Besides being insects that destroy our plants both at home and in the garden, aphids can also transmit viral diseases. Therefore, we should get rid of them from our space as soon as possible. Are there effective ways to remove them once and for all?
When you notice tiny worms about 2 mm long in pale yellow, pink, red, brown or green on the plants, then unfortunately you are dealing with aphids. Take action quickly because they multiply at an alarming rate and spread to other plants. Severely infested plants stop growing, their flowers and stems become discoloured or twisted. Coniferous trees and shrubs develop cone-shaped structures filled with larvae, and needles twist and drop. Some insects are covered with a white secretion and look like snowflakes. However, there is nothing beautiful about them.
Despite appearances, one of the most common ways to get rid of these pests is…plain water. Invasions of some aphids can be reduced by washing the leaves and stems of the plant with a strong stream of water (remember also the underside of the leaves, where the aphids are most numerous). Take care of the soil in the pot beforehand, which can be inadvertently flooded, e.g. by covering it with a layer of plastic wrap. Such baths should be repeated every few days to make sure that all pests are gone (eggs are very difficult to get rid of in this way, you have to wait until the insects grow). Remember that wet plants must not be placed in the sun. In order to avoid burning it, leave it to dry in a darkened place.
Very many people recommend baking soda as an effective way to fight aphids. There’s no denying that it is the most versatile, inexpensive and widely available remedy that will save us (us and our garden) more than once. We need a solution of this substance, to it we add oil or soap, so that the liquid lasts longer on our infested plant.
Recipe for baking soda solution
For 1 liter of water (preferably warm, so that the soda dissolves quickly in it), add ½ teaspoon of soda and ⅓ teaspoon of oil or olive oil (but they can be replaced just as effectively by washing-up liquid or gray soap). So prepared solution should be thoroughly sprayed on the plant, or wash the leaves with it.
Of the home remedies for aphids vinegar is often used. Mix vinegar with water in a ratio of 1:10, it is good to add some grey soap or washing-up liquid to the solution.
In addition to the most common ways, which are water, soda and vinegar, you can also bet on the unusual. If we are too afraid of our plants, we can use e.g. a solution of water and milk (in the proportion of 1:1), a mixture of gray soap and water, an extract or infusion of onion, garlic, honeysuckle or chamomile, and even a tobacco extract (only for ornamental plants) or manure e.g. from nettles.
If we are short of time or all other ways have failed, it is a sign that we need to stock up on thicker chemical weapons. The best products for the garden are: Pirimor, Mospilan, Confidor, Promanal (oil preparation) or Decis Ogród. Remember to observe the withdrawal periods, we should also see when the substances can be used (for example, some during the vegetation or flowering of plants, in the evening or early in the morning).
A way in tune with nature
An ecological way (but quite long-lasting) to control aphids in gardens and orchards without using any harmful substances provides… attracting ladybugs. Their larvae feed on aphids, so they can deal with them quickly. The problem, however, lies in the process of attracting them. It is recommended to tie a yellow ribbon on the plant in question, which should lure these insects.
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Not all ways will be ideal for our plants – it depends on their preferences. Therefore, we should not be discouraged if one patent fails. There are many ways to fight against aphids, so when you see the characteristic worms on a plant, do not get rid of it, but save it by reaching for one of the above presented exits.