Dealing With Aphids: Pest Control Tips & How To Protect Your Plants [video]

Dealing With Aphids: Pest Control Tips & How To Protect Your Plants Aphids are one of the most common garden pests, infesting and weakening our crops while spreading plant diseases. We are here to offer you a few tips & tricks on how to protect your plants from these pests!

  1. Squash & remove – start by checking plants regularly for any signs of aphids. As soon as you spot any, squash them by hand. Clusters of locally concentrated aphids, for example at the tips of shoots – may be nipped off in their entirety and destroyed. Pinch out the tips of fava (or broad) beans once the first pods appear to make the plants less attractive to black bean aphids.
  2. Blast them off – try blasting small infestations of aphids off your plants with a jet of water from a hose pipe. Adjust the nozzle or cover the end of the pipe with your finger to force the water out at higher pressure. The aphids will be knocked off and fall to the ground and will be unlikely to return to the plant.
  3. Spray soapy water – add a couple of drops of dish soap to a spray bottle, top up with water and shake to dissolve. Spray the solution liberally over the plants, remembering to reach all parts of the plant, including the undersides of the leaves. The soapy water traps and suffocates the aphids.
  4. Cover vulnerable vegetables – winged aphids can quickly spread plant diseases such as cucumber mosaic virus. To avoid this, cover susceptible plants with row covers of fleece in midsummer when the risk of disease is highest. Vulnerable plants include cucumber, spinach and celery, so prioritise covers for these vegetables.
  5. Attract aphid predators – where you find aphids, you’ll also find aphid predators. Ladybugs, especially their larvae, have a voracious appetite for these soft-bodied insects. Hoverfly larvae also much their way through aphids. As do lacewings and many types of tiny parasitic wasp. You can attract these beneficial insects to your garden by planting a range of flowering plants. Plants with simple single flowers are best, including the poached eggplant, marigolds, calendula, alyssum, buckwheat and echinacea. Flowering herbs are also a magnet for predators, including dill, fennel, parsley, thyme and mint. Grow these plants next to your vegetables so that beneficial bugs come to feed and hopefully bring their appetite for aphids with them!

Hopefully these tips will help you to combat any aphid struggles you’ve had in your garden. If you have any of your own then please let us know in the comments below or on our social media. The video below gives further information on aphids and how to fight back without using pesticides.

GrowVeg – Dealing With Aphids: Pest Control Tips & How To Protect Your Plants

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