Aphids are notorious for sucking the life out of many plants. If you have a backyard garden, take note of these natural ways to get rid of aphids.
After putting in a lot of effort to build up your garden, the last thing you need is a colony of aphids creeping in.
Aphids have a reputation for damaging crops, thanks to their capacity to suck out nutrients, ultimately killing the plant. Although chemical pesticides are an option, they can become immune to some chemical pesticides.
Giving you all the more reason to ditch them altogether!
Thankfully there are inexpensive and natural options available to help – many of them right in your pantry.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Aphids
If you are struggling with aphids in your home garden, check out some of these natural options to help you get rid of them once and for all.
#1: Remove them by hand
Sometimes you might not want to use any foreign material in your garden especially if you have a small space. For such cases removing the critters physically makes total sense. You can use a brush or a thick cloth. Keep in mind that this method is only effective if you have a small garden and minimal infection of aphids.
You can also use gardening gloves to pluck and cut down leaves that have already decayed as a result of the aphids.
#2: Spray them with water
Start with this method by spraying the underside of the leaves infected by the aphid with a blast of water. The spray will help dislodge the aphids, killing them in the process. You can add a teaspoon of dish soap to the water to be more effective.
Repeat this process for several days until all the aphids disappear.
#3: Use neem oil
Neem oil is sometimes referred to as Indian lilac or Azadirachta Indica. It is a powerful oil that has been used commercially thanks to its insecticidal and medicinal qualities. It contains triglycerides and triterpenoids that give it a bitter taste.
In fact, neem seed extracts have been used to get rid of aphids in plants such as cucumber. All you have to do is spray the leaves with water mixed with neem extracts.
#4: Garlic spray
Garlic contains natural insecticides that get rid of bugs effectively. The good part is that it does not kill the insects, therefore, you will not risk killing other helpful insects in the process.
You can create a homemade garlic spray with a bottle and garlic smashed into a cup and mixed with water. Allow that mixture to sit in a sunny area for up to 12 hours to infuse, before spraying on your aphid-infested plants.
#5: Invite predator birds and insects
Use birds and other predator insects to help you get rid of the aphids. Lady beetles and parasitic wasps, for instance, enjoy feeding on aphids. You can also encourage bug-eating birds to visit your garden.
Do this by installing a nice bird feeder or a birdbath to your garden.
#6: Dust plants with flour
If you have a large infestation of aphids, try dusting your plants with a light layer of organic, unbleached, all purpose flour. The aphids will ingest the flour which will clog their digestive system leading to their death.
#7: Use a cayenne pepper spray
A variation of the soap-water mix includes combining a quart of water with a teaspoon of non-toxic dish soap (check the EWG for safe options) and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Give it a good shake and spray on your plants to keep aphids away.
This soapy cayenne water spray should be used every 2-3 days for a period of two weeks or until the problem is resolved.
#8: Use diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic organic material that can help prevent and remedy an aphid infestation. Though it can be a wonderful way to kill aphids and other pests, avoid using when plants are in bloom.
One thing too think about though: you may want to refrain from using diatomaceous earth as it can be harmful to pollinators.
Do not overlook the damage aphids can cause to your plants. Pay attention to your garden to capture any colonies erupting underneath the leaves of your plants. Once they show up, they can take over very quickly… they are such a headache!
Start using some of our suggested methods to remedy the infestation. However, if the issue persists consider planting flowers that attract beneficial bugs to help you in the fight against aphids.