Aphids are sap suckers that always manage to give every gardener a hard time just like other garden pests such as spider mites, tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles. There are several species of aphids that you have to watch out for.
Having a garden with aphids can be alarming because they indirectly kill plants by sapping out all the important nutrients that the plants need for growth. Once your plants are weakened, they are very susceptible to other diseases and pest infestations that can eventually kill them.
You need to eliminate every single one of these aphids in order to protect your garden and keep your plants healthy and strong. Here are some tips on how to get rid of aphids that you can easily do without having to hire a professional to eliminate them.
Hand-pick the suckers
Mild aphid infestation is a gardening problem that can be controlled by simple hand-picking. Although they can do great harm to your plants, they are actually very vulnerable. Be mindful and wear gloves as you pick these suckers out because some species can be prickly and can also cause some sensitivity issues.
Do not be merciful by collecting them and dumping them in trash. You need to squish the aphids as you pick them out in order to prevent them from coming back. It may be a tedious process, but picking each single aphid will ensure that your plants remain healthy. If aphids are too numerous to be manually removed, you can proceed to the next option.
Hose them down
The initial step on how to get rid of aphids is to hose them down first with water. Although aphids can cling to the plants as they suck the juices out of them, they are not particularly tenacious. Use a hose with a spray attachment and spray every single part of the plant that is being invaded by aphids.
Be particularly careful on the underside of your plants leaves, and pay special attention to young plants. Aphids are chiefly fond of young plants because they are tender and supple. This must be done everyday for 3 days.
If water hosing does not control these aphids, and the infestation seems to be getting worse, it is time to utilize the use of different compounds that will weaken and kill these pests.
Use a hand sprayer
Every gardener knows the versatility of a hand sprayer. You can use this to eliminate aphids by creating a concoction that is a mix of dishwashing soap and water. Mix one tablespoon of dishwashing soap to 1 gallon of warm water and use it to spray against those pesky aphids.
The soap solution works by washing out the oily film that is protecting the aphids from dehydration. Once the film is washed off, the aphids become vulnerable to heat. If this does not work, you can add an infusion of mineral or vegetable oil and garlic to your soap solution.
Another way to get rid of aphids is removing branches that are heavily infested with aphids. No matter how often you spray your plants with water, soap solution, or even the Aphid Chaser, they will not go away unless the heart of the colony is removed.
Another colony that you have to remove would be those made by ants. Ants are very partial to aphids because they love the milk produced by these pests. In order to protect their herd of aphids, these ants will eliminate all the beneficial insects that eat aphids. Trace where your ant colony is located and do certain measures designed to weaken them such as deploying liquid ant baits around the nest.
Once that you have sprayed, washed, and killed every single aphid in your garden, it is important that you always observe each and every plant. Visit your garden every day and walk through each plant slowly. You have to inspect each part of the plant, especially the underside of the leaves where these aphids prefer to live.
A single aphid can give rise to hundreds more, so be very thorough in your inspection. Never let a day pass without doing anything when you know that there is a single aphid out there that can potentially ruin your ornamental plants and reduce the yield of your crops.
Aphids can be very persistent, making it difficult to eliminate them. If you are constantly facing aphid infestation, check your garden so you will get a general idea on how to get rid of aphids.
You may be growing plants that are actually attracting these pests. Plants that attract them are asters, cosmos, tuberous begonias, and dahlias among others. If you have them but cannot take them out, then plant your precious plants away from them. They can act as baits, luring aphids away from any plants that you wish to protect.
And if you can, try to plant garlic and onion close to plants you wish to protect. Aphids detest the smell of these aromatics, and planting them close can be very beneficial to some plants.