Aphids are a pain in any garden. Learn how to get rid of them naturally.
Aphids are a soft, pear-shaped insect, and very tiny (they’re only 1/16 to 3/8 inch long!) If you’re not sure if you have aphids, you can identify them by the two short tubes that project backward from the tip of their abdomen, and their long antennae. Plus, they reproduce quickly so you will usually see a bunch of them at a time. You can find them all throughout North America.
The Life Cycle of an Aphid
How to control aphids naturally
Though aphids have amazing reproductive and dispersive capabilities, they are luckily only ephemeral pests in organic gardens with good floral diversity. Green peach aphids are like candy to their natural enemies. They readily fall prey to parasitic wasps, lady beetles, predatory maggots, and lacewing larvae. Infestations can usually be controlled simply by waiting for beneficial insects to arrive, so don’t worry too much about them.
Besides natural parasites, here are five more simple ways to control aphids without chemicals:
1. Early in the season, they can be dislodged with a strong jet of water. Drench plants with strong sprays of water from a garden hose to kill aphids. A hard, driving rainstorm will have the same effect.
2. Keep your plants as healthy as possible, and spray dormant oil to control overwintering eggs on fruit trees.
3. Ants and aphids are usually interdependent. Ants herd and care for aphids in order to keep a much loved food in constant supply: the honeydew with aphids naturally secrete. Control ants that guard aphid colonies in trees from predators by placing sticky bands around the trunks.
4. Spray aphids with organic gardening approved OMRI-listed insecticidal soap, summer oil (on tolerant plants), and homemade garlic sprays.
5. Provide food for aphid predators by mixing small-flowered plants like mints or yarrow throughout your garden. Just avoid overfertilizing with nitrogen; the resulting lush, juicy shoots are aphid magnets.
Source: Rodale’s Organic Life
On – 09 May, 2017
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