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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)

Among the most destructive garden insects, aphids may cause stunted plants and distorted leaves. However, there are many home remedies and natural solutions to control them.

Otherwise called greenflies, aphids suck sap from plants. 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 insect pests in your garden.

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

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 with 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

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

For the recipe, mix 3-4 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 by combining two tablespoons of Epsom salt and two teaspoons of liquid soap with a gallon of water.

Pour the solution into a spray container, shake well, and use it to coat your plants to keep away the critters. Moreover, by spraying the mixture onto plants, you will repel other bad bugs as well.

Read more on how to use Epsom salt on plants.

5. Garlic Spray

All you 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 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 garlic repellent spray will force greenflies to stay away as they hate the smell.

6. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar solution is commonly used to deter many insects and bugs.

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

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 is toxic to these soft-bodied insects and other garden insect pests. 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 with 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 solution will kill the critters when it dries out.

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 to attract aphids. These plants will keep them happy, so they will stay away from your cash 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 aphids.

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 ones that you see.

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

13. Squish the Eggs

Remove the eggs 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 feeding 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 see a lot of them in your garden. If there are no ants to protect the greenflies, 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 homemade 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.

Takeaway

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

Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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