Aphids are insect pests that are found on plants in temperate regions. Their scientific name is Aphididae and commonly called greenfly and black fly.
They suck nutrition-rich liquid from the plant and make ornamental flowers deform by producing honeydew on them. This insect pest multiplies quickly by asexual reproduction and produces many generations in one season.
A large number of them are dangerous for any plants and trees. So, it is essential to control them in the initial stage.
Here, I’ll explain how to How to get rid of aphids naturally or chemically.
How to Identify Aphids
Aphids are very tiny insects, you are hardly able to see them from naked eyes. The adults grow under ¼ inches most of them are harmful to plants and crops.
The species are differentiated based on sizes and colors. They appeared in brown, black, red, yellow, light green, white, and pink.
Some also have a wooly and waxy coating. The adult aphids have a pear-shaped body with wings. They mostly feed in crowds. The wings help them to fly to different plants if the existing plant gets more crowded.
Their species are also named after some specific plants like bean aphids, potatoes aphids, green pea aphids, melon aphids, and wooly apple aphids.
How does the aphids damage look like
The pest attracts mostly all types of plants like vegetables, flower plants, fruits, trees, and crops. Some species attack especially young succulents.
You can identify if a plant is a victim of aphids simply by:
- Looking at the leaves, if the leaves become yellow, stunted, or misshapen probably the plant got attacked.
- Don’t forget to check the underside of the leaves. They like to hide there.
- They produce sticky waste called honeydew, if you feel a sticky substance on the leaves or stem of the plant then it might get attacked.
- You often notice honeydew in cars, furniture, or a bunch if they are on the trees.
- Sometimes leaves start turning black this is because these pests transmit a fungal disease called sooty mold.
- Flowers and fruits become deformed and distorted due to these pests.
- They also help in transmitting viruses between the plant and invite other insects like ladybugs to feed together.
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Where do aphids come from
Aphids come on plants mostly in a temperate climate. The pests can fly and transfer from one plant to another in the search of food.
They suck water and nutrition which gradually weakens the plant growth. The excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer attracts pests.
Nitrogen fertilizer encourages too much tender and leaf plant growth which makes it a good source of water and nutrition.
Types of aphids
There are more than 5000 species of aphids around the world. We’ll discuss some common varieties like black, white, green, and red aphids found generally in plants.
They are board and soft body pests, which exist with both wings and without wings. Their common names are blackfly, bean fly, and beet leaf aphid.
They are a common indoor plant pest. Like other aphids, they also suck plant juice and secrete sticky honeydew. They hide behind the green leaves of the plant.
Aphids and ants work as a companion. Aphids secrete sweet honeydew, ants use this substance for food and help them to grow so that they produce more honeydew.
How to prevent Aphids
They are very dangerous for growing plants no doubt any gardener would want to keep them away from their precious plants.
Here are some methods you can use to tackle their attack.
- Treat your plant with horticulture oil from time to time.
- Spread beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps around your plants.
- These insects feed aphids and reduce their population. You can buy these bugs online.
- Use companion plants in your gardener that are helpful to resist pests.
- The catnip plant is a natural repellent for aphids. Plant them beside your vegetables or fruits to keep them away.
- These pests are especially attracted to mustard and nasturtium plants. You can plant them on the other side of the garden so that all pests go there. Remember to check they are not transferring. You can use pesticides to kill them when they are in mustard and nasturtium plants.
- Plants like chive and garlic repel aphids when planted near peas, lettuce, and rose bushes.
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How to Get Rid of Aphids Naturally
There are many ways to get rid of aphids. Choose the method which is convenient for you.
- Spray cold water: you can directly spray cold water in affected parts from the water horse. But, don’t put water pressure on young plants, their stems might get damaged.
- Use can treat the stems with dusty flour. Flour acts as a flour removal.
- Neem oil is effective on pests. You will easily find neem oil in the online market. Before using them must read the instruction from the packet.
- Killing aphids with soapy water. Mix soap (Castile) with mild water and put it in a spray. You have to treat plants with this solution every 2 days for 2 weeks. This homemade method has a very high success rate.
- Make an oil solution mixing 4-5 drops of each clove, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme with water. Put the solution in the spray and spray it to affected parts of the plant.
- Kill them with vinegar. Take a spray, fill ⅓ with white vinegar, and rest with water. This will kill aphids as well as larvae on contact.
- If the problem does not get solved with these homemade methods you can use a non-organic material called Diatomaceous earth (DE). It kills the aphids fast but doesn’t apply them in a blooming plant as it might be harmful to pollinators too.
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How to use alcohol to avoid aphids
Alcohol doesn’t have additives (a small substance use for preservation). To make an insecticidal spray mix an equal quantity of water and alcohol.
For more effectiveness, you can also add alcohol to soap emulsion. Just take a cup, mix 5 cups water, 2 cups alcohol, and 1 tablespoon soap.
Alcohol might be dangerous for some plants. Spray the alcohol emulsion to one part of the plant. Wait for 2-3 days if the plant looks good.
Spray the alcohol solution to other parts of the plant. Soap has an additive that can damage plants so select the purest form only.
Did I Miss Anything?
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Or maybe, I didn’t mention your favorite plant growing tip. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
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