Killing Aphids Naturally: How To Get Rid Of Aphids Safely
Yellowing and distorted leaves, stunted growth, and an unsightly black sticky substance on the plant may mean that you have aphids. Aphids feed on a wide range of plants, and in severe cases the plant fails to thrive. As they feed, they secrete a sticky substance, called honeydew, which quickly becomes infested with black sooty mold. They also spread viruses, many of which are incurable. For this reason, it’s important to take steps toward controlling aphids in the garden.
How to Get Rid of Aphids Naturally
Killing aphids naturally is not only better for the environment, it’s also more effective. You can get them under control by taking advantage of their weaknesses and making a few changes in the way you manage your garden.
Aphids have a number of natural enemies, and these insects are much better at controlling aphids than any other method available to gardeners. Pampering and nurturing their natural enemies is an excellent method of organic aphid control. Introduce beneficial bugs, like lacewings and ladybugs, to your garden as a natural way to kill aphids. Nearby plantings of mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, and dandelions will help attract these insects to your garden.
Pesticides are more likely to kill the predatory insects than the aphids, so the insect population usually increases after spraying. Using natural ways to kill aphids preserves the insects’ natural enemies while creating a hostile environment for aphids.
While predatory insects are bent on destroying aphids, ants in the garden are their sworn protectors. Ants feed on the honeydew produced by aphids, so it is in their best interest to defend this precious resource. Getting rid of the ants so that the predatory insects can do their job is an important part of a good aphid control program.
Control ants by trimming the lower parts of the plant so that they don’t touch the ground and give ants easy access. Coat the lower part of the stem with a sticky substance to prevent the ants from climbing. You can apply the sticky substance directly to the trunk of thick-barked trees and shrubs. Wrap the stems of other plants in tape and apply the product to the tape rather than the stem. Most of the time, however, the use of an organic aphid control pesticide, such as neem oil, will take care of the ants as well.
Organic Aphid Control
Killing aphids naturally is better for your plants, the environment, and beneficial bugs in your garden. Here are some natural deterrents for controlling aphids.
Grow young plants under row covers. Remember to remove the covers when the plants begin to flower.
Use aluminum foil or reflective mulch on the ground beneath the plants. While you may not want to do this in your flower garden, reflective mulch in the vegetable garden is a very effective deterrent.
A strong spray of water from a hose will knock many of the aphids off the plant, and they won’t be able to return. It also rinses off some of the honeydew. Spray the plant every day until the plant is aphid free.
Grow plants for a homemade aphid control. Plants such as the following are attractive to aphids and good for organic aphid control. Growing these far from other garden plants will lure aphids away and keep the garden aphid-free.
- Tuberous begonia
You can also try planting garlic or onions near infested plants, as the smell drives aphids away.
Natural Ways to Kill Aphids
Aphids are one of the most prolific garden pests, and, if left untreated, can completely take over your vegetable garden. One of the best ways to stop aphids in their tracks is to plant vegetables that attract aphids separately. One such vegetable, for example, is the eggplant, which is highly prized to the aphids. These natural ways to kill aphids work just as well as chemical sprays and are much safer for your garden, family, and pets!
Another way to prevent aphids from entering your garden is to plant aphid repelling flowers and plants in between your vegetable rows. Aphids detest these plants and flowers, and so, planting them amidst your vegetables is a sure-fire way to prevent them from entering the garden in the first place.
Kitchen Home Gardener
Aphids are the most common pests found in your garden. These sap-sucking creepy crawlies are regularly seen bolstering in bunches on new plant growth. They suck the fluids from leaves and flowers that the plant uses to distribute nutrients, which turns the leaves a mottled yellow color and stunts growth. Aphids swarm both gardens and farms, and on the off chance that they happen to influence it inside, they to can turn into an issue on houseplants, as well. Here are the few natural & homemade ways to kill aphids and prevent them from coming back.
Natural & Homemade Ways To Kill Aphids
There are around 4,000 aphid species found all through the world. They are small, pear-shaped, soft bodied insects that may be green, red, black, yellow or brown in color depending on species and the food source. To know more about aphids, identify aphid damage and symptoms of aphid damage click here. Below are the few homemade ways to get rid of aphids:
Plant Mint in Your Garden
If you want to get rid of aphids even before they start, just plant mint in your garden. Aphids hate mint and don’t like the scent of it. Moreover mint can also repel whiteflies.
This is another easy way to keep aphids away. Chop up an onion, keep it in a cup of water for 10 minutes, and puree it until it’s liquid. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use it to mist the plants aphids are attracted to. Spray this mixture either in evening or early morning. Aphids hate the smell of it.
Make Aphid Trap
Take a tennis ball and apply petroleum jelly all over it. Leave this nearby to the plant which is infested by aphids. These small insects will be attracted to its bright color, and then get stuck on to the ball. Now you can just wash the ball and kill the aphids, and repeat this process again.
Use Potato Water
Boil couple of sweet potato & save the water you boil them in. Let it cool down. Put this water into a spray bottle and spray this on your plant infected by aphids. You will no more have the aphids problem.
Save your plants from aphids with this simple formula: Boil 1 pint of water and add 1 lemon’s worth of zest. Let steep overnight. In the morning, strain the rind if desired. Pour liquid into a spray bottle and spray it on your plants. Soon, aphids will be a thing of the past.
Make Your Own Oil Spray
Pour ½ teaspoon dish-washing liquid, ¼ teaspoon eucalyptus oil, ½ teaspoon corn oil and 2 Litres water in a spray bottle and shake well to combine. Spray the mixture on your plants to kill aphids fast.
How to Use Vinegar as a Natural Aphid Spray
Aphids are slow-moving green/black-colored insects that like to invade garden plants such as hibiscus and pothos, small trees, and kales, causing extensive damage to stems, leaves and buds. Once you identify these pests, you can now apply a vinegar solution as an aphid killer.
Here’s how to make a natural homemade aphid spray with vinegar:
- Pour 1 oz of vinegar into a small bucket.
- Add 3 oz of distilled water into the bucket.
- Stir to mix the two ingredients to make a vinegar solution.
- Pour the solution into your garden spray pump.
- Spray the aphids on the infested plants to kill them.
- Repeat this treatment after one week to get rid of any remaining pests.
I use and recommend the ISTILL Garden Pressure Sprayer Pump for your gardening tasks. It produces variable jets and mists with great coverage so getting rid of aphids, thrips, and mealybugs will be easy.
Caution: Dilute vinegar to make sure it does not desiccate and cause injury to your plants. Using vinegar at a high concentration is likely to cause browning on leaves and even stun the plant.
It’s best to spray a very dilute vinegar solution a few times to get rid of aphids and other pests on your plants than to use a concentrated solution that will cause harm to your plant.
If you just noticed a possible aphid infestation, here’s what you can do:
Prune them off
Remove them by hand and pick them off. Start by getting a container with soapy water.
The soap will remove the coating on their outer shells, which will easily kill them over time.
Get a pair of dexterity garden gloves and just pick them off and dunk them into the soapy water. Do this for as many plants as you see with aphids on them and continue this for a week.
If you see too many on a certain plant, just prune it. Prune the whole branch, leaf, or stem off and throw the whole thing in the container.
After a week has passed, assess your situation. Do you see any more aphids? Has the popular been diminished greatly?
10 Best Home Remedies On How To Get Rid Of Aphids Naturally in Your Garden
One of the most common pests that are found on plants are aphids. Often invisible to the naked eye, these aphids or plant lice are generally pear-shaped and small in size (1/8-inch-long), and belong to the super family Aphidoidea. Aphids suck and feed on the sap of the plants, which can cause damage to the plant and prevent its proper growth. Plus, as they continue to feed, aphids start to secrete honeydew, which drips down the body of the plant and attracts ants and other insects on it. Aphids multiply quickly and exist in clusters, so it is essential to stop their reproduction as soon as possible. Read on to find out about the best home remedies that can help you get rid of aphids naturally and quickly:
What Causes Aphids?
• Lack of sunlight (for the plant)
• Lack of water (for the plant)
• Inadequate climatic conditions for the plant
• Excessive use of fertilizers (especially nitrogen-rich fertilizer which encourages leafy growth in plants)
• Excessive and unmonitored use of pesticides which kills insects that can act as aphid predators
• Transplanting (which leads to the plant being vulnerable)
• Change of season (aphids become more predominant during springtime)
• Honeydew on leaves
• Premature death of leaves
• Untimely yellowing of leaves
• Wilting in leaves
• Colonies in clusters on stem of the plant
• Symptoms of virus disease
Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Aphids
Here is a list of 10 best home remedies that can help you control and get rid of aphids efficiently:
This vegetable oil can be easily extracted from Neem trees. Neem oil is most commonly made use of in hair, skin and other cosmetic products, and with its dark yellow-ishcolour and strong odor of garlic, can also act as an excellent insect repellent. The organic chemicals present inside neem oil can repel and kill aphids, bugs, cabbage worms, ants, beetles and leaf miners. Besides this, appropriate use of neem oil can prevent the spreading of fungus from other surrounding plants. Follow the given steps and recipe for maximum and fast effects:
• Take 2 tablespoons of Neem oil
• Add 1 tablespoon of Castile soap
• Add water
• Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and shake it well
• Spray on the surface of plants as required
• Monitor the usage and keep it controlled
2. Diatomaceous Earth:
DE is a material that is made from diatoms, which are the fossils of small aquatic organisms. Diatomaceous earth which contains the label of food grade can be easily used around pets and people and does not any harm to the surrounding environment. It is always nonetheless advised to protect yourself and put on a respiratory mask along with safety goggles as and when you apply DE on the surface of plants in an outside environment.
There are two methods, or rather, approaches that can be used while making use of DE to get rid of aphids on the surface of plants. These are explained in details below:
One of the two approaches to applying DE on plants is the dry method. According to this method, the best time to apply DE on plants is in the morning or late in the evening when the surface of the plant contains a bit of moisture (It is essential that the entire surface if the plant, including the underside of leaves, is moist). The next step is then to dust the plant while it is still wet. It is also important to apply DE around the base of the plant as this would help to repel snails and other crawling bugs that might creep up the surface of the plant and cause damage to it.
Follow the given steps to use the wet method approach to apply DE on the plant:
- Take 4-5 tablespoons of DE
- Mix this in a jug of water (the jug should be about 1 gallon in size)
- Pour this mixture into a spray bottle
- Spray on the surface of the plant
- Make sure that the entire surface of the plant, including the underline of leaves, is wet (but is not dripping)
- Shake the mixture regularly to make sure that DE does not settle and gather at the bottom of the spray bottle
- As and when the surface of the plant begins to dry off, a thin and even layer of DE will become visible on the surface of the plant
3. Manually remove aphids:
Another home remedy that has been proved highly effective for getting rid of aphids is that of physically removing aphids from the surface of the plant. This approach works exceptionally well if the damage to the plant is new and minor, and can be isolated to a particular region only. In such a scenario, all you require is a pair of gloves and a brush and you will be able to manually remove aphids from the surface of the plant. Follow the given steps for best effects:
• Gently scrape off insects from the surface of the plant by using a soft brush
• Pinch the insects present on the leaves and stem of the plant
• Cut off infected areas to prevent the infection from spreading
• Drop collected (or rather, fallen off) aphids in a bucket full of soapy water to kill them immediately
• Another simple approach is using a water hose to spray aphids off the plant
4. Soap and Water:
Considered one of the best home remedies for getting rid of aphids on plants, applying hot soapy water on the surface of the plant will kill the aphids present on it almost immediately, as and when the protective coating of wax present on the aphids is dissolved in soap. Diluting natural organic soap in water and spraying it on plants can also help kill hidden eggs and larvae of the aphids. Follow the given steps to achieve maximum and fast effects:
• Take a half tablespoon of Castile soap in liquid form
• Take 2 cups of water
• Add 10 small drops on citronella essential oil to the mixture
• Take 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil and add this to the mixture
• Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle
• Shake well before use
• You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to this mixture to help keep spiders off the surface of the plant
5. Epsom salt:
Besides being good for killing of aphids, epsom salt also proves beneficial for the growth of plants.
• Take ¼ cup full of Epsom salt
• Mix it with a mixture of diluted organic soap and water
• Spray on the surface of the plant in evening (or late afternoon)
• Observe as aphids fall off the plant surface by next morning
6. Yellow trap:
Take a yellow glass and fill it with water. Add a few drops of soap in this glass to help break any water tension. Lure aphids to this glass and drown them inside it. You can also trap and capture aphids by taking a yellow paper sheet with some sticky substance on it (or tape it on both sides) and letting aphids walk on it.
7. Breed other insects:
Ladybugs, lacewings and other such insects can act as predators for aphids. Introducing such beneficial insects on the plant (usually by attracting them using smells and food items) can help you prevent a breeding of aphid colony near or on your plant. Green lacewings eat aphids, as do wrens, titmice and other bugs. It is also important to make sure that ants are nowhere near your plant as they, by feeding off the honeydew, end up protecting the aphid colony on the plant. Sprinkling cinnamon near the region of the plant infected by aphids can help keep ants away.
8. Horticulture oils:
Applying horticulture oils, especially during the late fall season, helps destroy overwintering eggs.
9. Fake Garden:
You can install certain plants and create a separate fake garden to lure aphids away and keep them distracted. Make sure that the plants that you place in the fake garden must also not be present in your actual garden. Given below is a small list of plants that especially attract aphids:
• Tuberous begonia
10. Organic fertilizers:
These slowly release nutrients and are thus considered essential in order to keep aphids off the surface of the plants (aphids are attracted to high nitrogen levels new growth).
• Do not use excessive chemicals on plants
• Maintain cleanliness in the garden
• Do not over water plants
• Prevent ants from coming near or on the surface of the plant
• Do not over shelter baby plants
Precautions when using vinegar
When using apple cider vinegar solution to get rid of aphids on your garden plants, ensure to initially test the plants’ reaction to the solution, as some garden plants are highly sensitive to its acidity.
To do this effectively, only spray a small part of the affected foliage with a minimal amount of the solution and observe how the foliage reacts. If there’s no damage, you can proceed to spray all of the affected plants.
Vinegar- as a natural aphid-killer- is an environmentally safe alternative to commercial pesticides that harbor toxic chemicals. What’s more, unlike chemical-based pesticides, there’s no risk of chemical burns should it accidentally come into contact with your skin. Finally, vinegar-based pesticides have a less-irritating smell compared to the unbearable odor that comes with chemical-based pesticides.
My name is Alex K. Worley. I am a web geek who loves gardening and connecting with nature. I maintain a small backyard organic garden from which I source most of my green food. I hope to help you learn something new about gardening.