Aphids, also known as plant lice, are tiny, pear-shaped creatures that can infect plants and destroy their leaves. Aphids come in many different colors—green, red, brown, black, yellow, and white—and have little tubes sticking out of the back ends of their bodies. These insects suck nourishment from the leaves, stems, and roots of plants, and can transmit viruses and fungus that can weaken the host plant. They are more commonly found in temperate climates. A hard freeze will kill them off.
Aphids can be controlled in a number of ways without hurting delicate blossoms on plants, from using strong insecticide compounds to more natural methods.
Things You'll Need
- Liquid soap
- Insecticidal soap
- Pyrethrin compounds
- Spray bottle
How to Get Rid of Aphids Without Harming Flowers
Spray with water. A heavy spray of water will dislodge the aphids from the plant, and some of the insects will not find their way back. This is at best a temporary measure.
Make your own insecticidal soap. Mix 2 teaspoons of mild dish detergent or laundry soap to a spray bottle of warm water. Shake to mix thoroughly. Spray on top and bottom of leaves once a week making sure all aphids are covered completely until the aphids are gone.
Make a more potent aphid killing concoction by combining:
· 1.5 tbsp. baking soda
· 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
· 1 tbsp. Murphy's Oil Soap
· 1 tbsp. vinegar
· 1 gallon water.
Spray on tops and bottoms of leaves to completely cover aphids.
Use the U.S. Department of Agriculture recipe:
· 2 tsp. dish-washing soap
· 1 cup of vegetable oil
· mix with warm water in spray bottle, shake and spray on plant every 9 to 10 days.
Buy a commercial insecticidal soap such as Bonide, Schultz or Pyola. These products have been proven to be a safe and effective way to eliminate pests on plants. Insecticidal soap is a highly refined type of liquid soap. It is used in a 1 inch to 2 inch solution (or 1 to 2 ounces per gallon). For best results, spray in the early morning so the plant can dry by evening. First, spray the entire plant with plain water. Then spray the insecticidal soap solution on both tops and bottoms of leaves. Wait 30 minutes. Then spray the entire plant again with plain water.
Try a pyrethrin compound. Pyrethrins are compounds extracted from chrysanthemum plants. They are a safe and effective way to eliminate pests like aphids without damaging flowers. Pyrethrins are usually dusts or extracts quickly absorbed by the nervous system of the insect. The compound will kill most of the aphids, but some may survive. Try not to breath the pyrethrin compound, as it can cause asthmatic reactions, nasal symptoms, headache, nausea, and other reactions.
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