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How to Get Rid of Aphids In Your Garden

Aphids are commonly known as green flies or black flies. They can be seen as plant lice as they are small and feed on plant’s saps. They are commonly found in temperate regions. Aphids are among most incredibly destructive insects to plants. 

They reproduce asexually and can grow in large numbers quickly.

Aphids suck on plant’s saps and deprive them of their nutrients and weakens them, eventually leading to the plant dying.

Identification

Aphids are very small, with a soft body and are not really visible to the naked eye easily. They can appear like tiny dots on plants, as they tend to move very slowly. Their bodies have a waxy texture with antennae. Normally adult aphids do not have wings. However, they can develop wings when they feel they cannot get enough food to survive by staying in one place. Mostly aphids like to feed on succulent and newly grown plants because they are full of juices.

If you want to check if your plants are being affected by aphids then look for misshapen, discolored, and curled leaves. Aphids tend to hide under such leaves. Moreover, if the leaves feel sticky to you, it is a sign that an aphid has been sucking on it. The sticky substance is called honeydew, a waste product from insects as they feed on plants. This sticky substance can further lead to development of sooty mold, which turns the branches black.

Ways to get rid of them

What we discussed above are just few reasons why aphids are considered a farmer’s nightmare. Farmers and gardening enthusiast go to lengths to get rid of them. If you have a precious garden and it is being affected by aphids, here are easy and natural ways to get rid of them without damaging the plants.

Treating the plants with soap mixture

Soapy water is basic and not acidic at all. Therefore it does not do any damage to the plant. This is why it is used to get rid of aphids by many people. All you have to do is get a bucket of warm water and add 5 tablespoons of dishwashing soap in it.

Once the mixture is ready, you can use a sponge to wipe off the plant leaves and saps that are infested by aphids. Soap mixture will react with the waxy coating on the leaves and dissolve it, washing it clean before it could affect the rest of the plant. Do not forget to wipe off the undersides of the leaves as many larvae may be hiding there.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is known as a natural repellant and is used in many herbal medicines. Not only does neem oil repel aphids, but it also keeps many other bugs and insects away from your plant. Dilute neem oil with water and spray the mixture on the infested plant. Its bitterness will make the plant unfavorable for aphids and kill them eventually. Neem oil can also be used on plants that are not infested by aphids, as it will act a protective layer on your plants. The oil can also be used to prevent fungal growth on your plants.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is a chalky substance found naturally in a form of soft rock. It is made by fossilized residues of plankton and other organic organisms. It is often used a filtering agent. Diatomaceous earth is able to kill bugs and insects having an exoskeleton. Composition of this organic material has microscopic sharp edges, which scrape through hard coverings of small insects. This is why it is used to treat infested plants without using insecticide.

It can be used in two ways; one is the dry method and other is by making a liquid mixture of it. To use it in its dry form, make sure you wash your plants first to remove any dust from them. Apply dry powder on both sides of the leaves and around the plant base to kill snails and slugs.

To do it the wet way; mix 5 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth in 1 gallon of water and fill a spray bottle with that mixture. Spray your plants with mixture and let the coating dry.

Using Epsom salt

It may be uncommon to use salt to treat your plants for an infestation but salt tends to have many benefits for a plant. Take one-forth cup of Epsom salt and make a water based mixture. Spray that mixture thoroughly on your plant in the evening. Let it stay overnight and rinse it in the morning. Salt will get rid of the aphids and prevent fungal growth from honeydew.

If you feel that your plant is not majorly affected by aphids, you can use water pressure to wash off these aphids. However, do not use this method on small and frail plants. It is workable on well-rooted and robust plants. You can use your garden hose with pressure to wash off the plants.

Companion planting

Onion and garlic are natural repellant to aphids. Companion planting is one way of protecting your plants from unwanted visitors. Growing onion or garlic plants near other plants will deter aphids and discourage them from invading any plants near their natural deterrents.

Bringing in the “good bugs”

Ladybugs are loved by everyone and rightly so, they are beautiful and they simply look cute crawling in your garden. Another reason to love them is that they are beneficial to your plants. They do not feed on plants; however, they do feed on pests and land insects. Ladybugs can help you get rid of aphids by eating them up. You can buy them in bulk either online or at your local pest control center.

Get rid of Garden Aphids Using Professional Pest Control Products

If you really want to get serious about getting rid of aphids. There us perhaps no better alternative than using professional DIY insecticide products. These are used by professional landscapers and pest control servicemen when conducting treatments for clients.

For the treatment of aphids we recommend using Reclaim IT or Bifen IT Insecticide. Mix ¼ oz to ½ oz of product with one gallon of water in a hand pump sprayer. Spray plant to the point of runoff making sure to pay special attention to the underside of leaves and all parts of the branches where aphids are known to harbor. Be sure to inspect plants often (especially new growth) and reapply insecticide if you notice an that aphids have reemerged

Conclusion

By following the steps we provided above and equipping yourself with professional insecticide products, you too can protect your gardens from aphid damage. For more lawn care or pest control tips and DIY advice, call us at 800-479-6583 or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com

 

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