Everything You Need to Know About Organic Aphid Control
control means 1) understanding what this pest looks like so
you're 2) using the right technique to control the problem.
These guys also come in
black, very pale green that appears almost while and I've
even seen the odd pinkish one. You'll mostly find
aphids on the growing tips of plants or under the leaves.
Aphids tend to congregate on tender plant tips
They use a sucking mouthpart to
pierce the leaf and suck the juices from it. In severe
infestations, the sap running from the leaf will be attacked by fungus
and (mixed with the nutrients from aphid excreta) will turn
black. It will resemble a black streaking or soot on
And it is sticky should you care to
put your finger on it to check. Leaves or growing tips of
plants will also be stunted or curled as the growing points
were damaged by feeding.
The nice thing about
aphids is they are considered "food" by a large number of good garden
insects (such as the ladybug shown here with the aphids).
You'll that most of the pests are eaten before they become a problem.
Aphid control is as simple as
knocking them off garden plants by using a strong jet of
water. This jet knocks them off the plant to the ground where
beetles and other predators make short work of them. They
will not survive to recolonize your plant.
You Have to Spray
If you really want to spray
something, Insecticidal Soap
will kill them, as will Neem.
I note Rotenone dust (note this can be harmful to humans and you should wear a mask when using!) and Diatomaceous Earth
are also effective. If
there's only a few, such as on the growing tips of
roses, then a quick swipe of the hand will crush them
(it's a bit gross but it works effectively). But
the easiest, quickest, cleanest and safest is a strong jet of
And no, using water in this
way once or twice a season is not going to increase the incidence of
molds or fungal problems.
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Remember that you have to get any kind
of spray or dust (be it a strong water jet that does it naturally or a
nozzle pointed upwards) under the leaves
to kill the bulk of the
population that are hiding from sight.
control is one of the easiest techniques in the organic gardening
world; this is a good thing because aphids are the most numerous pest.
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