soap per 32-ounce spray bottle of water will be more than sufficient.
If you are treating houseplants, you may use insecticidal soap rather than dish soap or laundry soap, which are stronger and may contain harsh chemicals that could damage delicate leaves or flowers.
If you have only a few aphids or one plant, you can knock the aphids off by hand into a container of soap and water.
You can also brush off any eggs you spot to prevent aphids from emerging.
Garlic Or Onion Spray Repellant
Garlic spray won’t kill aphids, but it will also repel them and other insect pests.
Here is the step-by-step guide:
- First, you must cut up and crush a full head of garlic.
- Steep this overnight in two cups of boiling water.
- Remove the garlic pieces, and pour the liquid into a spray bottle.
- Add a tablespoon of dish soap to help the spray cling to the plants.
- Next, spray the tops and bottoms of leaves of houseplants, whether they are affected by aphids or not.
Onion spray works in exactly the same manner.
Put one onion in a blender, and reduce it to a puree. Mix the onion with one gallon of water.
Vinegar And Water
Vinegar mixed with water will kill many common plant pests.
Mix a tablespoon of soap, four tablespoons of vinegar, and a gallon of water to make a treatment, and apply it to the affected plants.
Certain plants repel aphids naturally and are either attractive or useful in a garden.
Aphids not only avoid these plants, but they avoid other nearby plants.
Marigolds, garlic, and onions all repel aphids.
Certain plants will attract aphids, and you can then destroy the aphids there rather than on the plants you are concerned about.
For example, nasturtiums and sunflowers are often used as trap plants.
- Neem oil is a natural insecticide that will kill aphids and other garden pests.
- It kills other insects and can also be used as an anti-fungal treatment.
- Neem oil is often sprayed on the soil and absorbed by the plant through the root system.
Aphids prefer darkness and hide on the underside of plant leaves.
Aluminum foil placed around the base of the plant will reflect light upwards. The aphids will move along in search of darker pastures.
If you use aluminum foil outdoors in your garden, collect it after the growing season.
Dandelions are naturally toxic to aphids. Gather 3/4 pounds of dandelion leaves, and soak them overnight in a gallon of hot water. The liquid can then be used in a spray bottle.
- If you have wood ash, crumble a handful and apply it to the plant’s affected areas.
- The ash will cause the soft bodies of the aphids to dehydrate and die.
- Before the extensive use of insecticide, ash was often used as a convenient way to eliminate insect pests.
What Natural Predators Eat Aphids?
Fortunately, many creatures eat aphids. So while this solution may not work for houseplants, it can help reduce the aphid population in a garden.
Ladybugs, or ladybirds, are beetles of the Coccinella family of insects. They are voracious predators of aphids.
You can sometimes order ladybugs from scientific supply houses or garden supply stores if you wish to encourage them in your garden.
Lacewings are insects of the order Neuroptera. There are a variety of species. The larvae of green lacewings, brown lacewings, and dusty lacewings all prey upon aphids.
Wasps prey upon many insects and will also eat aphids, frequently carrying them back to their nests for their brood.
If you have fruit trees attacked by aphids, earwigs can be a good predator to attract.
If you wish to encourage, a flowerpot filled with straw or hay and placed at the base of a fruit tree can serve as an improvised earwig habitat.
What Are Aphids?
Aphids are insects of the superfamily Aphidoidea.
While there are many different species, including the flightless insects commonly known as blackflies, greenflies, and woolly aphids, aphids have some common characteristics that make them unpleasant pests.
Male and female aphids appear in the fall and reproduce eggs normally that can survive winter.
In the spring and summer, however, female aphids can produce without males and give birth to pregnant young female nymphs.
As a result, a small population of aphids can grow to enormous proportions quickly.
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