Have you ever noticed how difficult it can be to get rid of aphids? The most likely reason for this is that aphids are so blasted small that they can hide just about anywhere. This doesn't mean that aphid control is a pipe dream. While it may take a little bit of effort and preparation to accomplish, aphid control is a goal that any gardener can accomplish. Here are a few methods that you can begin to use to get your aphid population under control.
- Dish soap. Creating a mixture or solution of water and dish soap can help you towards your goal of aphid control. In a large bucket, mix together two tablespoons of dish soap and two quarts of water. Mix the two ingredients together until you have a light sudsy foam, and then pour the solution into a large spray bottle. If you have some left over don't worry. While this solution may harm the aphids, it will not hurt your plants.
- Wash them away. If you are worried about using any dish soap on your plants, then you can always use a little bit of water. Simply spray the plants that are infected with a strong spray of water from your garden hose. Apparently, this jet of water will knock the aphids off of the plant, and hurt them so that they cannot eat anymore. Just be careful that you do not make the jet of water too strong, or you may end up hurting the plant itself.
- Natural predators. Introduce natural predators of the aphid into your garden. You don't necessarily need to get anything that can hurt you or your plants, but rather a few lady bugs. The lady bugs will go after the aphids, bringing the population under control and adding a little bit of charm to your garden at the same time. You can often purchase ladybugs at your local nursery. You can also encourage hummingbirds to live in your garden as well, since they like to eat aphids.
- Insecticides. Using commercial insecticides should always be a last choice. The reason for this is that, while they may work on getting rid of insects, there are also often other consequences as well. If used improperly, insecticides can damage your plants, lawn, or even yourself. Always be sure that you follow the directions carefully, and use the proper safety precautions when handling chemicals.
- Plan ahead. Aphids generally are dormant during the winter, living in their eggs. This means that it is the perfect time to treat your plants with a dormant-season aphid spray to get rid of them. Generally these sprays are less harmful than the active season insecticides.