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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Greenfly (Aphids)

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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Aphids (Greenflies)

Stems or leaves covered in a sticky substance, curling, wilting, or yellowing of leaves are all signs of a greenfly or aphid infestation.

Otherwise called greenflies, aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that suck sap from plants. They may also transmit viruses from one plant to another [1].

Here’s how to get rid of aphids naturally.

1. Neem Oil

Neem oil is excellent for killing aphids naturally.

Combine one tablespoon of neem oil suitable for garden use with one tablespoon of liquid castile soap in a gallon of water. Next, pour it into a bottle and spray your plants.

Another option is to boil neem leaves until the water changes color. Afterward, let it sit overnight then strain out the particles and add to a spray bottle.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils have many different jobs, and one of those is to keep certain pests out of the garden. Anise, basil, fennel, peppermint, and pennyroyal essential oils all work against aphids [2]

Mixing two ounces of essential oil in a gallon of water and spraying your plants can get rid of aphids organically. Not only does it kill those small green bugs that fly, but it will stifle the eggs too.

3. Soap and Water

Does soapy water kill aphids? Yes, it will suffocate these soft-bodied insects.

Use pure Castile or other organic liquid soaps to make an aphid soap spray that is suitable for your vegetable garden. Mix 3-4 tablespoons in a gallon of water and spray affected plants.

Alternatively, purchase a ready-to-use insecticidal soap spray.

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

4. Epsom Salt

Another great home remedy to kill green flies is Epsom salt.

Make a homemade aphid spray by adding two tablespoons of Epsom salt and two teaspoons of liquid soap to a gallon of water. Shake well and pour the solution into a spray container.

By spraying the mixture onto plants, you can repel other bad bugs as well.

However, it is best to use it on the underside of the leaves early in the evening. After the night has passed, rinse off the leaves with a garden hose. Read more on how to use Epsom salt on plants.

5. Garlic Spray

All you’ll need to make this homemade greenfly spray is some mineral oil, fresh garlic, a teaspoon of liquid soap, and two cups of water.

Chop four cloves of fresh garlic and let them sit overnight in two teaspoons of organic mineral oil. Next, take out the solid garlic pieces and add the garlic oil to the two cups of water.

It’s now time to add the liquid soap to the mix. 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 repellent spray will force greenflies to stay away as they hate the smell.

6. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar mixture is commonly used to deter garden pests like plant lice.

To make a natural aphid spray using vinegar, combine one tablespoon of liquid soap with four tablespoons of vinegar in a gallon of water.

Add to a spray bottle and use it to coat the affected plants.

7. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is toxic to green flies. It will enter their system and dehydrate them to death.

This is a common go-to killer remedy to get rid of bad plant bugs organically. However, purchase a brand that is food-grade or OMRI listed for safe use in organic gardening.

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

Use it to coat the affected areas but ensure it is not heavily dripping. Also, reapply once there’s a heavy downpour of rain. The DE solution will kill the critters when it dries.

8. Hose Them

Another effective home remedy for getting rid of aphids on plants and keeping away other stubborn insects is to hose them off.

Select the hard jet-setting and spray away at your leaves. However, use this DIY method with caution to avoid damaging your plants in the process.

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.

Plant nasturtiums, mustard, and sunflowers in your yard and to attract the critters. These plants will keep the pests happy, so they will stay away from your main crops.

10. Encourage Birds to Come Around

By putting out bird food in a feeder, you can attract birds that feed on aphids. Moreover, they will also help to control other bad insects and bugs in your garden naturally.

In addition to the feeders, consider putting up birdhouses to attract various predatory birds like titmice, sparrows, chickadees, herons, and wrens.

11. Aluminum Foil

Placing aluminum foil or reflective mulch on the ground underneath your plants will deter these pests.

It also serves a dual purpose as it helps retain soil moisture. Just remember to pick up the foil when the gardening season is over to protect the environment.

12. Remove Them Manually 

If you only notice a minimal green fly infestation, you can remove by hand the bugs that you see.

Moreover, by dropping them into a tub of soapy water, they will suffocate without you having to squish them.

13. Squish the Eggs

Don’t just get rid of these pesky insects themselves, but also make sure to get the eggs. Remove them from the leaves and squish them.

Destroying greenfly eggs will disrupt their life cycle. While the eggs are not an immediate threat, as soon as they hatch, the new bugs will start to wreak havoc on your plants. No eggs mean no adult flies later on.

14. Pay Close Attention to the Ants

Aphids and ants are like best friends. As a result; they are sometimes the culprits protecting them.

Therefore, you might want to focus on getting rid of ants if you notice a large population in your garden. If there are no ants to protect the critters, there will be fewer to deal with.

15. Onion Spray

Another great aphid control remedy is onion spray. The pests hate the smell of onions.

Therefore, puree one onion bulb in a cup of water to make a spray to repel green flies. Next, strain and spray affected plants.

Use the measurement as a guide for bigger treatment concoctions.

16. Attract Aphid Predators

Some bugs and insects feed on other insects. However, it is important to know the ones that are beneficial from those that can damage your field.

Natural enemies of aphids include ladybugs, lacewings, hoverfly larvae, aphid midge, and parasitic wasps.

17. Organic Commercial Pesticides

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

These insecticides kill aphids and other soft-bodied insects naturally. Moreover, the products are OMRI listed, which means that they are safe for use in organic gardening.


These natural home remedies and organic aphid treatments can correct the problem and prevent all sorts of insect pests from infesting your garden.

You can also talk to the professionals at your nearest garden center. They can give you advice on which plants might be less affected by the greenfly insect in your area.

Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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