Friday, May 15, 2015
Aphids are soft-bodied insects, about a tenth of an inch long. They're typically green or black, though you may also run into gray or black ones in your garden. Aphids suck the sap out of tender plant shoots and leaves. As aphids feed, they secrete a sticky substance, called honeydew, which can quickly become infested with sooty mold. This mold can spread viruses, many of which are incurable. For this reason, it’s important to take steps for controlling aphids in the garden. The good news is if caught early, they are pretty easy to combat.
Killing aphids naturally is not only better for the environment, but it is also a more effective way of killing the insect. Aphids don’t respond well to insecticides, but you can get them under control by taking advantage of their weaknesses and making a few changes in the way you manage your garden.
Aphids have a number of natural enemies. Pampering and nurturing these insects is an excellent method of organic aphid control. I have mint, fennel, dill and yarrow planted about to help attract these insects to my garden which will then feed to on those pesky aphids.
If you have a big enough property, you can create aphid traps by growing plants that are attractive to aphids. Growing plants such as nasturtium, aster, cosmos, hollyhock, larkspur, verbena, dahlia and zinnia far from other favorite plants will lure aphids away and keep the garden aphid-free.
Another easy way to get rid of aphids is a strong spray of water from a hose which will knock many of the pests off the plant, making it pretty impossible for them to return. It also rinses off some of the honeydew. Spray the plant every day until the plant is aphid free.