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Fight aphids: The 5 best home remedies

What helps against aphids on the plant?.

Spring is slowly coming back and unfortunately with it the aphids. Especially in spring they seem to come out of nowhere and like to multiply on young leaves and make life difficult for the plants.

In our article we will show you, among other things, how you can use a wide variety of home remedies to combat unwelcome aphids without having to buy any additional chemical agents.

Aphids background

Aphids are among the most common pests in the garden that damage plants. In science, they are also called tube aphids and, like scale insects, mealybugs and whiteflies, belong to the group of plant lice. Here in Germany there are around 650 different species of aphids, making them the largest group of plant lice.

The life of aphids

After resting in winter, they emerge more frequently in spring. Within a short time, they multiply so rapidly that they don't stop at many plants with their tiny wings.

They are mostly green to reddish-brown or black-brown in colour, this can vary depending on the species.

Aphids have tiny proboscises with which they can attack the plant cells of the young leaves. In doing so, they suck out the nutritious and sugary plant sap, extremely weakening the plant and making it more susceptible to disease.

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Occurrence and reproduction of aphids

When the aphids have laid their eggs in autumn, they become active as the temperature rises in spring. This is how the wingless larvae hatch from their eggs at suitable temperatures.

Aphids can reproduce several times a year. This leads to a rapidly increasing population.

Since there is hardly any (room) plant that is safe from the aphid, it is one of the most feared pests here, not only in agriculture, but also among hobby gardeners at home. That's why it's important to know how to fight the aphids.

Aphids harmful

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Luis Fernández García, Aphis-nerii, CC BY-SA 1.0

You can often recognize them by the so-called honeydew that runs over the leaves. Aphids can only use part of the plant sap. Most of them are eliminated again. This sticky coating on the plant is a reliable indicator of aphid infestation.

Unfortunately, the honeydew is also an ideal breeding ground for fungi. In this way, aphids and fungi can damage your plant at the same time.

Dried up curled leaves or falling buds on the plant can also indicate aphids.

Causes of an aphid infestation

Aphids breed outdoors especially when there have been mild winters. If there is also warm and dry weather in spring and summer heat can build up at the locations, this is an ideal breeding ground for them. During this phase you should keep a close eye on your beloved plants to prevent a possible infestation at an early stage. Because of their wings, they are not only found in nature, but can also get into living rooms, onto balconies or sheltered terraces.

5 home remedies for aphids:

If your beloved plant is infested with aphids, no need to panic! It does not have to be an expensive chemical agent from the garden center.You can fight the aphids using simple home remedies that you may already have at home

1. Dish soap and soft soap

A sud of washing-up liquid or soft soap is tried and tested, since you always have one of the two at home. The soft soap is best, alternatively you can of course also use a washing-up liquid to fight the aphids:

  • Dissolve dish soap/soft soap in the water
  • Spray your plant with it, but be careful not to get any of the solution on the ground
  • Wipe off the aphid infestation carefully with a cloth
  • You should repeat this treatment several times

2. Canola oil

Rapeseed oil has a great advantage over other home remedies: it can also be used on vegetables and fruit plants since it is a food. Here's how you can use it without hesitation:

  • Create a water-oil emulsion: 70% water and 30% oil
  • Spray the affected plant parts with a spray bottle
  • The pests and their larvae are thus covered by a film of oil and die off
  • In the case of a very heavy infestation, you should repeat the treatment after a few days so that you can also combat all aphids

3. Nettle liquid manure

                                                      Blattläuse als Pflanzenschädling

anonymous, nettle 1, size by botanicly, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nettle manure is also excellent for controlling aphids. For the liquid manure you need flowering nettles. You should ferment one kilo of the herb in about 10 liters of water for one to two weeks.

Then you always dilute one liter of nettle liquid manure with 10 liters of water. Spray your infested plant with it every two weeks.

4. Onion broth

A broth made from onions is also said to help fight aphids:

  • First cut the onion into small pieces
  • Then boil the onion pieces. As soon as the water boils, you can let the onion water steep for half an hour on a low level
  • In order to spray the affected plant with the onion broth filled through a sieve, you should first let the water cool down

5. Black Tea

You certainly have black tea at home. Simply pour about a liter of boiling water over two bags of black tea. Then let it steep for at least 15 minutes.

Then the cooled tea is sprayed on the affected plants.

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Tips and tricks to prevent aphid infestation

Even though many (indoor) plants are affected by aphids, there are a few tricks you can use to prevent even a small infestation of aphids.

Tip 1: Aphids don't like the smell of garlic at all. So you can easily bury a few toes deep in the potting soil.

Tip 2: Place a lavender plant or savory next to your other houseplants. The aphids do not like the essential oils of these plants at all.

Tip 3: Fertilizing with synthetic fertilizers often leads to incorrect nutrient levels (too much nitrogen in the soil). Therefore, avoid this and use biological means better.

Tell the aphids to fight

You see, an infestation of aphids doesn't always have to be the end of your beloved plants! To prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place, you can use simple methods to ensure that your plant can live a healthy life without aphids.If the unpleasant little creatures do show up, there are plenty of home remedies that you should prefer to chemical agents to combat the aphids, put on your gloves and let's go!


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