Figuring out how to get rid of greenfly naturally can be a challenge. Otherwise called aphids or plant louse, greenflies are soft-bodied, sap-sucking insects that use their piercing mouthparts to suck the juices out of plants.
Below are some of the most effective ways of keeping away these bugs without using chemicals.
1. Neem Oil
One of the best solutions to repel greenflies, neem trees excrete oil that is similar to vegetable oil.
In it are organic compounds that can help to naturally kill off aphids. It has other benefits like doing away with fungus.
All you need to do is combine 1 tsp. of neem oil suitable for garden use with 1/2 tsp. of castile soap and 1 gallon of water. Put into a spray bottle.
Another option is to boil the leaves (green or dry) until the water changes color. Let it sit overnight, then strain out the particles and add to your spray bottle.
2. Essential Oils
Essential oils have many different jobs. One of those jobs is to keep aphids out of the garden.
By mixing rosemary, thyme, peppermint, and clove oils in a water bottle with a spray, it can help to naturally get rid of greenfly.
Not only does it kill those small green bugs that fly, but can help by killing the eggs, too.
3. Soap and Water
Using plain soap and water is another trick to keeping aphids away from your garden. Aphids have a waxy-like substance on their back, and when mixed with soapy, hot water, it will dissolve.
Does soapy water kill greenfly? Yes. The bugs become dehydrated and they will die off. This method can also kill bugs that are beneficial, so be careful to not apply too much.
Look for natural premixed soaps like Dr. Bronner’s castile soap that will help to repel aphids while also protecting the garden’s crops.
4. Epsom Salt
Add Epsom salt to the soap and water mixture in a spray bottle. By spraying the mixture onto the plant, you can get rid of harmful aphids.
It is best to use it on the bottom of the leaves in the early evening. After the night has passed, rinse off the top of the leaves with the garden hose so they don’t get burnt by the sun.
Epsom salt can also help to remove black fungus on plants.
5. Garlic Spray
A homemade garlic spray can help to rid of aphids in the garden. All you’ll need is some mineral oil and fresh garlic.
Chop the fresh garlic cloves and let them sit in the organic mineral oil. After taking out the solid garlic pieces, add it to water.
Add a little bit of organic liquid soap and spray it on your plants. This organic greenfly spray will help to encourage the greenflies to go away while also protecting the plants.
6. Vinegar Solution
Vinegar is a natural household product that is commonly used to deter garden pests, including aphids. Pair it with an organic liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s.
Combine one tablespoon of liquid soap with four tablespoons of vinegar in a gallon of water. This makes a great homemade aphid spray. Add to a spray bottle and coat affected plants.
7. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Naturally mined from oceans and rivers, diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of small aquatic creatures.
If applied correctly, this remedy will get rid of them permanently. DE is toxic to greenflies — it will enter their system and dehydrate them.
Purchase a brand that is OMRI listed for safe use in organic gardening. Lightly dust the leaves of affected plants and reapply once there’s a heavy downpour of rain.
8. Hose Them
Believe it or not, one way to keep aphids away from your garden is to use the hose. Select the hard jet-setting and spray away at your leaves.
Of course, it is important to make sure you don’t damage the plant in the process. A nice, hard rain will help too.
9. Plant Other Plants
Companion planting is a clever option when thinking of how to get rid of greenflies.
There are other plants you can have in your yard that will attract them. This will keep them happy while also keeping your crops happy.
Some of those plants are cosmos, hollyhocks, verbena, and zinnias.
If aphids are happily eating elsewhere, they will hopefully leave your important crops alone.
10. Natural and Safe Commercial Pesticides
Perhaps the easiest and quickest way of getting rid of green fly infestation is to invest in natural commercial pesticides such as these:
These pesticides keep away aphids. What’s more — they are OMRI listed, which means that they are safe for use in organic gardening.
11. Encourage Birds to Come Around
This is a great natural way to get rid of aphids. By putting out bird food in a feeder, you can attract birds that will help to naturally control aphids in the garden.
Also, consider putting up some birdhouses to attract birds like titmice, sparrows, chickadees, herons, wrens, and others that will eat the bugs.
12. Aluminum Foil
By putting aluminum foil or reflective mulch on the ground underneath your plants, this can deter aphids.
This will be more effective in your vegetable garden. Try to avoid using it with your flowers as it can be harmful to them.
Just remember to pick up the foil when the gardening season is over to protect the environment.
13. Remove Manually
Another great way to get rid of aphids naturally is to remove them manually. If you only notice a minimal infestation, you can remove the bugs that you see.
In this case, it is important to take time out in your garden and identify which bugs need to be removed from the plants.
If you drop them into a tub of soapy water, they will die without you having to squish them.
14. Squish the Eggs
Don’t just get rid of these bad bugs themselves, but also make sure to get rid of the eggs.
You can remove them from the leaves, squish them, or use a natural insecticide. Destroying greenfly eggs will help keep your crops safe from harm.
While aphid eggs are not an immediate threat, as soon as they hatch, the new bugs can wreak havoc on your plants.
15. Pay Close Attention to the Ants
In getting rid of greenfly, pay close attention to ants. Aphids and ants are like best friends. They are sometimes the culprit for protecting them.
If you notice a large population of ants in your garden, you might want to consider focusing on getting rid of them.
If there are no ants to protect the aphids, there will be fewer aphids to deal with.
16. Onion Spray
Getting rid of aphids naturally is not so hard with the variety of options available. Aphids hate the smell of onions.
Puree one onion bulb in a cup of water to make a natural aphid spray. Strain and spray on affected plants. Use the measurement ratio as a guide for bigger concoctions.
17. Attract Insects and Bugs That Feed On Aphids
Some bugs and insects feed on aphids. However, it is important to know the ones that are beneficial from those that can damage your field.
Some of these predatory insects include ladybirds, lacewings, hoverfly larvae, aphid midge, and parasitic wasps.
What do Aphids Look Like?
They come in different colors — red aphids, black aphids, yellow aphids, white aphids, green, gray, or even pink, depending on species. They have a soft and waxy pear-shaped body with long antennae.
What do Aphids Eat?
By living on crops, they can destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, or roots. They are herbivores that suck the juice out of these plant parts, making harvest sparse.
Aphids target most fruit and vegetable crops and some flowering plants like roses and petunias. Of the crops in our backyard garden, we mostly see them on kale, corn, pak choy, and arugula.
You can also talk to the professionals at your nearest garden center on how to get rid of aphids permanently. They can give you advice on which plants might be less affected by greenfly in your particular climate.
This might limit the variety of plants you can have in your garden, but these guys can help you make good decisions about what to plant.