Many homeowners don’t realize that aphids are one of the most common garden pests. If you want to curb their population and avoid dealing with an infestation, try some of these simple methods for getting rid of aphids.
1) Remove Weeds
Remove weeds and piles of debris from garden beds. Aphids tend to stay near sources of food like other bugs and plants. If you cut down the food source of the aphids, they will disappear. Effective weeds to remove include chickweed, clover, dandelion, and mullein.
If you find ants in your garden, it could mean you have aphids. Ants will protect aphids from predators like ladybugs because they secrete a sweet substance called honeydew that the ants use as food. The honeydew protects the aphids from predators and also serves as a growing medium for many fungal diseases.
2) Create a Barrier
Deter aphids from your garden by creating an air barrier. Many people use polyurethane to create a barrier for their garden beds, but if you don’t want to use chemicals, try using bamboo mulch or other materials that can be applied to your plants and soil. Also, consider installing a coat of terra cotta pots over the top of your garden bed. The pots will help keep the soil moist and discourage aphids from colonizing your plants.
3) Deadhead Your Flowers
Several aphid species come into your garden to feed on blooming plants and then multiply and spread throughout the yard. To keep these pests in check, deadhead your flowers. Aphids are easy to spot because their body color is similar to the color of their favorite plant. If you need to spray flowers, remove the flower heads before spraying.
4) Introduce Beneficial Insects
Protect your garden by using beneficial bugs like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies. Ladybugs and lacewings don’t eat aphids but they are effective predators of aphids and their eggs. They will hunt down aphids and eat them until the population is reduced. Hoverflies love to eat Aphids, the larvae live on them. Include these beneficial insects in your garden by planting dill, yarrow, or fennel near plant beds.
5) Implement a Reservoir Trap
The easiest way to get rid of aphids is to catch and kill the insects in your home. You can set up a large water reservoir near your garden beds and fill it with water. Aphids will congregate around the water source, so they can get trapped by sucking into the water. The water can be left overnight, allowing them to drown after they are caught in the reservoir.
6) Use a Reflective Barrier
As aphids tend to congregate near plants and outdoors, you can reflect the sunlight onto one specific location to repel them. Fill a spray bottle with water and spritz the ground around your aphid-infested plants.
7) Use a Homemade Repellent
Make a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, and spray it on plants. The smell will deter aphids. Also, try using hot sauce or other spices like chili pepper flakes. These techniques can also be used to encourage ants, which will eat any aphids they find in your garden.
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