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The aphids on cucumber plants are not a visual disturbance, but also endanger your cucumber harvest. We explain how you can use simple home remedies to successfully fight lice and prevent infestation.

In a nutshell

  • Aphids on cucumbers endanger the harvest
  • Home remedies are clearly preferable to chemicals
  • Nettle manure, black tea, potash soap and other environmentally friendly means are simple and efficient
  • Natural predators such as lacewings or ladybugs are popular repellents against aphids
  • Mixed culture can prevent lice infestation

Lice - recognize pest infestation

Around 3,000 species of aphids are native to Europe. They are insects with a body length of a few millimeters that are equipped with a proboscis. This mouth tool is used by the lice to pierce the vascular bundles of the plant, the pests feed on the plant sap. On the cucumbers you will mainly find black or greenish colored parasites.
The greatest danger does not come from the lice themselves, but from their sticky excretions, the honeydew. This represents the breeding ground for parasitic fungi - dangerous diseases such as sooty mold are the result. The plant withers, the fruits do not ripen or die.
Did you know that if the infestation is low, you can collect the insects by hand?

white aphids

Nettle manure against lice infestation

Herbal remedies are easy to make and effective. One of the well-tried remedies is nettle manure. For a nettle cure you only need nettles and water. How to proceed:

  • Cut off several nettles
  • Chop the plants into pieces about 10 centimeters long
  • Pour water over the plant mass in a ratio of 1 to 10
  • Cover the container without interrupting the air flow
  • Stir the brew daily with a wooden stick
  • Wait for fermentation to complete in 2 to 3 weeks
  • As soon as no more foam forms, dilute the liquid manure in a ratio of 1 to 10
  • Pour the liquid manure over the cucumbers and spray them

The only downside to this home remedy for cucumber aphids is a longer fermentation time.

Black tea, potato broth and potash soap

Some preparations against lice can be used immediately and are reliable. You can brew any type of black tea, let it cool, and spray the affected areas with it. Another potent anti-aphid remedy is potato broth, cooled of course.
Potassium soap is a reliable, chemical-free remedy for lice infestations. Proceed as follows:

  • Dissolve 50 grams of potash soap in 1 liter of hot water
  • Let the mixture cool down
  • Transfer to a spray bottle and spray lice colonies and the entire plant

Did you know that if the infestation is severe, adding some alcohol or spirits to the potash soap and water mixture makes it more efficient?

Onion and garlic broth

Only a few hours are needed to produce another effective remedy against the pests. Garlic and onions drive away the lice with their smell. To prepare the broth:

  • Chop onions or garlic cloves
  • Pour boiling water over the mixture in a ratio of 1 to 100
  • Wait for the broth to cool down
  • Strain the broth
  • Spray cucumber plants

Notice: The brew is not only suitable as a remedy against lice, but is also an effective remedy against fungal diseases in garden and house plants.

Mixture of milk and rapeseed oil

Mixtures of milk and water or rapeseed oil and water are suitable for spraying. Mix the whole milk with water in a ratio of 1 to 2. Mix the oil with water in a ratio of 1 to 50.

Tip: Add some washing-up liquid as an emulsifier so that the rapeseed oil dissolves in the water.

It is not a problem to prepare a mixture of milk and rapeseed oil for use against lice infestation on cucumber plants. Instead of rapeseed oil, you can use neem oil, which is obtained from the flowers of the Indian fern.

Predators against aphids

Natural predators of the pests are suitable for efficient and biologically harmless lice control. You can use the following types of insects effectively against aphids on your cucumber plants:

  • lacewings
  • ladybug
  • catchy tunes
  • parasitic wasps

Notice: Ichneumon wasps are less than 1 millimeter in size and are an effective household remedy in the fight against food and clothes moths.

The predators are usually easy to use, because you can buy the larvae or eggs of several beneficial insects commercially and do not have to breed them or lure the little animals to your cucumber plantation.

Prevent infestation with mixed cultures

Numerous herbs drive away the aphids with their intense aroma, so that the pests stay away from your cucumber plants. We recommend never growing cucumbers in monoculture to prevent aphids.
These garden plants are ideal as bed partners for cucumbers:

  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • thyme
Salvia officinalis, common sage

Plastic foil against lice

The following application is very uncomplicated and surprisingly effective against aphids: Wrap the cucumber plants in plastic foil for a few days. A damp environment quickly forms under the foil, which aphids cannot tolerate. The pests leave the plant after some time. However, this remedy is even more effective in combination with spraying.

frequently asked Questions

Can I kill aphids with vinegar?

Vinegar does not kill the pests, only drives them away. This remedy is best used to prevent infestation. Warning: Excessive amounts of vinegar will burn the plant.

Why don't you recommend chemical agents?

There are two reasons for this: chemical mace is harmful to beneficial insects, including predators such as lice and wild birds, and to the environment in general. Besides, the chemical means burden the fruits, for example, cucumbers.

Do these remedies only help against cucumber aphids?

No, the remedies mentioned are generally effective against lice infestations and are therefore just as effective on most other useful or ornamental plants.

How often should I treat the plants?

That depends on the infestation. If the infestation is small, a single treatment can bring the desired result. Otherwise, repeat spraying every 10 days until no more lice are found.

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