If your plant leaves look yellow, it could be an aphid infestation. Aphids are small green or black bugs that often gather in large groups. They suck the sap out of plants. Insecticides seldom kill aphids, but you can still take advantage of their weaknesses with natural methods that won't harm plants..Here are tips to get rid of aphids naturally.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need the following:
- plastic gloves
- garden clippers
- spray bottle
- neem oil
- vegetable oil
- liquid dish soap
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- essential oils (thyme, peppermint, cloves, and rosemary)
To confirm the infestation, check the yellowed plants for honeydew; the waste from aphids. This may look black after turning into a sooty mold. It is a good sign they have been sucking on the plant.
Also inspect the plants for galls. Aphids like to hide under the plant leaves.
Remove them by Hand or Water
For a small infestation or an infestation on young plants, use gloved hands to pick them off the plants. Squash them or toss them in bucket of soapy water if you don't want to mash them. The soap will kill them. Cut the damaged part of the plant.
If the infestation is large on strong plants, spray the plants with a steady stream of water from a garden hose. The pressure could damage young plants. Repeat the procedure every two days.
Spray Them with a Soapy Solution
As mentioned, soap destroys aphids. Make a homemade soap solution. This will also help get rid of mealy bugs, scale, and other soft-bodied insects.
Mix a cup of vegetable oil, a cup of cool water,and several drops of dish soap in a spray bottle.Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired. Don't add too much soap, or it may destroy plant leaves or beneficial insects like honey bees, lacewings, or ladybugs.
Shake it well. Spray the plants around dawn or late evening so the sun won't be as strong. However, spraying in the morning prevents fungal infection. Ensure you spray the underside of the leaves and crevices.
Try Essential Oils
Mix four or five drops of essential oils together in a spray bottle with water. Shake thoroughly, and spray the plants. This combination will destroy eggs of most harmful insects.
Alternately, mix neem oil by itself in water, and spray on the plants..Avoid using neem oil when beneficial insects honey bees are active, since it kills on contact.
Aphids can't stand ginger smell, so plant ginger to prevent future infestations. Get rid of ants, because they destroy beneficial insects. If you don't trust your skill, or the aphids keep returning, contact a pest control service such as Canady's Termite & Pest Control.