If you’re seeing evidence of woolly aphids on your plants, it’s important to take action right away. Although these pests only do mild damage, it’s still important to get rid of them.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the different methods to treat woolly aphids at home naturally. We’ll also tell you how to identify the critters and the plants that they mostly go after.
They look a little different from other aphids in appearance. They are tiny and pear-shaped with a fuzzy, waxy, white covering. Their fluffy coating also resembles wool.
Their eggs turn into nymphs that form cottony masses on twigs.
Plants That Woolly Aphids Attack
These sap-sucking pests prefer to attack woody stems but may also go after leaves and buds.
You’ll find them on many different trees and shrubs . They can cause damage to crab apples, olive trees, cotoneaster, pyracantha, citrus trees, chaenomeles, and other plants.
How to Get Rid of Woolly Aphids Naturally
Below we’ll discuss the best methods and home remedies for dealing with woolly aphids naturally. These include making organic sprays and using beneficial insects to your advantage.
1. Neem Oil
Have you ever heard of neem oil? It’s a natural pesticide that manufacturers extract from the neem tree seed.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to put something that’s made from a tree on my plants?” But trust me, it works. Neem oil is a broad-spectrum insecticide, which means it kills a wide variety of bugs.
To make a homemade spray for woolly aphids, mix 2 tablespoons of neem oil with one teaspoon of liquid soap and a gallon of water. Next, use it to spray the critters.
You can also use this DIY treatment to wipe down houseplants.
2. Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soap is a contact poison, which means it kills the insects that it comes into contact with. It’s made from non-toxic ingredients, so it’s safe for use around plants and animals.
Make your own following various online recipes or you can skip the whole DIY process and buy one.
BONIDE is a good brand. It includes Spinosad which is highly effective against certain plant pests.
To use it, mix with water in a spray bottle. Be sure to follow the directions that come with your order.
Next, shake well and spray the affected plants. Wet the leaves and stems well, and then repeat the process every seven days until the critters are gone.
3. Remove Infested Branches
Remove branches that are infested with woolly aphids from trees. This will help stop the infestation from spreading.
Use a knife or pruners to cut the branches off. Next, throw away the branches far and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
4. Hose Them
Use a garden hose with a nozzle to hose away the aphids from your plants. But, ensure that it’s not too strong to break fragile plant stems.
5. Parasitic Wasps
These are wasps that lay their eggs inside of woolly aphids and certain other pests. And when the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae eat the pests from the inside out.
Gross, right? But it’s very effective.
Moreover, you can buy parasitic wasps from a garden store if possible or online. It’s a great way to kill woolly aphids that don’t involve using pesticides.
Utilizing ladybugs is another organic way to control white fuzzy aphids.
When there are a lot of aphids, the ladybugs will start to swarm, and that’s a good thing because it means they’re doing their job.
If purchased, just release them outdoors, and they’ll take care of these pests for you.
These are beneficial insects that feed on a host of plant pests including woolly aphids. They’re attracted to yards and gardens that have flowering plants like dandelions and marigolds.
So, in this case, it’s a good idea to plant some flowers in your garden that will attract hoverflies.
Utilizing predatory insects like these is one of the best methods for eradicating woolly aphids.
8. Green Lacewings
Have you ever heard of green lacewings? They’re these little creatures that are like the superheroes of the insect world. They’re natural predators of aphids, gall mites, and other pests, and they’re really good at taking them down.
So how can you get green lacewings where you want them?
One way is to grow plants like caraway, tansy, angelica, and cosmos that will attract them. It’s also best to limit the use of chemical pesticides.
And finally, you can purchase and release green lacewings into the area where they are needed. They’ll be happy to clear up the infestation for you.
9. Soap and Water
Soapy water is another effective home remedy to eliminate woolly aphids.
Just pour 4 tablespoons of dish soap into a bottle containing a gallon of water. Next, make it even by shaking well before giving the plants and pests a good spritz.
The soap will suffocate these pests, and they’ll eventually die.
Mix a cup of white vinegar with three cups of water and spray the potion on them. The vinegar will dissolve the wax that coats the aphids’ bodies, and this will kill them.
This method is fairly effective, but if you do not follow the recipe carefully, it can be a little bit harsh on your plants. So if you’re not comfortable using it, try the other natural solutions mentioned.
11. Keep Plants Healthy
Another great way to keep woolly aphids at bay is to keep up a healthy garden.
Feed your plants with high-quality organic fertilizer. This will help them stay healthy and strong. It will also make them less vulnerable to pests and diseases.
Also, avoid excessive use of nitrogen in the soil as this can attract woolly aphids. Groom plants as well by pruning often.
As you can see, there are a few different ways to control woolly aphids on plants naturally. Moreover, all these methods are effective and will help eliminate, repel, deter, or control these pesky creatures.