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Aphids can be controlled without using chemicals. Here are my top 5 ways to get rid of aphids naturally.
It seems like with each new gardening season we are faced with a new garden pest. This year we have tons of aphids. I’m sure its because we have had a wetter spring than I can ever remember.
What is an Aphid?
Aphids are tiny bugs that feed on the sap in your plants. Literally sucking the life out of your precious plants. They can be light green, white, red, gray, and brown.
Aphids can be hard to spot on your plants due to the size and coloring. If you go out to your garden and find misshapen leaves or curled leaves it’s time to take a closer look. Normally if you flip the leave over that’s the best spot to find whatever is eating your plants.
You might also notice a lot of ants on your plants when you have an aphid problem. Ants love to feed off aphid poop it’s a sweet sticky substance called honeydew.
Why are aphids bad?
Aphids are bad because they suck the sap out of all kinds of plants from flowers and vegetables to trees. Your plants end up having a thousand little bites and will eventually die. It also makes them weak and more likely to get a disease.
How to get rid of aphids.
Here’s my top 5 ways to get rid of aphids naturally.
Spray the underside of the infected leaves, I like to use a spray nozzle like this one. The water will knock them off your plants. They normally die after hitting the ground. This method works best for small infestations but is very effective.
I do this first thing in the morning so my plants have time to dry before nightfall to reduce the chance of a fungus forming.
Neem oil is a multifunctional spray it not only repels a lot of pests but it works as an antifungal spray for things like powdery mildew.
Be sure to spray your plants all over and the underside of the leaves. The neem oil will suffocate the aphids and keeps them from feeding.
Releasing Beneficial Insects
Release natural predators of aphids in your garden such as ladybugs or green lacewing bugs. You can purchase either type of bugs to release in your garden or greenhouse to control the aphids naturally, bet you didn’t know that, huh?
My kids loved releasing the bugs and watching them eating for days. This is a very effective method of control if you only have a small garden space or in a greenhouse.
Spinosad is a natural substance made by a soil bacterium that can be toxic to insects. It is used to control several insects in the garden and around your home such as aphids, thrips, and leafminers just to name a few.
I have used this with great results with aphids and other garden pests. I also like this option because it doesn’t harm beneficial insects.
Diatomaceous Earth also works really well to get rid of aphids. The only thing I don’t care for about DE is it will kill beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs.
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What pests have been attacking your plants this garden season? Let me know in the comments below.