Aphids are unwelcome guests in the garden. After all, they are known pests and attack plants, which as a result lose health and possibly die if you do not intervene in time. To prevent this, aphids should be controlled as soon as possible. Only by intervening early can the rapid reproduction be stopped and the plants protected. On the other hand, if you hesitate, the garden can quickly suffer.
Which means are best suited to fight the aphids and how best to proceed, they learn in the following guide. Here, in addition to typical chemical means that you can use to fight the aphids, also natural enemies are mentioned, with which the aphids are driven away.
Preparation for aphid control
When combating aphids, you should proceed with extreme caution. After all, both the plants and their health should not suffer. If the aphids have spread from the garden to the apartment or house and attacked the houseplants, you should still carry out the fight only outdoors.
Do not hastily spray any chemical substances on your houseplants in the hope that the aphids will quickly be driven away. There is a risk that the chemical agent will also affect your health. Therefore, always seek advice from a specialist dealer as to which agents work best here.
In addition, you should also note that the aphid is a pest that attacks different plants. Not every agent is harmless to every plant. Therefore, you should always make sure that the pesticide is effective against the aphid, but does not attack the plants. For this purpose, depending on the plant, there are different means that are perfectly matched.
Natural means to fight the aphids but of course have the advantage that no chemicals are used and these are very gentle on the environment as a whole.
What natural means there are and how you need to use them to fight the aphids, you will see in the next chapter.
Natural predators to fight aphids
Aphids are very low in the hierarchy level. They have hardly any way to protect themselves from natural predators and there are plenty of small insects that feed on the aphids.
If you want to control aphids in a very natural way, the easiest way is to release few predators in your garden that feed on the aphids. However, you should make sure that the animals do not become a problem themselves. Therefore, only a few species are suitable for efficient control of aphids, but these have some advantages.
The ladybug is an excellent enemy of aphids. Aphids are one of his favorite foods and if this is let loose on the aphids, he is almost unstoppable.
The ladybug is also good to use for aphid control in the garden. If luck is not on your side and no ladybugs settle down with you, you can also purchase them in specialized stores.
To effectively combat aphids, the ladybugs should still be in the larval stage. At this stage they are placed on the leaves or twigs. After hatching, the ladybugs will then begin to eat the aphids.
However, if there is already a very acute infestation, then you can also purchase adult ladybugs. These are also placed on the affected branches and make short work of the aphids.
Note, however, that you can use the ladybugs only in the garden or on the balcony. When fighting aphids on houseplants, they are completely unsuitable and die themselves within a very short time.
In addition, there should be no ants near the ladybugs. Although you can separate the ants and ladybugs, in general you should refrain from using ladybugs if you already have ants in your garden.
Lacewing against aphids
If you want to do without ladybugs, for example, because ants make it impossible to keep them together, you can also rely on the lacewing.
Their larvae are generally known as real machines in the fight against aphids. If you place the larva on a leaf or twig, the larvae will immediately start sucking out the aphids. Thus, one larva of the lacewing can exterminate more than 100 aphids per day.
The advantage of the lacewing is that it also attacks other pests. Their larva is extremely agile and can therefore take on other pests that try to attack your plants.
If you would like to establish the lacewing naturally, you can plant catnip in your garden. According to scientific statements, the lacewings here are attracted to the same scents as the cats.
However, if the lacewings do not find their way into your garden, you can also purchase them in specialized stores.
The hoverfly in the fight against aphids
As a third natural predator to decimate the aphids is suitable hoverfly and especially their larvae. The hoverfly feeds mainly on flower nectar and pollen. Therefore, plants should be introduced into the garden that are particularly attractive to the hoverfly. These include, for example, the poppy, bellflowers, or even sunflowers.
With these natural plants you can attract the hoverflies, which then multiply in your garden. Because not the flies as such, but the larvae are particularly voracious and see the aphids as a welcome meal.
One larva can consume about 400 aphids over its lifetime. Since up to 1,000 eggs are laid per generation, from which the larvae emerge, you can see how effective the hoverfly is in the fight against aphids.
However, not only aphids are on your food program. Other pests or health-threatening insects, such as spider mites, or blood lice are also readily eaten by the hoverfly larva.
Tips for predators
For all the predators mentioned here, it is important to avoid using pesticides. This is the only way to attract the beneficial insects and let them develop their full power. Likewise you should pay attention to the fact that after a short time a natural equilibrium should set in. If you observe that the ladybugs and hoverflies multiply rapidly because the food supply from the aphids is so high, their population should drop back to a normal level within a short time.
So you need not worry that the garden will now be overpopulated by the beneficial insects. Once the aphids have been decimated, the beneficial insects will also return to a healthy level.
Natural means against aphids
Predators are not always suitable in the fight against aphids. If the aphids are already in large numbers on the leaves or about in the apartment, then it is not advisable to rely on ladybugs & Co, but you should resort to home remedies against aphids, or use other natural means.
However, you also do not have to arrive directly with a toxic chemical club to get rid of the aphids again. Since the toxic agents not only attack the aphids, but can also be harmful to other organisms, you should rather resort to natural means. Although there is hardly any danger for humans with the chemical means, but even for small pets the burden can already become so great that you should rather do without them.
What natural means are suitable in the fight against aphids?
Garlic for aphid repellent
Garlic has an odor that is unpleasant not only for humans. Aphids also seek to escape when garlic is in the air. But you are lucky and do not have to directly pull up garlic plants so that the aphids are driven away by the smell. Even small amounts can have such a repellent effect that the aphids will voluntarily leave your plants.
As a first measure, you can bury the garlic cloves directly at the roots of the plant. Here, only the tip of the garlic clove should still protrude from the soil. The advantage is that the odor is very low in intensity, but is already so strongly perceived by the aphids that the corresponding plants are not even populated.
However, this method is more suitable as a preventive measure. If the plants have already been colonized by aphids, then you need to move to the fact that the smell of garlic can spread more intensively.
To create a stronger smell, you should cook a garlic broth, with which you then spray the plants. Take about one or two cloves of garlic and a liter of water, depending on your needs. Heat the mixture and let it steep for about a minute.
After that, spray the infested plants with the garlic decoction and you should be rid of the pests. Another advantage of using garlic is that other pests also like to get out of the way.
So regular treatment can have a preventative effect and prevent pests from spreading.
If you want to avoid the smell of garlic, then you can rely on dishwashing detergent, with which you can get to grips with the aphids.
Dishwashing liquid works in two ways at once.
First, its greasy film ensures that the aphids can no longer hold on to the plants. So they are simply driven away from the leaves and can not climb them again. However, it should be noted that it is very time-consuming to spray every plant so that the aphids no longer find a foothold.
The second method of action is more effective, because for this the washing-up liquid must be applied only very roughly to the plants. The rinsing agent has the additional property that it blocks the respiratory tract of the aphids.
To spray an average plant, you should mix about half a liter of water with no more than five milliliters of dishwashing liquid. Shake this mixture and spray the plants.
It is also important when spraying that you also spray the underside of the plants. So, this is where some effort is needed and to effectively control aphids, you should apply this mixture as thoroughly as possible.
Spray aphids with water
If you have noticed the aphids in the spring, then you do not yet need to use any tools other than water. If the aphids have not yet appeared in such large numbers and are still rather limited, then you can simply spray them with water.
The aphids will then fall off the plants and are not mobile enough to get back on the plants. This is not a problem until the winged generation of aphids appears. However, the spring generation does not yet have wings, so they can be easily shot off the plants with a little water.
On the ground, however, you should not simply leave the aphids. Dispose of them carefully and the risk of aphids still superior in the next generations is much lower.
Cut off shoots
Aphids feed mainly on the sap of young shoots. This is particularly attractive to the aphids because it is very easy to reach. The plants are still very soft in these areas and the aphids have very easy access to a food source.
In order for you to effectively control aphids, you can simply cut off the shoots of the plants. This will make inaccessible a food source that is of great importance to the aphids.
The positive thing about this treatment is that the plants will survive it without damage and will be able to replace the cut shoot on their own. So you do not need to worry that you will harm the plant, for example, by cutting off the shoot.
On the contrary, for some plants, cutting off the shoot can even be beneficial. For example, for some plant species, self-seeding is prevented.
Preventive measures against aphids
If you have just fought the aphids and want to prevent them from infesting again in the future, then you do not need to resort to strong means. Here, simple measures are enough to ideally protect the garden or houseplants against aphids and not even create an area that is highly attractive to aphids.
The correct wintering of the plants
Aphids are quite capable of surviving the winter. So you should not hope that an aphid infestation will be solved by itself, for example, by the onset of cold weather in winter. Rather, you should actively combat the aphids yourself and make it more difficult for them to overwinter.
The eggs of the aphids are mainly found on the woody plants and not on the leaves. Therefore, to control aphids, you should remove their eggs from the woody plants. The best way to do this is to run a brush over the trunk of the tree or plant, thus removing the aphid eggs from the plants.
However, this mechanical control is by no means sufficient for removing all aphids from the trees. Here you should still help with vegetable oil-containing preparations, in order to make the remaining aphids harmless. The oil film is deposited over the eggs, which interrupts respiration and thus causes the aphids to die.
Do you prefer a very specific plant and have planted it mostly next to each other in the garden? If this also happens to be a host plant for aphids, then you have created a true paradise for the aphids. They now have an especially easy time moving from plant to plant and infesting the entire garden.
But not all plants are suitable for the aphids. On some, they will not be happy and you can not find a food source. So, in order for you to curb the infestation of aphids, you should make sure to plant as many different plants as possible in your garden.
This has the advantage that the plants have different characteristics and, for example, do not have the same height. This makes the transition of the individual plants more difficult and the aphids can not spread unhindered.
Also, make sure that the distance between the plants is designed a little more generous. If you already know that your garden is very susceptible to aphids, then you should refrain from planting it as closely as possible.
Aphids can spread only mainly by moving from plant to plant. If you are deprived of this opportunity, the risk of aphids being able to spread easily is also greatly reduced.
Avoid too much nitrogen
Fertilizing the plant is supposed to make it extra strong and keep it in good health. However, too much fertilizer can also lead to problems. Nitrogen is the nutrient that plants need the most of. However, an oversupply provides breeding ground for pests, such as the aphid.
You can recognize a nitrogen deficiency when the leaves turn slightly yellowish and the tips look sickly brown. Furthermore, the growth of the plant is severely restricted and overall the plant looks very sickly. Here it is advisable to supply nitrogen with the help of fertilizers.
However, an over-supply should be avoided. You can recognize that too much fertilizer has been given by the fact that the plants are relatively soft and grow faster than average.
This state of oversupply is attractive to aphids, because they can get food very easily here. Therefore, you should only add nitrogen to the plant in very moderate amounts via fertilizer, even though nitrogen is often considered a panacea.
Provide moist air
Dry air is not pleasant for plants. Most plants suffer when the air is too dry. Therefore, especially for houseplants, care should be taken to ensure that the humidity is sufficiently high.
This can be achieved if the room is ventilated several times a day. In this way, fresh air can replace the stale old and a natural humidity can be established in the rooms.
In addition, the plants can be showered with water. This has not only the advantage that the humidity is increased, but also that already aphids, which are on the plants of these is washed. The higher humidity and the healthier plants then prevent a new infestation of aphids.