EVERYDAY CHALLENGES-get an answer to your queries….. Lets walk through this together to find a solution to problems faced in gardening and landscaping.

Posted: June 29, 2012 in EVERYDAY CHALLENGES

APHIDS

This are pests that can be a real menace to your plants and attack a variety of vegetable crops and ornamentals both shrubs and trees. Aphids are found on almost all types of plants and a few species can cause plant injury.

Aphids are the most common insects found on trees, shrubs, and garden ornamental plants. Aphids feed by sucking sap from plants. When the number of aphids on a plant are very high for an extended period, their feeding can cause wilting and sometimes even dieback of shoots and buds. Some aphids can cause leaf curling when the insect infests emerging leaves.

Sometimes problems with aphids do not primarily involve plant injury but instead their production of sticky honeydew. Honeydew is the waste material excreted by aphids and certain other phloem-sucking insects (e.g., soft scales, whiteflies, some leafhoppers). It may cover leaves, branches, sidewalks and anything that lies beneath a infested plant material.

Gray sooty mold grows on the honeydew, further detracting from plant appearance. Ants, yellow jacket wasps, flies, and bees are usually attracted to plants that are covered with honeydew.

A recipe for a home remedy to get rid of aphids

1 cup vegetable or white mineral oil
2 cups water
2 teaspoons dish soap (without bleach)

Spray this homemade aphid control mixture on the aphids every few days until the aphids recede. This home remedy to get rid of aphids will suffocate the aphids. Make sure that plants that are treated with this solution are kept out of direct sunlight as the oil may magnify the sunlight and burn the plants.

Bring in predators as an organic control of aphids

Aphid predators are a natural way to kill aphids. These include lacewings, ladybugs and aphid predator (which is an actual bug called that). Introduce these beneficial bugs to your garden as a natural way to kill aphids. Planting mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, clover and dandelions will also attract these insects to your garden.

Grow plants for a homemade aphid control

Growing plants that are especially attractive to aphids can actually help with a serious aphid infestation. Plants like nasturtiums, asters, mums, cosmos, hollyhocks, larkspur, tuberous begonias, verbena, dahlias, and zinnias are very attractive to aphids and are especially good for organic control of aphids. Grow these plants away from the plants you wish to keep aphids off. They will act as a lure, keeping the aphids away from the plants you wish to keep aphid-free.

You can also try planting garlic or onion plants nearby the infested plants. The smell of these plants drives the aphids away. You can plant garlic and onions in pots for mobile homemade aphid control.

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