If you’re a home gardener, aphids can be a frustrating problem. These little pests can ruin both your plants and your dream of a beautiful garden. Aphids can appear overnight and can take over your garden very quickly. Most species are green, pear shaped and approximately 1/8” in length. Aphids feed by piercing the plants and sucking out their juices, eventually killing the plant.
There are many ways to kill these little pests and save your garden. There are sprays, predator insects, and companion gardening. Using one or all of these treatments can save your plants and give you a garden to be proud of for years to come.
Use of a Homemade Spray
Make this home remedy spray for application as soon as you notice your garden has been infected. This solution is made from items readily available in your home.
Step 1 - Shade The Plants
If the affected plants are in pots, it is best to move them out of direct sunlight. The oil in the spray mixture can magnify the sunlight and burn the plant stems and leaves. If you cannot move the plants, a thin material such as cheesecloth or nylon sheeting over the plants will help.
Step 2 - Create the Remedy
Mix the oil and dish detergent together in a small bowl.
Blend the mixture with the water.
Pour into a spray bottle.
Step 3 - Spray The Plants
For your safety, wear protective clothing, goggles, and rubber gloves while spraying. Do not spray on a windy day. Coat the stem and the underside of the leaves. Spray the plants with this mixture every few days until the aphids are gone. This mixture will suffocate the aphids and kill them. You can hose off or wipe away the dead aphids after a few days.
Step 4 - Consider Predator Insects
There are insects that will feed on the aphids but not harm your garden. The enemy of aphids includes ladybugs, lacewing bugs, and even a bug named aphid predator. You can purchase these insects from your neighborhood garden supply or order them over the internet.
Ladybugs will lay hundreds of eggs on your affected plants. Once they hatch, the larvae will begin to feast on the aphids. In a three to six week period, the larvae can devour some 5,000 aphids. Just release these insects in your garden and let them feast. Within a few days you will see a significant reduction in aphids.
Step 5 - Consider Companion Gardening
There are plants that naturally fend off aphids. These include onions and garlic, chervil, cilantro, dill, fennel, and oregano. Distributing these plants around the garden will repel the aphids. These plants can also be placed in pots and moved to the areas affected.