Natural aphid control: 10 homemade remedies

Natural aphid control: 10 homemade remedies

What’s the matter, is something bugging you? No need to fret, these ten household remedies eliminate the annoying aphids – without any chemicals.

Aphids are terrible pests: it can seem as though these insects appear in the garden overnight. They weaken the plants and, as a result, the plants bear less fruit, are weak and might even die. Aphids can also transmit diseases from one plant to another. It is no wonder, then, that gardeners want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

10 homemade treatments to get rid of aphids

You don’t always want to resort to chemical agents and insecticides, though – after all, they also damage the beneficial organisms that you actually want to keep in the garden. These ten home-made solutions, which are effective without any chemical content, provide natural ways for aphid control.

Home remedy 10: soap solution

A true classic when it comes to aphid control is soapy water. It can be made from 150 to 300 g liquid soap (household soap or detergent are significantly less effective and not so environmentally friendly due to the perfumes contained) and 10 litres of water. In this way, the effective soap solution is made very quickly. It can be applied with a spray bottle; for some indoor plants, such as orchids, the leaves can also be simply wiped off with a damp cloth. The application should be repeated several times and soon your plants will be free of aphids.

Home remedy 9: nettle infusion

Just as well-known as the soap solution is the stinging nettle infusion. Although it consists only of the simplest ingredients (water and fresh nettles), it reliably treats light to medium aphid infestations. Let about one kilogram of nettles soak in ten litres of water for 12 to 24 hours. Then spray the liquid on the afflicted plants as soon as possible. In contrast to the infamous stinging nettle liquid manure, this treatment method is odourless and can be used near other people without a guilty conscience.

Home remedy 8: using your hands

A very straightforward approach is (if an aphid infestation is detected early enough) to remove the small pests by hand. Collecting them is one of the most effective, albeit time-consuming, methods. Another simple way is also to dab the plants carefully with a piece of adhesive tape. The aphids get stuck on the sticky side and can then be disposed of easily. A jet of water from a gardening hose can sometimes work wonders too. If the infestation is still small, the water rinses away the pests never to be seen again.

Home remedy 7: oregano

Oregano is of course great to use in the kitchen but its use does not stop there. The Mediterranean herb can also be used as an effective way to get rid of aphids. Just like tea, 100 g fresh or 10 g dried oregano can be brewed with a litre of water. It should be brewed for 20 minutes and then sieved to remove the plant residue. Mixed with water at a ratio of 1:3, it can be used as a spray to treat aphids.

Home remedy 6: garlic and onion

The smell of garlic and onion has successfully caused many an admirer to flee. So why shouldn’t it also work with plant pests? The essential oils of these plants have a deterring effect on aphids. Brew 40 g of chopped garlic or onion with five litres of water. After three hours, strain the mixture. If the plant is sprayed regularly with this concoction, the aphids disappear.

Home remedy 5: black tea

Black tea is only a favourite beverage of humans – aphids, however, do not share the same appreciation for the hot drink at all. Two bags of black tea infused with one litre of water is therefore a safe way to drive the aphids away. In order to have an optimal effect, the tea should be left to brew for at least 15 minutes. This aphid treatment is efficient yet not time-consuming.

Home remedy 4: wormwood

The well-known medicinal plant is not only used to make the legendary absinthe – a brew made from wormwood is also a great way to put a stop to an aphid infestation. Brew 100 g fresh wormwood leaves with one litre of water and strain the mixture after 24 hours. Then you can use the undiluted wormwood infusion not only against aphids, but also against other species of sucking insects.

Home remedy 3: natural enemies

This tip is not really a home remedy per se, but the annoying pests have plenty of natural predators that can be used to your advantage. Ladybirds, for example, do not only look cute, but can also eat up to 4000 aphids in their lifetime. Additionally, green lacewings and their larvae are also effective against aphids. But you don’t have to walk around and collect the small insects yourself: you can find the eggs of ladybirds and the like in almost every well-stocked garden centre. Moreover, if insect hotels and deadwood are used to provide additional space for retreat and nesting, the new helpers will feel particularly at home.

ladybird eating an aphid
Ladybirds are beneficial insects that help eliminate aphids from plants [ Jolanda Aalbers]

Home remedy 2: the right neighbours

Caution is better than forbearance. If you want to avoid an aphid infestation in the first place, you should consider a few things when choosing your plants. Some plants have a deterring effect on aphids – and thus protect not only themselves, but also their neighbours. Savory, for example, is avoided by aphids and, if positioned between potentially endangered plants, it provides reliable protection. Herbs that smell particularly strong, such as rosemary, oregano and thyme, do not only taste good but also repel any possible pests. And lavender is not just a simple decorative plant, it also fends off moths from wardrobes and aphids from the garden.

Home remedy 1: neem oil

Neem oil is a true miracle weapon in the fight against aphids and other pests. The oil, extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, contains the active ingredient azadirachtin, which prevents pests from eating. Beneficial organisms, on the other hand, are not negatively impacted. If the diluted neem oil (a few drops per litre is enough) is sprayed onto the plants, the aphids stop eating and starve to death within a few days. Please keep in mind, however, that neem oil should not be used in strong sunshine or rainy weather. In direct sunlight the danger of burns of the leaves by the oil increases, with rain the mixture is rinsed off immediately and is not effective.

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