You're trying to relax in your zen garden when you start seeing dots. Wait, those aren't dots at all. Those are aphids and they are coming from the precious plants you have been giving love and care to. This is supposed to be your relaxation zone. Not to mention how your plants might be feeling about this unwelcome invasion. So, how do you get rid of these pesky aphids without dousing the poor plants with harmful chemicals? Below are 10 eco-friendly ways to rid, reduce, and prevent aphids, also called plant lice.
Neem Oil as a Natural Aphid Pesticide - Pure neem oil, an oil derived from the neem tree, has long been used in many natural remedies, including pest control. The oil, or Azadirachtin, acts as a repellent and growth regulator. To the insects, the neem oil has a bitter taste, so they will not eat the leaves treated with it. Also, if the insects do come in contact with the Azadirachtin, it prevents the larvae from growing into adults. Neem oil can be purchased at various online stores or made from neem trees.
Homemade Lemon Spray to Get Rid of Aphids Naturally - This natural aphid pesticide works as an instant remedy, killing the aphids on contact. To make this natural pesticide, grate the rind of a large lemon. Boil it in enough water to fill a garden spray bottle. Let the mixture sit overnight. Drain the liquid into the garden spray bottle. Spray the aphids and larvae directly. It will cause them to convulse.
Using Homemade Vinegar Spray as Defense Against Aphids & Larvae - Get out a spray bottle and fill it 1/3 of the way with distilled white vinegar and the rest of the way with water. This will kill the aphids and larvae on contact. Some plants react badly to the vinegar. It's important know which plants you can and cannot use this method with.
Aluminum Foil is One of the Unexpected Natural Aphid Pesticides - Place a square of aluminum foil around the base of plants affected by aphids. This causes light to bounce around to the underside of the leaves, which repels the aphids. It is also good for the plants, as it brings them more natural sunlight.
Calcium Powder is a Good Aphid Repellent - Sprinkling calcium powder around the base of the plants is another natural aphid repellent. The aphids do not like the calcium and will generally stay away from it.
How to Use a Yellow Plastic Bowl to Trick Aphids - Aphids are naturally attracted to the color yellow. Place a yellow plastic bowl filled about 1/3 of the way with water in the center of the infested area. Many of the aphids will be drawn to the bowl and will go into the water and die.
Banana Peels Repel Aphids Easily - Burying shredded banana peels around the base of plants is an odd, but effective remedy. It has been around for ages and many gardeners will swear by it.
Smash Aphid Buddies as a Warning. It works! - Squashing a few aphids near the infested area will signify to the other aphids that it is time to go. It's a chemical reaction.
Ladybugs Are an Aphid’s Enemy - Ladybugs can be purchased at garden and home improvement centers. The ladybugs feed on the aphids and if you purchase enough, the aphids will be gone in no time. Ladybugs are also good for the garden in other ways.
Garlic or Onions Are an Aphid Deterrent - Planting garlic or onions is another natural aphid deterrent. They do not like garlic or onion and will not likely come near an area they are in.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network