ladybug eating aphids

How To Manage Aphids In The Garden

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that almost every single organic garden deals with aphids. The sticky clear secretion made by aphids is known as honeydew. Although it may seem harmless at first, it can actually cause a lot of problems for your garden. Honeydew secreted by aphids or other pests can cause black mold to form on your plants. To make the problem even worse, ants love to come and eat up the honeydew left behind as well as the vegetation itself. They can be some of the most invasive pests and are tedious to get rid of. Sometimes the problem can be so severe that people turn to pesticides for this problem, which actually makes it worse.

Pesticides and other harmful chemicals not only harm your plants but kill the natural predators to aphids. You end up having to deal with more aphids than you originally started with. Luckily, after reading this article you will have the knowledge on how to control aphid infestations as well as how to get rid of them without harmful products.

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How To Save Your Garden From Aphids

There are a few methods that have proven to be very useful when trying to deter aphids from your garden. Like most pests, aphids hibernate all through the cold seasons and re-emerge during early spring. You can use this knowledge to prepare your garden effectively before they start waking up again and causing you problems. One of the best natural and organic ways to control aphids is by planting a small decoy garden or plant. Decide on a good spot that’s located away from your garden for the decoy plants. Planting these particular flowers such as zinnia, dahlia, mum, verbena, larkspur, cosmos, aster, nasturtium, hollyhock, and tuberous begonia. The bloom from these plants attracts aphids and acts as a decoy garden for aphids to infest. This will allow you to be able to manage any aphid infestation before it can take over your fruits and vegetables.

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Another method that requires a bit of time and patience are plants that attract the natural predators known to aphids. A wise and effective defense involves using the decoy plants as a way to draw aphids out and using the natural predators to take care of them. If you plant the flowers mentioned before on top of planting herbs such as mint, dandelions, yarrow, dill, and fennel, you will attract ladybugs as well as lacewings. Aphids are the perfect snack for these garden hunters and your garden will have fresh herbs as well as flowers. If you need to take extra precautions, plant garlic and onions near your garden as an extra barrier. Aphids despise the smell of these root vegetables.

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Using Neem Oil As A Last Resort

Of course, planting flowers and hoping that other bugs will come and save you might not be enough to deter aphids. A more immediate solution to the problem for those who already have aphids and want to be rid of them is Neem oil. This brand of product is safe to use on food and plants. Its intention is to kill or deter bugs that harm your plants. Daily treatment is recommended or at least until you notice that most of, if not all, the aphids are gone. Neem oil also helps remove powdery mildew, mold, and other fungus infections that might be in your plants. This product is also designed to get rid of other pests that may want to target your garden.

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Keep your eyes open and remember to do a thorough check on your garden every once in a while even if you don’t notice anything extreme. There definitely is such a thing as quiet before the storm and you’ll want to be prepared for any kind of pest that enters your personal space. It doesn’t take long for infestations to take place and having this information could save your garden from being the victim of aphids.

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Cody Medina
Freelance Writer
Cody was born on the western slope of Colorado. In his high school career, Cody was nominated and awarded the Amazing Youth Leadership Award by the HRC for establishing one of the first Gay Straight Alliances which then inspired the creation of several other GSAs on the western slope. Cody’s interest in environmentalism stemmed from that experience as well. Cody now resides in Oregon with his partner and beloved animals. He enjoys hiking, camping, running, climbing, watching movies, writing, reading, walking his dog, driving to the ocean, and hanging out with his friends when possible.
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