Preventing Aphids from Infesting Your Yard and Garden Preventing Aphids from Infesting Your Yard and Garden
Aphids are a common garden pest and can make a mess of your garden if left uncontrolled. These tiny insects attack leaves and stems by piercing the plant and drawing sap from plant tissues. They easily spread diseases when they move from one plant to another. Aphids typically gather in large numbers underneath leaves or where new growth appears on the plants. Infested leaves become yellow, eventually dropping off. The following are some helpful ways of controlling the aphid menace in your yard and garden.
Introduce Beneficial Insects
Lady beetles feed on aphids and form an effective natural control strategy. You can increase the population of lady beetles in your garden to help in controlling aphid infestation. Green lacewings also feed on aphids and by encouraging their presence in your yard, you can achieve a reduction in the aphid population. You can buy these beneficial insects from your local garden store.
Aphids produce honeydew as they feed, a sweet substance which attracts ants. The ants carry the aphids to other plants thus spreading their presence. Controlling the presence of ants will help in containing the aphid menace in your garden.
Plants that Attract and Repel Insects
Certain plants like dill, sweet fennel and white sweet clover attract insects that feed on aphids. Lady beetles and green lacewing are some of the insects attracted to these plants. You can plant these around the plants that aphids typically attack in your garden. The insects will attack the aphids thus providing some control measure in aphid attack. Some brightly colored flowers like the marigold are also known to repel aphids. You can plant marigolds to form a protective border around your vegetable crops or other garden flowers that tend to get attacked by aphids. Garlic is yet another plant that effectively repels aphids through its powerful aroma. However, it does not interfere with the flavor of nearby crops and so is ideal to use as a natural aphid control.
Birch trees attract aphids in large numbers so this is one tree you will want to avoid especially if you have a vegetable garden.
Washing off the aphids is one of the easiest ways of ridding your garden of the pests. Simply spray ordinary water that has enough pressure onto the affected plants. This will wash away the pests and give your plants some reprieve from the insect pests. For greater efficacy, you can add some insecticidal soap or oil into the water. There are various chemical sprays on the market that also work effectively to get rid of aphids. However, if you prefer organic aphid control, you can use a garlic or tomato leaf spray on your infested plants and also as a preventive measure.
If the aphid infestation is minimal to moderate and plants affected are few, you can pick them off using your hands. Wear a pair of gloves to remove them from the leaves and wherever they appear on the plants.
Remove Severely Infested Plants
If the aphid infestation is heavy, it is best to remove the affected plant parts or the entire plant.