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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Greenfly (Aphids)

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18 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Aphids on Plants

Among the major plant pests, aphids may stunt plant growth. However, there are many home remedies and natural methods to control them.

Otherwise called greenflies, aphids feed on plant sap. They also secrete a sticky substance that can attract ants and other insects [1].

Here’s how to get rid of aphids naturally.

1. Neem Oil

Neem oil is excellent for killing aphids naturally. It also works great against other pests in your garden.

Combine one tablespoon of neem oil suitable for garden use, one tablespoon of liquid soap, and a gallon of water. Finally, pour this homemade greenfly spray into a bottle and spray your plants.

2. Essential Oils

Some essential oils can keep certain pests out of your garden. Anise, basil, fennel, peppermint, and pennyroyal essential oils all work against aphids [2]

Therefore, mix 2 ounces of essential oil of choice with a gallon of water. This makes a wonderful spray for getting rid of aphids organically.

Not only will it kill these small green bugs that fly, but it will work on the eggs too.

3. Soap Spray

Use organic liquid soap and water to make a mild aphid soap spray that is suitable for your vegetable garden.

For the recipe, mix 5 tablespoons of liquid soap with a gallon of water. Shake well and spray affected plants. Alternatively, purchase a ready-to-use insecticidal soap spray.

Use this remedy to get rid of aphids on houseplants and outdoor plants. However, it can also kill beneficial bugs, so be careful not to spray them too.

4. Epsom Salt

Make a homemade aphid spray using Epsom salt. All you need for this DIY plant lice treatment is 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt, 2 teaspoons of liquid soap, and a gallon of water.

Next, mix the ingredients together and pour the solution into a spray container. Finally, shake well and use it to coat your plants. This spray will keep away aphids and repel other bad insects as well.

Read more on how to use Epsom salt on plants.

5. Garlic Spray

Get some mineral oil, fresh garlic, a teaspoon of liquid soap, and 2 cups of water and make a garlic repellent spray.

Chop up 4 cloves of garlic and let them sit overnight in 2 teaspoons of the mineral oil. Next, strain and add the garlic oil to the 2 cups of water.

Now add the liquid soap. Some people use regular dish soap but we use organic ingredients in our recipes.

Finally, shake well and spray the solution all over your plants. This DIY spray will force aphids to stay away as they hate the smell.

6. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar solution is commonly used to kill plant louse and deter many other garden pests.

Make a natural aphid spray using vinegar. Combine 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, 4 tablespoons of white vinegar, and a gallon of water.

Finally, add to a spray bottle and use the solution to coat the affected plants.

7. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Another great home remedy to kill green flies is diatomaceous earth. It will dehydrate them to death.

DE also works on a lot of other garden pests. It is a go-to remedy to get rid of bad plant bugs organically. But, purchase a brand that is safe to use in your organic garden.

Lightly dust the leaves of affected plants. Alternatively, make an aphid killer spray combining 5 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth with a gallon of water.

Use the solution to spray the affected plants (aphids and all) but ensure it is not heavily dripping. The solution will kill the pests when it dries out.

Reapply once there’s a heavy downpour of rain.

8. Hose Them

This is another effective home remedy for getting rid of aphids on plants. Use the garden hose to spray affected plants. The strong gush of water will knock off the pests.

9. Trap Crops

Trap cropping is a clever pest control method to get rid of aphids on roses, tomato plants, dahlias, and other plants that they love.

These crops will draw these pests away from your main crops. Plant nasturtiums and sunflowers in your yard to attract aphids.

10. Encourage Birds to Come Around

Putting out bird feeders will help to attract birds that feed on harmful insects and related pests in your garden.

Birds such as magnolia warbler, hummingbirds, chipping sparrow, downy woodpeckers, and house wren eat aphids.

11. Aluminum Foil

Place aluminum foil on the ground underneath your plants. This will reflect light on the undersides of leaves which will deter aphids.

It will also help retain soil moisture. But, remember to pick up the foil when the gardening season is over to protect the environment.

12. Pest-Repelling Plants

Nasturtium, garlic, catnip, rosemary, onion, and basil are some plants that repel aphids (greenflies). So, plant these in or around your garden to keep the critters away.

13. Remove by Hand 

Another excellent aphid control remedy is to knock them off plants into a container with soapy water.

You can also wipe them away with soapy water. The soap will suffocate them.

14. Squish the Eggs

Remove the eggs from the leaves and squish them. Destroying aphid eggs will disrupt their life cycle.

While the eggs are not an immediate threat, as soon as they hatch the nymphs will start feeding on your plants. No eggs mean no adults later on.

15. Get Rid of Ants

Some ants protect aphids. Therefore, you might want to focus on getting rid of ants if you see a lot of them in your garden.

16. Onion Spray

Use an onion to make a homemade spray that repels green flies. Blend one onion in a cup of water. Next, strain and use the solution to spray affected plants.

Greenflies hate the smell of onions.

17. Beneficial Insects

Some insects feed on other insects. However, it is important to know the insects that are beneficial from the insects that can damage your plants.

Aphid predators include ladybugs, green lacewings, damsel bugs, soldier beetles, and parasitic wasps.

18. Safe Commercial Pesticides  

Perhaps the easiest and quickest way of eliminating an aphid colony is to invest in safe and natural pesticides such as these:

These insecticides kill aphids and other plant pests naturally. Moreover, the products are OMRI listed, which means they are safe for use in organic gardening.

Takeaway

These home remedies and organic treatments can help eliminate, repel, or control aphids and prevent many other pests from invading your garden.

Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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