Looking for a way to control aphids without spraying harsh chemicals? You might be surprised just how effective natural and organic methods can work when battling aphids. And at little to no cost!
Aphids cause major damage to vegetable gardens, flower beds, and perennial plants. And in quick fashion. Of the thousands of aphid types, there are well over 200 species that are harmful to plants. One thing aphids all have in common is they can reproduce quickly. Left unchecked, aphid populations can double or triple in just a few days.
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The tiny creatures are nearly invisible to the naked eye, especially the young offspring of adults, called nymphs. Both young and old alike feed on plants, usually attacking the tender new shoots, stems and foliage. It is here where they can easily penetrate the outer skin of plants to feed on the sap.
That sap, of course, carries nutrients throughout the plant. Without it, plants can quickly become frail and lifeless.
Adding to the problem, aphids can carry and spread a whole host of disease. With each and every nibble, they can wreak havoc throughout the landscape.
Luckily, there are a few simple, and effective methods you can use to control aphids naturally.
4 Simple Ways To Control Aphids Naturally
Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to quickly control aphids is to simply spray plants with a powerful stream of water. Aphids are extremely frail, and a steady blast of water quickly knocks them off of plants.
A daily spraying can usually control an aphid problem and keep damage to a minimum. When spraying, be sure to hit the underside of plants with water as well. Aphids like to congregate under the cover of foliage to avoid being easy prey to predators.
Attract Beneficial Insects
Speaking of predators, there are a whole host of beneficial insects and creatures that can help keep aphid populations under control. By attracting these insects, you can keep aphids in check. .
Lady bugs are the most notorious enemy of aphids. They can eat thousands of them in a single year. Lacewings are also prolific controllers of aphid populations.
So how do you attract these helpful insects to your garden? Planting herb such as Dill, Oregano, Yarrow and Coriander is a great start.
Both ladybugs and lacewings are attracted to these plants. Plants such as dill and coriander are wonderful to plant in small patches in gardens and flowerbeds to add both interest, food, and aphid protection.
In the bird category, chickadees are known to dine on aphids at will. Bird feeders will do a good job of attracting them, especially if you fill them with sunflower seeds or peanuts. Plant Links : Dill Fern Plant
There are a few organic sprays that can be concocted to help with aphid control. Remember that these sprays are non-discriminatory, meaning they will kill many good insects as well. Probably the most well known among them is Neem oil.
Neem oil has been used for hundreds of years in the battle to control aphids. It is an all-natural extract derived from Neem trees. When mixed with water and applied to plants, it naturally repels aphids.
Coincidentally, it also works well in repelling beetles, leaf miners, ants and cabbage worms as well. To use, mix 1 teaspoon of Neem oil with 1 quart of water. Apply with hand-held pump or bottle sprayer to the foliage of affected plants. Product Link : Neem Oil
One additional benefit to using neem oil – it is also non-toxic to birds, fish, bees, and mammals.
Planting Crops That Repel Aphids
In addition to growing a few crops that attract aphid predators, there are also plants you can grow that repel aphids all on their own.
Garlic, onions and chives are all well-known to deter aphids. Dill and Fennel, in addition to attracting beneficial insects to the garden, are also excellent for repelling aphids as well.
For more information on controlling all types of garden pests, be sure to check out our page on the site : Pest Control Tips and Advice.
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