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If you are into gardening or agriculture then you would definitely come across pests and know the amount they bother your plants. These aphids are always ready to conquer your garden space and they are also known as Green flies or Plant lice. Two very common aphids are found in our gardens namely Greenfly and Blackfly. These are insects with small and very soft bodies and they can survive in almost any temperature zones. These insects are born in plenty of numbers; basically, they have a very rapid reproduction rate.
Most amazingly, they just take one season to multiply but they spread slowly due to their slower pace movement. You cannot spot an aphid with the naked eye and they carry certain viruses that cause heavy damage to the crops mainly potatoes, grains and citrus fruits. These creatures usually have a length of around ½ -1/4 inch and there are so many species that have colors pink, brown, black, light green, white, grey and yellow. Their bodies are pear-shaped and have very long antennas and many species have chronicles along with short tubes. They usually do not have wings but they can grow it when they need to search for food or in case they wish to reproduce. Their main diet comes from plants, flowers, buds, stems, leaves, roots etc.
Finding an aphid
Do you wish to spot an aphid? Look for leaves that are stunted, have become yellow or curled because you would find these creatures sticking underneath such leaves in the form of a sticky thing which looks like honeydew. If there us an aphid residing in any leaf, ants and other insects like ants and ladybugs are also attracted towards it. Wherever the pest sits, there is a fungal growth and this causes distortion in flowers and fruits. They also transfer the certain disease to the plants which are more of a turn-off.
How do you kill aphids naturally?
- Fostering and pampering their natural enemies – Its good to let their predators nestle around the area and you must offer food and shelter to the predators. Bring more and more such enemy creatures that live on aphids and grow herbs that would invite the aphid predators like mint, garlic, catnip, fennel, oregano, yarrow and clove. Birds also come an reside in small trees and shrubs
- Get rid of ants – Ants are attracted to the sticky secretion of the aphids and the ants try to safeguard the aphids from their predators. If your garden is infested by aphids, try to keep ants away. It’s best to trim the lower parts of the plants so that ants do not find a place to hide.
- Growing young saplings under covered row – Use row covers to safeguard your gardens from pests and predators. Once, the plants starts flowering, remove the cover.
- Use a hose pipe to water – if you intend to get rid of aphids naturally, it’s best to use a water hose due to the high water pressure. This method slightly harms new plants but doing this 2-3 times a week helps to keep aphids away.
- Sprinkle essential oils – Mix oils including rosemary, clove, thyme and peppermint by pouring 5-6 drops of each type. Pour this mixture in a spray bottle and sprinkle it on the plants that have been infested and mostly have larvae. This mixture is a great insect repellent.
- Natural soap water works – Mix a little quantity of household detergent or soap and spray it on the plants to stop aphid infection. It’s best if you can spray on the underside of the leaves, mainly where the pests reside. The soap mixture causes the Aphids to suffer from dehydration and finally death.
- Growing plants for homemade Aphid control – There are certain plants that attract aphids. It’s best to grow these plants at a distance away from your garden. Some of these plants are Cosmos, Hollyhock, Mum, Aster, Verbena, Dahlia, Lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes and Zinnia. Aphids do not like the smell of onions, garlic, and certain organic compounds.
Aphids are destructive to a great extent and they love to stay in our garden mainly destroying flowers, leaves, stems, and roots. There are so many methods by which you can get rid of aphids; you can use chemicals but its best to use natural organic methods for keeping your plants healthy.