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Black aphids are one of the most common plant pests. They can infest vegetable plants, flowers but also shrubs and suck plant juices from there. This results in stunted leaves, flowers or buds. A severe infestation can lead to the death of shoots or young plants. In addition, the lice excrete sticky honeydew, which not only attracts ants but is also a breeding ground for fungal diseases. It is therefore important to combat aphids, preferably with natural means.

Control black aphids

collect

Before a major infestation can even occur, collect the first individual animals. Black aphids are very easy to recognize on green leaf shoots. They like to sit below buds or on leaf axils. They are simply removed with your fingers or crushed.

pruning

If the infestation on a plant is very severe and stunted shoot tips, buds or leaves are already visible, cut off the infested areas together with the lice. It is better not to dispose of the clippings with the pests in the compost, but in the garbage can or the organic waste bin. Also remove parts of the plant that have become stuck with honeydew if you cannot clean them in any other way.

Notice: This method is particularly indicated for plants that you have to cut anyway or that tolerate pruning well.

water

If it is a small houseplant, fight the aphids with a strong jet of water from the spray bottle. For larger potted plants or garden plants, it is better to use the water hose. The water is aimed directly at the aphids and flushes them away. However, it is to be expected that some of the animals will survive this procedure. They remain in the soil around the plant and can infest it again from there.

Notice: Water also removes the sticky honeydew. To prevent fungi, the plants should then be able to dry well.

soapy water

You can use soapy water on all plants that are not considered to be very sensitive. Too much soap can be harmful to leaves or roots. The latter is prevented if you cover the ground around the plant with a waterproof cover, for example with indoor plants or smaller potted plants. All you need for the soapy water is water, washing-up liquid and an ordinary spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water, add a few squirts of dish soap and then mix the solution by shaking vigorously. Spray the lice infested plant to dripping wet. You can also get rid of honeydew with soapy water.

plant manure

The best-known manure is probably nettle manure, but you can also get rid of black aphids with extracts from other plants. The production of a plant manure is almost always the same:

nettle manure
  • Chop up about 1 kg of plant material
  • mix in a bucket with 10 l of water
  • cover airtight
  • shade
  • stir regularly
  • starting fermentation can be recognized by rising air bubbles
  • wait for fermentation to finish
  • Duration 1 to 2 weeks
  • Filter out plant matter
  • Dilute liquid manure with water before use
  • Spray plants to dripping wet or water for general strengthening

Suitable plant species: Fern, ivy, garlic and horsetail

use of tobacco

The nicotine is so toxic that it also harms aphids. However, cigarette butts are not simply stuck in the ground for this purpose. Nicotine can also poison plants if overdosed. Instead, prepare a solution of 50 g tobacco and 500 ml water. The mixture has to boil, steeps for a day and is then poured through a sieve. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spray the affected plants with it.

vegetable oil

Rapeseed oil is often used as a home remedy for black aphids. It is said to suffocate the lice when applied. So that the plant itself is not damaged, the oil must be diluted. To do this, mix 300 ml of oil with 700 ml of water and fill it in a spray bottle. The oil works best if it leaves an oily film on the lice when spraying the infested plant. The day after application, the plant is showered with water to remove the oil, otherwise leaf respiration could be impaired.

Neem tree or neem tree

To repel black aphids, you can use the seeds or the oil of the neem tree. The active ingredients are so effective that they are also components of biological pesticides. You can buy the seeds, usually to order, in garden shops, health food stores, pharmacies or online. A liter of water is mixed with around 50 g of the seeds. The solution is left for a day and then used to spray the plants. You can also crush the seeds in a mortar before use, which releases the active ingredients even better. The oil is mixed with water and used for spraying.

Important for all applications

1. Regardless of the means used, you must carefully monitor the success of the application. Check your plants regularly for pest infestation and don't forget the undersides of the leaves. If the infestation has decreased but is still present, the respective treatment is repeated. If the chosen remedy hasn't impressed the black lice, try a different one. Only through consistent action can you get rid of the lice.

2. Just like chemical pesticides, you should use home remedies and biological pesticides with care. For example, nicotine is also toxic to humans.

3. Prevention is better than cure. Check particularly endangered plants frequently for aphid infestation and use strengthening agents (rock flour or plant manure) early on. Avoid too much fertilizer, it makes the plants soft and vulnerable to pests.

4. Only use spray bottles that have been used once for crop protection products and label them to avoid confusion.

promote beneficials

To prevent a larger colony of aphids from forming in the first place, beneficial insects of all kinds are actively encouraged in the garden. For example, insect hotels or nesting boxes are hung up. Overgrown corners and upturned clay flower pots offer shelter and protection. Fighting lice with the help of beneficial insects may require a lot of patience. In order not to harm the beneficial insects, avoid the use of toxic pesticides.

lacewing

Aphids are eaten by:

  • Ladybug and its larvae
  • Lacewings and their larvae
  • catchy tunes
  • sometimes by smaller songbirds such as tits

Notice: You can also buy some beneficial insects specifically for controlling aphids.

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