In most parts of the world, aphids are the number cause of plant damage among harmful insects. They come in a wide range and variety of sizes and colors, depending upon where you live, and eat just about everything. Aphids will work over a plant, reproducing at a great rate and when the plant they are feeding on becomes over populated they will develop wings and move on to another plant. As you can see if you do not tackle the problem immediately you can get over run with aphids fairly quickly. Here are four methods you can start implementing right away with any aphid issues you may have.
Yellow Sticky Traps
These are the same yellow sticky traps that you would use inside to catch house flies. You can pick them up at any home center or hardware store for a couple of bucks and sometimes even cheaper than that. They do a great job of attracting aphids and of course the aphids are incapable of removing themselves from the sticky tape. The downfall of this method is you might catch some beneficial insects as well. But, if you are over run with aphids you will have to make that trade to get their population under control.
Sprays that are safe to you, your family and the surrounding environment are another good way to get the aphid population under control. Such sprays include, neem or insecticidal soap. They can be quite costly depending on where you buy them and aren’t readily available at all home centers, so you may have to buy them online. For me personally, these items are hit or miss. Some years they have worked great and other years, not so well. I have not researched why this occurs, but it would not deter me from using it since I have already purchased the item.
This is one of the best ways to to get rid of aphids. There are insects that you can attract to your garden that do absolutely no harm to the plants but feed on aphids. The most common is the ladybug. They can eat over 2000 aphids in their lifetime. You can buy ladybugs from a lot of garden centers or plant various flowers or herbs to attract them. If your aphid issue is one of urgency you may have to spend the $20 to get some ladybugs in there right away. Green lacewings are another beneficial insect that will feed on aphids.
Finally, you can make your own sprays out of items in your kitchen. Two popular ones are a garlic spray and a hot pepper spray. A Google search on either will give you a number of recipes to choose from. Just remember to wash your veggies thoroughly before consuming.
We have all been there with aphid issues. Just know you are not alone. Using the four methods above in conjunction with each other will surely get rid of the pesky critters once and for all.
Mike Podlesny is the owner of Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC, the exclusive home of the Seeds of the Month Club, which has appeared on NBC, ABC and MSN Money as a great way for consumers to save money. http://www.averagepersongardening.com