Aphids are tiny little indoor and outdoor garden pests that are more than pests, they are destructive and can kill your plants. Aphids come in a variety of colors which include green, black yellow and light yellow. They suck the moisture out of your plant leaves by puncturing the leaf and feeding. Aphids are also the carriers of many plant diseases which will also lead to the demise of your garden. Controlling aphids is an important step to a successful garden. These methods of natural pest control are all very effective for eliminating aphids. Aphids can usually be managed by an able do it yourself type, rarely is a pest control service needed even if you have an aphid infestation.
To make your own aphid traps cut a paper plate from the edge towards the center in a straight line, cut a circle in the center large enough to fit around the plant stem. Paint the top side of the paper plate with Karo dark corn syrup. Place the plate around the base of the plant. Aphids will become stuck on the sticky plate. This method is more effective for houseplants rather than outdoor patio container plants or garden plants.
In a large spray bottle add warm water, 1 teaspoon of a mild dish washing soap such as Ivory Dish Soap, 1/2 teaspoon of cooking oil and 12 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Shake to mix and spray plants, reapply the spray after a rainfall. Be sure to spray the undersides of the plant leaves. Eucalyptus Essential Oil is available at health food stores, natural pharmacies and online.
Lemon Kills Aphids
Boil approximately 4 cups of water, add the peels from 2 to 3 large lemons, cover the pot and remove the pot from the stove. Allow the lemon peels to steep in the water overnight. In the morning, strain the lemon peels, pour the remaining lemon water in a spray bottle and mist your plants, both tops and bottoms of leaves. Reapply after a rainfall.
Re-use tea-bags and loose tea to keep aphids away from your plants. Aphids do not like the acids in tea and will stay away. Boil 4 cups of water, place old tea-bags and used loose tea in the water, allow the tea to steep overnight. Strain the tea-bags and loose tea, pour the liquid in a spray bottle and spray plants. break open the tea-bags and sprinkle the tea leaves around the base of your plants.
Plant garlic, onions and Marigolds in and around your garden to repel aphids.
Plant Fennel to attract insects that will eat aphids.
Attract Lady Bugs to your garden or buy Lady Bugs online and at garden centers to eat the aphids along with other harmful garden pests.