Aphids – Sure Shot and Easy Ways to Control Aphids (2019)

Sure Shot and Easy Ways to Control Aphids

Just spotted a green bug on your plant? Are you really wondering what it is and is it going to spoil your plant? Then those thoughts are somewhat true, and it is quite probable that you just spotted an aphid.

Aphids are usually considered as a threat to plants, and about four thousand species exist in this world. But all aphids are not dangerous, and it is estimated that only 250 species out of the various species of aphids are considered as destructive creatures for the plants. These aphids are also known as plant lice or green flies which may hamper your plants to a great extent which makes it necessary to get rid of aphids for maintaining proper health of the plants.

These aphids have a habit of piercing the plant stems and sucks out the nectar and nutrients from the saps. This nectar and nutrients serve as food for the aphids but in turn, cripples the plants and makes the plants go sick. The nutrients that are sucked out of the plants deprives the plants of the nutrients that are needed for their survival thus making them deficient of these nutrients. Apart from the nutrients that are sucked out of the plants, there is another disadvantage of a plant that is infested by aphids, and that is the virus that is transferred by these aphids. These viruses that enter the plants infect the host plants and proves fatal for crops and plants.

Aphid infection may not show off as a whole, and with full force, it starts up slowly but can be infested by a whole colony very soon if this is not taken care of. So make sure that you destroy the aphids before the aphids ruin your crops. There are many ways of keeping the aphids away from your plants, the methods may be organic or non-organic, but both serve the same purpose of keeping these aphids at pace from infecting the plants.

1. Damages caused by aphids

Damages caused by aphids
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Aphids can be thought of as tiny monsters which feed on plants saps and leaves and hinders the growth of such plants. Whether it may be an adult or a nymph, both depend on leaves and, and it may vary according to the species of aphids. Here are few symptoms that the plants are affected by aphids.

  • If you are sighting yellow leaves and curled and stunted leaves, then this is a sign that the plants are affected by aphids. Especially you should check the undersides of the leaves because that these areas are mostly affected by aphids.
  • Another sign of aphid infestation is a sticky material or substance that are found on stems and leaves. This is a sure shot sign that the plant is infected by aphids because this sticky substance is a waste that is secreted by these aphids which is known as honeydew. This waste has sugary content and is also fed by ants.
  • The sugary and sticky honey dew that is secreted by aphids is a cause of fungal growth which causes blackening of leaves and branches.
  • Another sign of aphid infestation is the galls that are formed on leaves and roots.
  • If you are finding irregularly shaped and deformed fruits and flowers, then again it can be a sign of aphid infestation. This deformation occurs because of the feeding habits of aphids that makes the plant sick.
  • If you are sighting ladybugs on the plants, then it can also be an alarm that the plant is infected by aphids. These ladybugs feed on aphids, and may help you to get rid of aphids but if you are seeing them, then you are sure to spot aphids as well.

2. Ways to get rid of aphids

get rid of aphids
source: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Aphids

Aphids are not something that is hard to find, and somehow they find a way to your gardens despite how hard you try to give your plants a safe environment. These aphids have a soft body and are miniature in size and can multiply at a very fast pace. They have a pair of antennae and a pear-shaped body and can feed on different types of plants. They are found in various colours such as yellow, green, brown, pink, etc. and show their colours according to the variation in their species. Aphids are small monsters that may infect plants, so it is really necessary to get rid of aphids and bring their population in control. Aphids though small in size can cause severe problems and hamper the plantation if left unattended and untreated. The population of aphids may cause the plants to deteriorate and, may result in poor health of the plants. Aphid control is not something that may give a pain in your neck but is rather easy and can be done by easy and natural methods.

If you are looking out for ways on how to prevent & get rid of aphids, then here are some sure shot ways to clear these pests away from your garden.

3. Soapy water method

Soapy water and detergents can be considered as enemies of aphids, so if you really want to get rid of aphids, then you can use the soapy water hack to get rid of them. The mildness of soaps and detergents is a helpful factor to get rid of aphids. For the soap treatment, you can use six to seven tablespoons of dish soap and dilute it with water in a bucket of lukewarm water. Once this mixture is ready, you can use a spray bottle or sponge to start off with your kill the aphids drill. When this mixture comes in contact with the aphids, then the waxy coating that is present on the aphids as a source of protection for these pests will come off and dissolve thus causing the aphids to dehydrate and die. Thus this method will kill the pests by dehydrating them and will not affect the plants in anyway. Another thing to remember is the eggs and larvae of aphids that may be hidden beneath the leaves, make sure that you clean them off as well.  A caution that you need to take during the soapy water method is that you need to keep a check that by using this method you are not harming other natural predators such as hoverflies, lacewings, etc. because if you kill these predators then it can open out gates for more and more aphids to infest your plants.

4. The handpicking method

handpicking method
source: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Aphids

If the plants are not infested by aphids at a greater extent, then you can try on with the physical method and remove them physically by donning on a hand glove. You can take a brush and try to sweep off the aphids from the infected parts of the plants by pinching them off. If the branches or stalks are affected, then you can also cut off those particular parts and throw them in soapy water so that the aphids get killed by the effect of soapy water. This method is one of the natural ways to kill aphids and will not cause any harm to the plants.

5. Water pressure method

Water pressure method is also one of the natural ways to kill aphids, and a simple garden hose can come into play for accomplishing the task of getting rid of aphids. You just have to spray off the aphids by using the pressure of water on plants that are infested by aphids and thus will cause the aphids to lose their hold from the plants and eventually drop down. But make sure that you are not using this water pressure method on tender and fragile hosts plants because the water pressure apart from killing the aphids may also harm the tender plants as well. So check on which plants you can use this method before starting off with your hose pipe.

6. Neem oil

Neem oil is another method to treat aphids in a natural way; neem oil treatment can also be done in the same way as of the soapy water treatment. You can mix neem oil with water and use it as a spray to fight aphids off your plants. The medicinal properties of neem not only treat aphids but is an excellent way to treat other pests such as beetles, ants, caterpillars, mealy bugs, etc. thus you can consider this neem oil hack as a one for all solution to get rid of aphids which are plant spoilers. Neem oil also saves a plant from fungal infections and may also keep other insects and pests away from your garden.

7. Essential oil hack

Bottle with Neem oil and green twig.

Like neem oil, you can also use other essential oils to get rid of aphids. You can use other oils such as clove oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, thyme oil and make a cocktail out of it to keep off the aphids from hampering the plants. You can keep all the mixed contents in a spray bottle and then use it whenever you sight these aphids on your plants. Make sure that you shake the mixture well before applying it on the plants. This oil mixture has the capability of killing the garden pests and also their larvae and eggs.

8. Insecticide soap

Like pesticides and insecticides, you can also get insecticide soaps in the market which can be treated as best products to kill aphids in garden. But make sure that you read the user manual well before starting off with this pest control method. This method of getting rid of aphids is undoubtedly beneficial but can also harm the beneficial species inhibiting the plants in your yard. So take all the necessary precautions so that you don’t regret the usage of these insecticidal soaps.

9. Insects

If you are thinking about How to prevent & get rid of aphids, then it is not only the insecticides and pesticides that can play the magic but also few insects that can play a significant role in sweeping off these aphids. You can add on few predator insects in your yard that can keep a check on the aphids and stop them from infesting the plants. Especially the predator’s ladybird and beetles, you can keep them as monitors to guard your garden and save your plants from being infected. These predators can be purchases from farming suppliers and can be used as a guardian for your plants which can feed on the aphids and their larvae and keep your garden pest free. Apart from these beetles and ladybirds, you can also plant few trees such as catnip, garlic, oregano, etc. which attracts hoverflies in a natural way and since these insects have an appetite for aphids, you can safeguard these plants from the attack of aphids. Clover, fennel, mint, dill are other herbs that you can use in your garden to attract predators like lacewings and ladybugs naturally.

10. Birds as guardians


Like the predators, you can also keep some birds for monitoring your garden. Birds like chickadees, wrens, titmice, etc. can be kept in your garden to control the growth of aphids in your garden. Nesting of such birds will ensure that the population of aphids does not grow and spoil your plants. You can attract these birds to your garden by giving them some food and some space for nesting, and these birds will merrily enjoy their homestay in your garden. In return, they are surely not going to pay you a house rent but will definitely help you to get rid of aphids. These aphid devouring predators prey on aphids thus making your yard free from these pests. Such birds have a habit of nesting in twigged shrubs and small trees so you can plant such trees in your yard to attract these birds to your garden. Boxwood, privet, arborvitae are other trees that can attract such birds and prey on aphids to help you out to get rid of these tiny monsters from your plants.

11. Keep a check on ants

Ants can be said as family friends of aphids, and they protect these aphids so make sure that they keep a check on these ants as well. The honeydew that is secreted by aphids is loved by ants, and as a friend would give some sweet dish to a visitor visiting your house, these ants also feed on the honeydew drops and in return protect the aphids from other predators and aphid devouring predators and insects. So try on some hacks such as putting a bottle dipped in honey in your yard so that the ants are distracted and drawn towards the honey. This hack will keep these ants away from the way of the predators so that they can have access to the aphids.

12. Aphid repellents

Natural repellents are one of the best products to kill aphids in the garden in a natural way. These natural repellents give out an essence and aroma of onion and garlic which are not at all liked by the aphids. Thus these natural repellents serve as an excellent way to keep off the aphids from the plants and to stop them from building their homes in plants.

13. Natural attractants

You can also protect your plants from the aphids by offering them some other food, and in return, they will stay off from your plants that you want to save from the attack of these monsters. You can plant some plants which are loved by aphids such as Zinnias, cosmos, asters, dahlias, etc. at some distance from the plants that you want to protect. These insects will thus get attracted to the plants that they love to feed on thus leaving those plants which you wish to safeguard. This will save your garden and will also give a reason to the predator birds to stay in your yard.

14. The balancing act

kill aphids
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When we talk about measures to get rid of aphids, then it always doesn’t mean to get rid of them completely because maintain the balance is the rule of nature. Total annihilation of aphids is not necessary, just think about a situation of there were no aphids then what will the predators feed on? They probably will have to look for other sources of food if such condition arises. So you can also plant a few plants that can survive a bit of infestation of these aphids and also so that the predators have food for their daily needs. On the other hand, if a little bit of infestation is there, then it will also give an immune system to your plants which will help it to grow as a strong and full-fledged plant which can survive a bit of damage.  So do not overprotect and over care for your plants and let things go with the flow to maintain the balance with nature. An average balance between the predators, plants, preys is necessary so that you are not in a worried state.

15. The flour clearance hack

Even the simple flour that you use in the kitchen can serve as a rescue factor to save your plants from being infested by aphids. You can spray flour on the plants which will cause the aphids to constipate and thus help you to get rid of aphids from infesting the plants.

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