Introduction of Aphids Information:- Also known as green flies or plant lice, aphids belong to Hemiptera family. There are about 20 species of aphids, often distinguishable by a different color; their small body, long 1-3 millimetres ( 0.04 – 0.12 inches ) , is oval, with short legs; some species have wings, which make aphids fly for many miles, while other species have no wings. Aphids have a stinging-sucking mouth apparatus, with which drill the surface of leaves, small branches and buds, to suck plants sap. In general they attack many cultivated plants without distinction, from the vegetable to the ornamental ones; very common are rose and tobacco aphids.
Aphids Information – Aphids of leaves are mainly damage young plants sucking their sap. Yet, at the same time, they emit a poison which makes leaves curl. This forms a sort of “hideouts” made by leaves – as we can easily see at the end of many branches – that make hard to reach aphids by birds and other predators; this way at least a couple of aphids remains there to propagate the species.
Aphids Information – Since aphids of leaves weaken plants sucking their sap, they make branches deform. In decorative gardens and orchards this effect is strongly undesirable, since trees should have their proper shape, for aesthetic or productive reasons. Another damage brought by aphids of leaves is the transmission of viruses harmful for plants, through their saliva. This could bring serious damages, above all in orchards and professional rose gardens.
Aphids Information – Furthermore, sweet excretions of aphids of leaves play a very meaningful role: in fact, since these insects reproduce very quickly – specially in favorable conditions – they mainly need proteins ( sucked from the plants sap ) while eject carbohydrates ( sugars ) contained as sweet excretions. This is quite weird, since plants are the highest sugars producers in the whole world and many animals – including human beings – use sugar as energy to help the synthesis of proteins in their bodies. For this reason we eat plants. Instead aphids throw away the most of them! Then, their sweet excretions are used by ants and flies as food. So we could say ants consider aphids as human beings consider cows: they “milk” aphid’s sweet excretions. To do it, ants intentionally place aphids on plants, distributing them in the whole garden, taking care of them and even protect them! If ants ( for some reason ) don’t feed themselves by aphids sweet excretion, this first spreads on plants infested by aphids and then is colonized by sooty mold, that eats it. For this reason often aphid’s infestations are detected only in their last stages, when black mold which covers the plants is conspicuous.
Aphids Information – So we have seen how many damages aphids bring to our plants. But how can we get rid of them? Are there natural remedies to send aphids away from our plants before they get emaciated, without damaging too much other useful insects we don’t want to harm, like bees, butterflies and ladybugs?
I warmly suggest to use the following natural remedies, before eventually using chemical products.
Here are the best natural remedies to fight aphids, successfully used by millions of farmers all over the world:
With a strong water jet trying to rinse away all these harmful insects, carefully controlling under the leaves.
Spraying on the whole plant a mixture of water and Marseille soap, about 20 cc of soap per water liter ( 1.22 inches per 34 fluid ounces ) , preferably using a sprinkler.
If aphids are not too many, we can remove them manually with gloves.
Cutting the infested part, usually plant’s apex and throwing it away from our garden.
Aphids Information – Spraying some macerated on the infested parts: the best macerated are the nettles one, the absinthe one, the chili pepper one or the garlic one. For example, the allicin garlic contains is a potent antifungal besides having a strong repellent action against aphids, mites and moths.
Aphids Information – The easiest way to make a macerated is to chop the ingredients we choose and mixing them to water, using 1 hectogram ( 0.22 pounds ) every 10 liters ( 2.65 gallons ) of water. Then we need to let this mixture macerate for about 3 days before spraying it on branches, leaves and soil underlying our plants, taking care to avoid the hottest hours ( it is better to spray it at sunset or at night ) .
Aphids Information – Using ladybugs, carrying them on the branches with the highest presence of aphids. In fact ladybugs are very greedy of aphids and they are able to eat dozens of them in a short period of time; if we don’t find any ladybug near our garden, we can buy them in gardening stores or on the Internet.
Using these simple natural remedies in most cases we can solve the problem of aphids, preserving our plants and our production.