Home remedies for aphids – how to get rid of the pest? How to recognize aphids and which plants they attack most often? Vinegar for aphids, gray soap or maybe baking soda? Find out which way is most effective in the fight against plant pests!
What are aphids and why are they harmful?
Aphids are pests that you may encounter, among others, on home and garden flowers. These herbivorous insects from the order Equipedentary bugs and the aphid family and reach a length of 1 to 5 mm. Despite their delicate structure, they can cause a lot of damage and contribute to stunting plant growth. Mostly they attack crops, and their presence can contribute to crop loss, although they also do not spare domestic specimens.
Aphids vary in color. One encounters pests with white, green, black, cream and transparent colors. They can be wingless or winged and their distinguishing mark is an abdomen ending in a tail, from which two tubes called siphons emerge. It is through these that they secrete honeydew – honey dew.
Aphids hatch from eggs, and the adults harm the plant directly and indirectly. Insects equipped with a biting and sucking mouth apparatus puncture leaves and sprouts and fruits which allows them to feed on the sap contained in them. During this process, they simultaneously secrete saliva, which disrupts the circulation of nutrients and water inside the plant. As a result of such action, young shoots stop developing, discoloration develops on the leaves, and the plant gradually withers. Indirect entry of honeydew into its tissues, can lead to the entry of fungal or bacterial diseases.
Pests can also be carriers of dangerous diseases which they inoculate plants with while extracting nutritional sap. Vector aphids (winged aphids) can infect plants with barley yellow dwarf virus, turnip yellow virus, cucumber mosaic virus and many others. It is difficult to find a way to eradicate viral diseases, which is why it is so important to protect against pests and apply an appropriate spray for aphids.
How to recognize an infestation of these pests?
Aphids usually occur in colony form and colonize young plant shoots, leaves, and flower buds. Their presence can be indicated by the appearance of yellow discoloration in these areas, as well as sticky honeydew. Ants can also be a sign of aphids, as they feed on honey dew deposited on parts of the plant. Sometimes the signal is also deformation of leaves which twist or wither under the influence of feeding pests. They mostly occupy the plant from the tip and migrate downward. A numerous colony is able to cover a large area, and when they run out of food – they move to a neighboring plant.
What plants are attacked by aphids?
Aphids are pests multivorous, so they can infest many types of plants – garden, balcony, house or crop plants. You can find them on deciduous trees, conifers, perennials, annuals, as well as tuberous and potted plants. According to the accepted division within the species, there are two types of aphids: one- and two-homed, and the difference is in their habitat and egg-laying. Two-homed aphids can attack two different plant species, while single-homed aphids only appear on one.
The aphids appear most often on fruit trees and shrubs: apple, pear, quince, currants and gooseberries. It is worth using the product on aphids in greenhouses, as cucumbers, tomatoes or brassica vegetables can also become their target. They do not spare flowers,so fuchsias, geraniums, begonias, orchids and nasturtiums etc. should be properly protected from their attack. How to deal with aphid invasion and prevent their appearance?
How to prevent aphid invasion?
Aphids appear in colonies and infected plants serve as an ideal place forlaying eggs and hatching new individuals. The fast-moving process can trigger an invasion of these pests in your garden. If you want to avoid spreading them to other plants, use home remedies for aphids as a preventive measure to reduce the possibility of these insects.
Crops that repel aphids
The pests often attack plants that are weak and insufficiently nourished, so proper care, fertilization and irrigation of any specimens grown is important. It is crucial also to weed the garden because the high intensity of these persistent plants promotes the proliferation of aphid colonies.
A great way to prevent pests is to plant plants with repellent properties near the beds. Such properties are characterized, for example, mint, lavender and savory garden. The intense scent effectively discourages insects from invading surrounding plants. Consider diversifying your garden with these species, but before planting, find out if the plants acceptthey their company.
Home decoctions – garlic, onions, nettle
Not only planting plants with a repellent smell can bring positive results in the fight against the appearance of insects. You can prepare a homemade preparation for aphids from ingredients you have at home. The best will work clove, garlic and nettle.
- Clove infusion – prepare 200 g of peeled garlic cloves. Grind them in a mortar or squeeze them through a press, then pour 10 l of water over them. Boil the whole thing for 20 minutes and set it aside for 24 hours.
- Onion infusion – you need 80 g of diced onions. Pour 10 l of water and boil for 30 minutes. Then leave it to cool.
- Nettle infusion – use freshly cut nettles from before flowering. Pour 10 liters of boiling water over a kilogram of the plant and let it sit for 24 hours.
Napars should be used without additional dilution.Spray with freshly prepared aphicide because it contains the most properties to help counteract the pest.
How to eliminate aphids?
If you notice aphids on your plants, immediately counteract them with elimination products. One way to fight the insects is to use chemical sprays, but such action requires a lot of preparation, the right time of application and is expensive. This method for aphids should be a last resort, and before reaching for insecticides, it is worth using home remedies for aphids – baking soda, vinegar and gray soap which do not adversely affect plants in the garden.
The most popular method – vinegar for aphids
The most effective preparation for aphids that you can find at home is vinegar. It can be a wine or spirit product-it doesn’t matter. The important aspect is the ratio of combining this ingredient with water. You need to pour 100 ml of vinegar into 1 liter of water to get a ratio of 1:10. If you want to make more preparation, convert the ingredients according to these ratios. Remember to pour the vinegar into the water, not the other way around! You can add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the finished product, which will allow it to adhere better to the surface of the plants. Then make a spray, evenly distributing the substance from the youngest shoots to the roots.
Killing aphids with baking soda
Another of the homemade ways to control aphids in the garden is spraying with baking soda solution. It will also be perfect for aphids on tomatoes and potted plants. An added bonus is that you can prepare a smaller amount of spray at a time. Dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and add a few drops of dish liquid for more adhesion. Transfer to an atomizer bottle and make a spray. You can also use the preparation prepared this way to manually spray the leaves of flowers.
Gray soap-based spray
Using gray soap, you will make a homemade spray for roses and balcony and potted flowers. This is the cheapest method of pest control. All you need to do is dissolve about 20 g of the cube in 1 l of warm water and wait for it to cool down. Spray such a liquid on the flowers and deal with aphids ecologically.
There are many advantages to using home methods for aphids. These methods are not costly and have an effect, and if necessary – you can repeat them, using products you have on hand. Want to have an organic garden? Choose nature!