Aphids are relatively easy to combat with a few different home remedies. It is Important to know that aphids are allergic to sulfur, nicotine and some plants such as Tagetes or Marigold.
Below are a few practical tips to prevent and control aphids, depending on whether the plant is grown in pot or in full ground. Choose the technique that seems easiest to you.
If your infected plant(s) grow in a pot, then you obviously start with removing the infected plant or plants at some distance from your other plants to prevent them from also being infected.
If you use a spray bottle, clean it thoroughly, especially if you have recycled a spray bottle that contained detergent: the detergent is probably toxic to the plants and the aphids are not the only things that will die but your plants as well.
Not only are these easy tips, but they are also eco-friendly and very cheap. You do not really need to go buy a bomb of expensive chemical products.
The trick with matches is obsolete: modern matches do not contain sulfur anymore. They contain potassium chlorate (KClO3) which is used as a non-selective herbicide rather than a pesticide. Depending on the dosage, you would be mainly kill your plants.
Dish soap solution:
Dish soap is not toxic to plants or to humans but lethally toxic to the aphids.
- fill a spray bottle with water
- add a dash of detergent
Spray directly on the aphids and treat the whole plant, with emphasis on the underside of the leaves, and stalks. Repeat the operation until all the aphids are gone. Then check regularly that the aphids are staying away and repeat the treatment if necessary.
This extract helps to control aphids because garlic contains sulfur which is not only toxic to the aphids, but also has an antibacterial and anti-fungal function.
The soap dish breaks down the bodies of insects with a soft body, such as aphids.
Spray directly on the aphids and treat the entire plant but especially the underside of the leaves, and stems.
- a few cloves of crushed garlic or 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- dish soap
- a properly cleaned spray bottle
- boil a half or 1 liter of water in a saucepan
- add the garlic
- let cook a few minutes and put the fire out
- let the infusion cool
- add a dash of dish soap
- put the extract into the spray bottle
First, test the mixture on an inconspicuous leaf just to check whether it damages the plant or not. If after 1-2 days you see no damage to the leaves, you can treat the whole plant.
If there is damage to the test leaf, dilute the extract further with water and repeat the test on a different leaf.
After testing, spray directly on the aphids and treat the entire plant but especially the underside of the leaves and stems. Repeat the operation a few days until all the aphids are gone. Check your plants regularly to see if the aphids stay away.
Other plants from the Allium genus have the same effect as garlic: onion, chives, shallots,,,
So you may replace the garlic in the previous recipe by one of these other plants.
Concoction of tomato leaves:
This is also a very effective remedy, but beware: some people are sensitive to plants of the nightshade family and may exhibit an allergic reaction on contact with the leaves thereof.
- 2 cups tomato leaves
- 2 cups water
- a sieve or cheesecloth
- spray bottle
- cut the tomato leaves in pieces
- soak them overnight in 2 cups of water
- filter the liquid through the sieve or cheesecloth
- fill the spray bottle with the solution
Spray directly on the aphids and treat the entire plant but especially the underside of the leaves and stems.
Grow toxic plants:
Since most plants from the Allium genus are toxic to aphids, you can also protect your plants in the garden by planting these these Allium plants nearby. They grow easily and even produce a very nice spherical shaped flower.
Another well known plant to protect your roses or other plants from aphid is Tagetes or Marigold. You know them, those round orange flowers planted around the vegetable garden of your grandfather. Yes, that’s why they were planted there…
This is not a remedy that must be repeated regularly: these plants will stay there all summer and you are are guaranteed to have no aphids this year.
Nicotine is also toxic to aphids, in the form of decoction or in the form of cigarette smoke or ashes.
You can make a decoction from cigarette butts as described for garlic.
Or you can scatter cigarette or cigar ash around the plant, the irrigation water will dissolve the nicotine that penetrates into the ground where the plant absorbs it through its roots,
Note: Nicotine is not only toxic to the aphids, but also for people and lethal to children! So avoid using up this remedy if you have little children around.
Simply water the plants with cold coffee also helps against aphids.
Good luck and hopefully you can enjoy an aphid-free and sunny summer.