Dealing With Aphids: Pest Control Tips & How to Protect Your Plants

Reader Contribution by Benedict Vanheems
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Squash and remove: Squash aphids by hand, or nip off and destroy clusters at shoot tips. Pinch out the tips of fava beans once the first pods appear to make the plants less attractive to black bean aphids.

Blast off: Use a jet of water from a hose to blast aphids off your plants. The aphids will be unlikely to return to the plant.

Spray soapy water: Add a couple of drops of washing-up liquid to a spray bottle full of water and spray the solution all over the effected plant, including the leaf undersides. The soapy water will trap and suffocate the aphids.

Use row covers: Winged aphids can quickly spread plant diseases, such as cucumber mosaic virus. Cover susceptible plants such as cucumber, spinach, and celery with row covers in midsummer, when the risk of this disease is highest.

Attract predators: Ladybugs (especially their larvae), lacewings, and many types of tiny parasitic wasp have an appetite for aphids. Plant flowers and herbs to attract them to your garden, for instance, calendula, marigolds, alyssum, buckwheat, echinacea, fennel, dill, parsley, thyme, and mint.

We’d also love you to take part in The Big Bug Hunt, an international research project which aims to track the spread of all bugs, with the aim of developing a pest early warning system for gardeners. You can report any bugs you find in your garden on the website.

Learn more about dealing with aphids in this video.

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