How to Get Rid of Aphids? (Plant Louse)

You constantly take care of your garden, nurture it, and enjoy watching it grow. Then parasites appear and start destroying the garden to which you have paid so much attention. Fighting parasites can be very exhausting. To get rid of them, you need to find out which parasites are attacking your garden. A particular problem can be caused by small parasites that are difficult to see, such as tiny insects called aphids. Aphids can stop the growth of your plants and cause yellowing and distorted leaves. So how to get rid of aphids?

You can use pesticides to get rid of aphids or plant louse, but you can also use natural preparations to help drive aphids out of your garden. Also, you can put plants that are known to repel aphids. To solve the problem naturally, make houses for birds and insects that feed on aphids and get rid of them easily.

How to Get Rid of Aphids Plant Louse
How to Get Rid of Aphids Plant Louse

Aphids or plant louse are small insects that feed on young and succulent parts of the plant, most often the leaves. Wherever there are plants or flowers, there are also aphids. These tiny insects multiply very quickly and can cause major problems in your garden. Aphids can be different colors of brown, red, green, yellow, and resemble small spiders with 8 legs. When they feed on a plant, they leave behind a substance called honeydew which spreads rapidly and attacks the plant. Besides, these small insects spread viruses, so it is very important to get rid of them as soon as you notice them.

What causes aphid infestation?

As already mentioned, aphids feed on succulent parts of the plant, most often the leaves. They do damage, however, to buds, young stems, flowers, fruits, and roots. When they feed, they damage the plant, which then weakens because the aphids suck the plant tissue from it, which the plant uses to recover. These small insects come in groups of 10 or more on a single leaf and multiply rapidly. Specifically, a female can have 40 or more young, and a new generation can emerge in just 7 days.

However, aphids choose plants that are weaker which means your plant has been weak in some way before the aphid infestation. Several reasons why your plant has been under stress are unsuitable climatic conditions, little or too much water, or little or too much sunlight. The plant may have already been attacked by insects or you may be using too many pesticides. Whatever the reason, your plant was under stress even before it was attacked by aphids. To prevent the reappearance of aphids try to find out why your plant is weak.

If your plant is otherwise healthy and you have not previously noticed any signs of stress on it, a possible cause of aphid infestation is the disappearance of predators that normally feed on them. Butterflies, birds, lacewings, damsel bugs, and other larger insects normally feed on aphids. They do this so effectively that under normal conditions they eat aphids and do not allow them to multiply on your plants and thus destroy them. Excessive use of insecticides can lead to the killing of beneficial insects. Therefore, there are no insects that would eat aphids that multiply quickly and they can freely attack your garden.

How to get rid of aphids? 

There are numerous ways to treat aphids. Many pesticides on the market are successfully solving the problem of aphids, but more and more we are striving for organic products that will not harm nature, nor you. We bring you a list of products you can use to treat aphids, and it is up to you to decide whether to use chemical or natural products.

1. Coca Cola

We know you didn’t think Coca-Cola would help fight aphids, but you’ll be surprised. All sweet drinks that contain large amounts of sugar can be successful in fighting aphids. Put Coca-Cola or some other sweet juice in a spray bottle, then spray the plant. The sugar from the drink creates a sticky cover that will prevent the movement of aphids, prevent them from feeding and ultimately kill them. Repeat the procedure depending on the intensity of the attack and the weather. Remember to spray the plants again after each rain.

2. Soap

Soap can be very helpful in combating plant louse. However, preference should be given to organic soaps to minimize damage to the plant. To make an aphids killer, soak 300 grams of soap in 10 liters of water. If you use liquid soap, add 125 milliliters of water to 10 liters. If you do not need as much mixture, you can reduce the amount and add 50 milliliters of soap to 4 liters of water. You can also use dishwashing detergent instead of soap. Then put the preparation in a spray bottle and spray the plant well. Pay attention to the lower parts of the leaves since aphids are very often hidden there.

The soap will remove or rinse the oily film that is on the aphids and protects them from dehydration. Once this protective cover is gone, the aphids are vulnerable to heat so high temperatures will destroy them very quickly and solve gardening problems.

3. Tobacco

If you have tobacco leaves you can use them to get rid of aphids. Take 400 grams of tobacco leaves and pour with 10 liters of warm water. Leave the tobacco in the water for 3 hours to release its nutrients, then strain well. Apply the liquid to the infected plant to remove the plant louse.

4. Ash and soap

If you don’t have a tobacco leaf, don’t worry. Instead of tobacco, you can put 300 grams of wood ash in 10 liters of water, and then cook the mixture for 25 minutes. After the mixture has cooled. strain it and then add 50 grams of soap. Stir the mixture well, then spray the plants with it.

5. Onion

Onion has a pretty strong smell so it’s no wonder aphids don’t like it either. To get rid of aphids with the help of onions, simply cut the onion into pieces and then let it boil in a liter of water. Add 5 to 6 grams of laundry soap to the water and stir well to dissolve. Leave the mixture to stand for at least 5 hours and then the mixture is ready for use on plants.

6. Garlic

Garlic may have an even more intense odor than onions so it is a big enemy of aphids. It is especially effective in the fight against black plant louse, which very often attacks tomatoes. To make an anti-aphids remedy you will need 200 grams of garlic and a liter of water. Grate or cut the garlic into smaller pieces, then boil it in a liter of water. Leave the garlic in the water for 5 hours, then strain it. This preparation is very strong, so you must dilute it before use. Mix one cup of this mixture with 10 liters of water and then you can spray the plants with it.

7. Nettle

Nettle is a great ally in the fight against plant louse. To make the preparation you need 1 kilo of fresh nettle or 200 grams of dry nettle and 10 liters of water. The water does not need to be boiled, but simply put the nettle in the water and let it stand in it for 12 to 24 hours. Be careful though not to leave it for more than 24 hours as in that case the nettle will no longer be effective in fighting insects. Strain the mixture and then treat the infested plants. This preparation has been shown to be particularly successful in combating green aphids, while not very effective in combating black aphids.

8. Wormwood

If you are bothered by ants and mites, mites and worms, the wormwood mixture will solve all these problems. Pour 300 grams of fresh wormwood or 30 grams of dry worm with 10 liters of water, then leave in water for 10 hours. However, be careful not to treat your plants often with this mixture because wormwood is extremely strong and can damage your plants in excessive amounts.

9. Pine needles

If you have a forest or pine tree nearby, you can use pine needles to get rid of the plant louse quickly and painlessly. Finely chop small pine branches, about a pound to a pound and a half. It will be easiest for you to do this with an ax, but if you are unsure you better use garden shears or a knife. Put the chopped twigs in 10 liters of water and leave the mixture to stand for 3 to 4 days in a warm place, stirring occasionally. After 3 to 4 days, strain the mixture. Add a liter of water and 2 tablespoons of liquid soap to it, then mix it well. Put in a spray bottle and spray on the plants.

It is good to use this mixture even before aphids appear as a preventive measure. Make this mixture in early spring and spray it on the plants three times: during bud growth, during budding and after flowering. This way you will protect the plants from aphids, moths and other pests and your plants will be able to grow unhindered.

10. Physical removal of aphids

Although they can do great damage to your plants, aphids are actually very sensitive insects. Put on gloves and then pick aphids from your plants. To kill them it is necessary to crush them, not just remove them from the plant. If you remove them, there is a possibility that they will return, so be sure that you have completely destroyed them. If the aphids have already multiplied, this method may be ineffective as it will take you hours to remove them all so it is better to use one of the other methods offered

11. Cutting leaves

If you see that the plant louse has already spread to your plant and is multiplying quickly a potential solution is to cut the leaves on which they are located. In this way, you will prevent their further reproduction on your plants and allow them to continue to grow unhindered. Make sure that there are no hidden aphids left on the plant because if they remain, they will multiply again very quickly and you will have problems again.

12. Rinsing method

If you notice that your plant is full of aphids, it is not worth tearing off the leaves or physically removing the aphids as this way you will not be able to remove all those found on the plant. A more effective way is to hose them down with water. Although aphids can later climb the plant again, they are not as persistent so they are very unlikely to return to the same plant. Put on a hose spray attachment and spray the plant well on all sides to make sure you have removed all the aphids. Be sure to spray the lower parts of the leaves as aphids in these places like to hide. Repeat the procedure every three days, and if you notice that this method does not work, it is time to apply one of the harsh methods to kill them and remove them from your garden.

13. Alcohol

Alcohol is very strong so it will be deadly for aphids. Alcohol will attack the sensitive bodies of aphids and thus kill them as well as their eggs. Buy 70% alcohol and mix 2 cups of alcohol with 5 glasses of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Before using the mixture on the whole plant, test how the solution will react on one leaf. Wait a few days and if you see that the plant has reacted well, spray the solution on the whole plant. You can use the alcohol you have in your household for this mixture, but then use a smaller amount of water.

14. Essential oils

Essential oils are extremely useful and solve almost all the problems in your home, but also in the garden. You can use them to make your own spray mixture and thus remove aphids. Add water to a small spray bottle, then add 4 to 5 drops of the following essential oils: peppermint, clove, rosemary, and thyme. Shake the ingredients well, then spray the mixture on the plant. This mixture will kill adult aphids, larvae, and eggs. Your plant will be safe and it will also smell really good.

15. Baking soda

Aphids do not tolerate baking soda, so baking soda may be the right choice in the fight against aphids. To make the solution, add a teaspoon of baking soda and a third of a cup of olive oil to a cup of water. Mix the ingredients well, then spray them on the infested plants. The combination of oil and baking soda will melt the bodies and eggs of aphids, and your plants will be safe.

16. Chamomile

We know how healing and good chamomile tea is for the human body. However, when it comes to aphids, chamomile is unsuitable for them. To solve the problem with aphids in 10 liters of water put one pound of dried chamomile. After the chamomile has stood in the water for 12 hours, strain the mixture. When you want to apply it to one cup of the mixture, add 2 cups of water and a little soap. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the plants.

17. Pesticides

There are numerous pesticides on the market that can solve the problem of aphids. At any farm equipment store, you can ask a seller who recommends pesticides to address aphids. However, be careful that if you use pesticides, choose those that will not harm beneficial insects. When you use pesticides to get rid of aphids, it often happens that pesticides also kill beneficial insects that feed on aphids and other parasites and at the same time pollinate your garden and help it grow.

If you harm such insects, you will jeopardize the growth of other plants in your garden. In addition, you will allow the uninterrupted further reproduction of aphids. Aphids reproduce much faster than beneficial insects, so they will be able to feed on your plants unhindered until the beneficial insects return to your garden. Be well informed about the pesticides you plan to use and use them only according to the instructions on the product. If you are unsure, it is better to use one of the natural methods that you are sure will not harm your plants.

How do you kill aphids naturally?

To get rid of aphids it is better to use natural preparations and solutions. Using pesticides can result in killing beneficial insects instead of aphids. If this happens you will damage your garden even more because beneficial insects take longer to reproduce than small aphids. Likewise, if you kill beneficial insects you will have no one to kill parasites such as aphids.

Many animals feed with plant louse so you can use their help to kill aphids naturally. You can invite insects and birds to your garden to solve the problem of aphids for you.

Numerous insects are natural enemies of aphids and use them for their diet. Such insects are, for example, ladybugs, flies, predatory bedbugs, web beetles, and even parasitic wasps. To attract these insects to our garden we can make a hotel for insects. Making a hotel is pretty simple. Make a wooden structure on which you will place various elements with a hole so that useful insects can be sheltered in them. Put some leaves, straw, or dry grass between the pieces of wood to make the insects comfortable.

In addition to insects, many small birds also feed on plant louse. Some of those birds are bed bugs, sparrows, small shrubs, and others. To attract birds to your garden you don’t have to build hotels, but it would be good to make them cottages or set up feeders in your garden. Prepare bird feeders in the winter to provide them with a constant source of food and to keep them in your garden.

Neem oil is very effective against aphids, especially when it comes to killing eggs and larvae. The oil covers the eggs and then softens and destroys them. The body of aphids is extremely soft and unprotected, so neem oil will do the same to adults and thus kill all aphids and solve your problems in the garden. Neem oil will also repel other insects such as beetles, cabbage worms, leaf miners, ants, and caterpillars. However, it is possible that neem oil also removes beneficial insects, which can endanger your garden, so use it according to the instructions on the product and do not use it in excessive amounts.

Another thing that is important to know about aphids is their connection to ants. Ants feed on honeydew left by aphids. Ants are smart little bugs that therefore farm aphids to have a food source. If you see numerous ants constantly passing through your garden immediately make sure you have aphids on the plants. Ants can be a great indicator for aphids infestation. If you notice aphids apply one of the methods to remove them, but by no means forget to treat the ants as well. If you leave the ants, the aphids will probably return to your garden very quickly.

How do you keep aphids from coming back?

To prevent these tedious little insects from returning to your garden and save you time you can use several natural ingredients that will prevent aphids. 

Diatomaceous earth is one way to prevent aphid infestation. This earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that is crumbled into a white powder that will slice up the soft bodies of insects that climb to the ground. Diatomaceous earth is completely safe for humans as well as for your pets so you don’t have to worry. You can place it on the ground around the plant or sprinkle it on the surface of the plant to prevent aphids from coming back.

You can also sprinkle the ground around the plant with wood ash or cigarettes. Cigarette ash is the most effective because it has a strong smell and will bother the aphids, which is why they will leave it. The ash, however, is not harmful to the plant so it will continue to grow unhindered. It should be noted though that this method will not kill aphids but will drive them out of your garden.

If you don’t have ash, you can use an ingredient you certainly have at home, flour! The flour will prevent the aphids from sticking to the plants in your garden and thus prevent them from reproducing. Be sure not to forget to put the flour back on after it rains.

To prevent aphids from forming in your garden, consider planting plants that repel or attract aphids. Plants like mustard attract aphids so you can plant them next to plants that you don’t want the aphids to attack and thus redirect their attack. Putting plants that attract aphids in the garden will make your job easier because if a plant louse appears in your garden, you will know which plants need to be controlled and treated first. In addition to mustard, the plants that attract aphids are asters, cosmos, tuberous begonias, and dahlias.

Another tactic is to plant plants in the garden that will repel aphids. For example, catnip, garlic, onions, and chives have an intense scent that repels aphids so you can plant them next to roses that aphids love to attack. Combine garden plants that aphids like and those they don’t like to protect sensitive plants. Some other plants that control plant louse are coriander, calendula, and lavender.

To prevent aphids from coming back, place aluminum foil between the plants to reflect the sun and prevent aphids. However, it is not recommended to use aluminum foil in your flower garden, but it will be very effective in the vegetable garden.

Can aphids go away on their own?

Aphids are small insects, but they are quite hardy. They boil quickly and constantly lay eggs, thus ensuring the survival of the plant. If you do not completely remove them from the plant, the aphids will not go away on their own as long as they always exist for their life in your garden.

Aphids appear when the weather is warm and dry or after heavy rains. The optimal temperature for the growth of plant lice is 20-28 C °. Aphids enjoy high temperatures so they can reproduce on them and will not harm them. Heavy rains can remove aphids from your plants, but they won’t completely kill them. It will only briefly remove them from your plants.

If you want to get rid of aphids completely it is best to do it yourself. If you wait for the aphids to disappear on their own, you will only prolong their life, allow them to reproduce carefreely, and thus create even bigger problems in the garden. Do not wait, but immediately use one of the above methods to help your garden and allow it to bloom smoothly.

Related questions

How to get rid of aphids on chili? Remove the aphids you see in advance and then spray the chili plant with plant soap. Avoid stronger toxins here because you want to be able to eat your non-toxic chili fruit.

Can aphids be removed with soap and vinegar? Using soap and vinegar to get rid of aphids is an old proven housewife tip. Mix only 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of soap per liter of lukewarm water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray your plant.

Can you use parsley against aphids? You can actually use parsley to fight aphids. Boil a handful of parsley in a pot of water, strain, and then use the decoction (when it has cooled) to water the flowers. It causes aphids to let go of the plant.

What is the biological control of aphids? To control aphids in a biological way, you can use soapy water, diatomaceous earth, or take the help of birds and insects in your garden. 

Annika Vallgren

The old housewives, in general, were in charge of everything in a household. From doing budget deliberations, meal planning to implementing actions and everything in between, they are simply the right person for the job, period. A major portion of their time was spent doing laundry, cleaning, and feeding her hungry children, who would come home tired from school. I believe we have a lot to learn from her. So, here you will find old housewife tips mixed with modern life hacks, knowledge about washing and cleaning, and much more the modern housewife needs!

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