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Hardly any plant owner will be able to avoid fighting aphids at some point. Our plants are too popular with these sucking little creatures. Some specimens appear out of nowhere and then multiply extremely quickly. The plant is helplessly at their mercy. But not her owner! Some effective means of combating them are already waiting within reach. Ready to use, organic and almost free.
Control aphids biologically
Aphids like almost all types of plants. In addition, no year is too uncomfortable for them to appear in large numbers. That's why it's important for every owner to check their plants regularly. These pests are only a few millimeters in size and can vary in color depending on the species: green, yellow, red, black or almost transparent. They work outdoors but also on indoor plants. In the spring they hatch from hibernated eggs and soon begin to multiply. Aphids prefer to stay on young shoots and flowers. However, they can also be found on the undersides and axils of leaves.
notice: Aphids excrete a sticky honeydew that attracts ants outdoors and promotes the colonization of sooty mold fungi.
Biological remedies against aphids are gentler than so-called chemical pesticides. Nevertheless, they work well against aphids. However, only if you use it to combat the pests at an early stage. If the plant is very heavily covered with lice, it must be disposed of completely. In the case of particularly valuable plants, combating with chemicals can be dared.
tip: Isolate an infested potted plant from healthy specimens to prevent further spread of aphids. Only then should you take appropriate control measures.
Remove lice mechanically
No matter what biological means you use against aphids, you should first reduce their numbers mechanically. If there are only a few lice on a plant, you can remove them with tweezers or a cotton ball, or crush them in place. That should do. Nevertheless, the plant must be kept in mind to see whether other lice appear. You can get rid of a large number of lice as follows:
- Place indoor plants in the bathtub or shower tray
- Rinse thoroughly with a strong jet of water
- put the pot in a plastic bag and tie it tight
- so the earth will not be washed away
- Rinse outdoor plants with a water hose
- Cut off more severely affected shoots
Since not all lice are caught mechanically, follow-up treatment should be carried out in most cases. All of the aphid remedies listed below are natural and biodegradable. So it doesn't matter which one you choose.
tip: For outdoor plants, it also helps if they are pruned back in the fall or spring. This removes most of the overwintering eggs and reduces the risk of infestation.
Fighting A - E
Field horsetail contains a lot of silica. This substance strengthens the plant's cell walls, making it difficult for aphids to pierce them. The field boxweed can be gathered in the wild. It is also commercially available dried and as a concentrate. A decoction is made from it, with which the affected plant is sprayed at regular intervals. Healthy plants should also be strengthened with it.
- Collect 1 kilogram of fresh field horsetail
- alternatively use 150 grams of dried plant parts
- add to 10 liters of rainwater
- Leave for 24 hours
- then simmer the stock for 30 minutes
- let cool and sieve
- Mix 1:5 with water
The stinging poison of the stinging nettle drives lice away from your favorite plants without damaging them themselves. Only in the blazing sun may nettle juice not be sprayed, otherwise the leaves may burn. How to make the brew yourself:
- On a sunny day, collect about a kilogram of fresh, "pollution-free" stinging nettles. Alternatively, you can use 150 grams of dried nettles instead.
- Chop up the plant parts with scissors or a knife and put them in a large bucket.
- Add 10 liters of cold water.
- Let it soak for at least 12 hours. However, it should not be longer than 48 hours, otherwise the mixture will start to ferment.
- Strain the mixture through a fine cloth.
- Thoroughly spray the affected plant with it until it drips. You can place indoor plants outside or in the bathtub.
- If necessary, repeat the spraying at short time intervals.
Biologically, the sucking aphids can also be combated with household vinegar. This is readily available in every household and is also inexpensive. Prepare a mixture of the following ingredients, which you then shake vigorously:
- 2 liters of water
- 200 ml vinegar
- 5 ml washing-up liquid (about 1 vigorous squirt)
Spray liberally on infested "hardy" outdoor plants. Sensitive plants do not tolerate the acid so well. This remedy is also less suitable for indoor plants, as it gives off a sour smell.
Fighting K - M
Cooking water from our favorite tuber that contains solanine reliably drives away aphids. It is also fully biodegradable. This remedy has proven itself for roses and in greenhouses.
- Use undiluted and cooled
- do not add salt when cooking
garlic and garlic broth
You can naturally combat a weak infestation with peeled garlic cloves. These are planted halfway into the ground, immediately next to each plant stem. A garlic broth can then be sprayed if the infestation is severe.
- Peel and finely chop 100 grams of garlic
- steep in 3 liters of boiling water
- filter after half an hour
- spray when cold
- repeat treatment several times if necessary
Aphids do not like the wonderful scent of lavender at all. That is why this plant is rarely visited by them. Lavender is therefore often planted next to roses as a preventive measure. In the case of an acute infestation, a solution of 1 liter of rainwater, 10 drops of lavender oil and 1 splash of washing-up liquid can help. However, you can also scald two handfuls of fragrant lavender flowers with 1 liter of hot water. After a few hours of steeping, the solution is filtered and ready to use.
Mix one part fresh cow's milk with two parts water and spray the affected plant for several days at a time. Repeat the process after about 10 to 14 days so that newly hatched specimens are killed as well.
Fighting N - R
This universal remedy par excellence also helps us to fight lice effectively. It is available cheaply in drugstores and larger supermarkets.
For aphids, it is sufficient to dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 1 liter of water and spray the affected plant with it.
Neem oil-based lice remedies are available from specialist retailers. You can also easily make a spray yourself: Mix 1 liter of water with 1 teaspoon of neem tree oil and a dash of soap.
tip: You can get neem oil in drugstores and pharmacies or online by mail order.
Some ingredients in oregano fight aphids. In order to extract them from the herb, you have to make a decoction. Pour 1 liter of hot water over 100 grams of fresh or 10 grams of dried oregano and strain the mixture after 30 minutes. Then spray the cooled brew onto the plant. Since this home remedy is 100% natural and biodegradable, the treatment can be repeated if necessary.
An oil mixture envelops the lice and thus literally takes the air to breathe. About 80 ml of rapeseed oil and 1 dash of washing-up liquid are distributed in 1 l of water by shaking vigorously and immediately sprayed onto the lice.
Fighting S - Z
Curd or soft soap are best suited because they are made without the addition of fragrances or dyes. Dissolve 20g of soap in 1 liter of water. Curd soap dissolves better if you grate it finely.
Make a “giant tea” for your plants from 1 liter of water and 2 tea bags. Leave it for 15 minutes and then cool completely. He won't get the aphids. Your plants, on the other hand, will tolerate this natural and purely biological home remedy against aphids as a shower.
Similar to vinegar solution, the acidity of the lemon is biological and completely natural against lice. The spray solution is prepared as follows:
- Cut 3 lemons into small pieces
- Boil with 2 liters of water
- Let the soup cool down
- Strain out the coarse lemon parts
Finely chop a large onion, pour 2 liters of hot water over it, leave to stand for 30 minutes and strain. A home remedy for spraying is ready to use, with which you can fight aphids naturally and biologically harmlessly.
Outdoor aphids have some natural enemies as well. These include, for example, ladybird larvae, lacewings, gall midges and others. A ladybird larva eats up to 400 lice per day. These biologically active predators are lured into the garden by insect hotels and nesting boxes. You can buy such a hotel or build it yourself. Children are also welcome to help with this task.