Aphids (plant lice) are insects that suck up sap with their perforated mouthparts. They are a few millimeters long and are usually green, but some species are black, gray, or yellow. They multiply rapidly, and they tend to be found on the underside of leaves, on the most tender shoots, petals, and flower stems. Aphids are usually present in more or less dense colonies, and if the problem is left untreated, the colony can grow so large that the plant itself dies completely. Besides, these insects not only suck sap but also transmit bacteria and viruses such as fumaroles.
How Did They Get On My Plants?
An exciting characteristic of aphids is their symbiosis with some ant species. Aphids are laid and raised by ants in their ant nests and then carried to the plants. From the remains of the aphids, the ants extract a very sugary substance, which they use as food.
Contrary to popular belief, aphids are not immobile, and many individuals in colonies have wings that allow them to invade nearby sensitive plants. They prefer warm places and dry environments, so these atmospheric factors make plants more vulnerable to attack. Rain, strong winds, and low temperatures naturally discourage aphids. So, how can you get rid of them?
Grow Plants That Keep Insects Away
A good environment for plants in the garden affects their growth and health. Ecological agriculture is becoming more and more popular. This primarily includes the use of plants next to each other so that they positively affect each other.
Coordinated cultivation, where vegetables are planted next to plants that repel aphids, is effective. The best remedy for aphids in the garden is to plant garlic and onions that repel the pests.
In flower gardens, lavender is also a good choice. Its strong odor repels pests and is a great way to combat aphids. Another well-known method is to plant a few herbs that repel insects. The best herb for aphid control is mint, which can be planted in both vegetable gardens and flower beds.
Ecological garden spraying is another efficient way to get rid of leaf aphids. Natural or homemade solutions can help get rid of the pests quickly and effectively without damaging plants, garden shrubs, or even balcony flowers. These sprays are also safe for human health, making them ideal for gardens with children.
Vinegar spraying is the most common method of aphid control. To make a solution of vinegar, mix it with water in a ratio of 1:10.
Alternatively, you can add a spoonful of soap or a few drops of cleanser. That way, the solution will adhere well to the plants, and the soap will also last longer. Once you have the liquid, pour it into a spray bottle or sprinkler and spray the plants. Be sure to pay attention to the underside of the leaves as well as the top.
There are many ways to use baking soda solution, but it can also be used to get rid of pests in the garden. It is especially effective against aphids but can also be used against whiteflies and mites.
The baking soda mixture for aphids is very easy to make:
- Just add a small amount (no more than 1/3 teaspoon) to 1 liter of boiling water.
- Add half a teaspoon of vegetable oil.
- Mix everything together well.
As with the previous solution, you can add soap if you wish.
Do you have any other tips to get rid of aphids? Share it with us in the comments below!