Aphids are tiny insects that are every gardener’s nerve-wracking problem. They can be a formidable foe that is difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. These small insects that resemble pear-shaped dots on your plants can become a distant memory in your garden if you include aphid control in your regular gardening and maintenance routine. Your hatred for these pests should motivate you to do what you can to cut down their number and eliminated them, stopping them from destroying your precious plants.
Aphids make the stems and new leaf growth look drab, and these pests suck the sap out of the leaves and stem stunting the plant’s growth. Below are five aphid control tips that you can implement in your garden.
1. Always Be On The Lookout
These pests are small, but their size is incomparable to their resilience and tenacity. Aphids are very tiny, and you may miss seeing them unless you are actively on the lookout for these pests. You may not have an aphid problem now, but it may become a nightmare for your plants once a few aphids decide to come calling. You, therefore, should snuff their unwelcome stay before it turns into a full-blown invasion of your garden. Start by showing your plants some TLC by checking for signs of aphid activity and damage. The symptoms may include curling, browning/yellowing, wilting, and declining growth.
Aphids bring with them viruses and diseases to your plants and they secrete a substance the lowers the effectiveness of fungicides. These pesky pests can also cause sooty mold. What they secrete is called honeydew, and they expel it as they eat and damage your plants. Click here for more information on how to recognize the signs of aphid infestation.
2. Kill Ants
Whether ants are a good and bad thing in the garden is a debatable matter among many gardeners. However, an aphid problem rapidly gets out of hand if your plot has ants. The ants will be keen to protect the aphids because they want the honeydew that these pests produce.
3. Invite Ladybugs
As you put up the necessary defenses that include getting rid of ants that will want to protect the aphids, you also need to invite natural predators to help you put up a good fight. Ladybugs, for instance, and an excellent solution. The larvae or the ladybugs are natural aphid predators. You can attract these bugs by include plants that attract them into your garden or purchase the ladybugs at your local garden shop. Lacewings, wasps, aphid midge larvae, crab spiders, hoverfly larvae, and green lacewing larvae other natural aphid predators worth considering.
4. Destroy Infested Plants
If you come across plants that are too damaged, then you have to rip them out and dispose of them accordingly. Take note of the weak and dying plants because they are more prone to aphid damage. The young plants with new growths are also susceptible and are a favorite for the aphids. Removing and destroying the infested plants is good aphid control practice.
5. Use Soapy Water Or Insecticides
To ensure the survival of your plants, you need to use organic aphid control methods. Soapy water may help, but only to a certain extent. Mix water with a few tablespoons of dish soap and spray the mixture on the infected parts of the plant. Remember to rinse it off later using clean water. You should do this during the evening and early morning hours. If it does not work, you should consider using a safe insecticide that will not harm your plant.