Those that love to garden are often disheartened when they discover that aphids have invaded. These pests multiply quickly and thrive in hot, humid weather. They are also unsightly and can destroy a garden very quickly. If Aphids have been spotted, try not to panic. There are various ways to rid the garden of these pests using an interesting assortment of methods.
Tip #1 - Keep Plants Healthy
Aphids multiply rapidly so it is important to act quickly when they are first spotted. That said, most gardeners are pleased to know that healthy plants can usually survive a brief infestation of these invaders. By keeping your flowers well fed and watered, they will be able to stand up to aphids for a brief period of time. Don’t make the mistake of over feeding. This will just make your flowers more attractive to aphids and make the problem worse.
Tip #2 - Hose Down
If the infestation is relatively mild, hosing the flowers down should help reduce numbers. Two or three good soakings should send a clear message to the aphids that they are not wanted. If the problem doesn’t improve, more serious measures may be required.
Tip #3 - Send in Reinforcements
Ladybugs are lovely insects to watch and they are an arch enemy of aphids. The same is also true for parasitic wasps. If they don’t exist in your garden naturally, purchasing them from a nursery is always possible. Simply deposit your chosen insects on the plants where the aphids are present. These beneficial insects will thoroughly enjoy lunching on aphids and may present a long term solution to the problem.
Tip #4 - Non-Toxic Pesticides
Believe it or not, there are pesticides that are not actually harmful to human health. This mixture will keep the aphids away and still keep the air safe to breathe. Take 1 cup of vegetable oil and1 table spoon of dish soap and mix them together. Use one and a half teaspoons of the mixture and stir it into a cup of warm water. You will soon have a solution the aphids cannot stand. Just add the solution to a handheld spray bottle and apply.
Tip #5 - Capture Them Before They Land
By laying yellow, sticky traps at the base of your plants, it may be possible to capture these flying aphids before they land in your flowers. These can be purchased in garden stores or online.
Tip #6 - Soap Down
If the aphid infestation is quite severe, there are insecticidal soaps that can be used to rid the flowers of these problem visitors. The insecticidal soap works best for indoor plants. If the plants are outside, most garden centers and nurseries should have an anti- aphid application that will work effectively.
Tip #7 - Foiled Again!
For indoor potted plants, a very simple and non-toxic method of aphid removal is to cover the base with aluminum foil. This seems to confuse and discourage aphids from taking up residence in your plants.
Tip #8 – Avoid Attractants
For the outdoor garden, avoid planting birch trees. Aphids seem to enjoy these immensely. If the trees are already a fixture in your garden, try to plant any flowers a suitable distance away.