Among the most common plant pests, aphids can cause damage to a variety of plants.
Otherwise called greenflies, aphids feed on plant sap. They also produce honeydew, which can attract ants and other insects .
However, there are many home remedies and natural methods to control them. 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 aphids out of your garden. Anise, basil, fennel, peppermint, and pennyroyal essential oils all work against these pests .
Therefore, mix 2 ounces of your 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 also work on the eggs.
3. Soapy Water
You can use some 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 the 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
You can also make a homemade aphid spray using Epsom salt. All you need for this DIY treatment are 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 it 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
Garlic is also a great natural repellent for green flies and many other insect pests. Therefore, use it to make a DIY spray that will force these critters to stay away.
For the recipe, get some mineral oil, fresh garlic, a teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and 2 cups of water.
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.
Finally, shake well and spray this garlic repellent spray all over your plants.
6. Vinegar Solution
A vinegar solution is commonly used to kill plant lice 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 the solution to a spray bottle and use it to coat the affected plants.
7. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Another great home remedy to kill greenflies is diatomaceous earth. It will dehydrate them to death.
Lightly dust the leaves of the affected plants. Alternatively, make an aphid killer spray by 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 the affected plants.
The strong gush of water will knock off the pests.
9. Trap Crops
This is a clever pest control method to get rid of aphids on roses, tomato plants, dahlias, and other plants that they love.
Nasturtiums, nettles, and calendula are excellent trap crops for this purpose. Aphids will swarm these sacrificial plants, and when they do, pull them up and discard them.
10. Encourage Birds to Come Around
Putting out bird feeders will help attract birds that feed on harmful insects and related pests in your garden.
Birds such as hummingbirds, chipping sparrows, and other backyard birds 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. Repellent Plants
Marigolds, garlic, catnip, rosemary, chives, and rye are some plants that repel aphids. Plant these in or around your garden to help keep the critters away.
13. Pick them Off
Another excellent aphid control remedy is to pick them off your plants. Next, drop them into a container with soap and water.
The soapy water 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 new aphids will start feeding on your plants.
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 the affected plants.
Greenflies hate the smell of onions.
17. Beneficial Insects
Aphid predators include ladybugs, green lacewings, damsel bugs, soldier beetles, and parasitic wasps.
18. Wood Ash
Some gardeners have had success using wood ash on their plants to suffocate aphids and other pests. Therefore, sprinkle a little on the affected plants and see if it works for you.
19. Safe Commercial Pesticides
Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to eliminate 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.
These home remedies and organic treatments can help eliminate, repel, or control aphids and prevent many other pests from invading your garden.