Aphids are terrible pests that affect leaves, small branches, stems, or roots by sucking their sap. They are tiny insects with soft translucent bodies and long antennae, sometimes found in gardens. They come in hundreds of species of all colours...
Aphids are terrible pests that affect leaves, small branches, stems or roots by sucking their sap. They are tiny insects with soft translucent bodies and long antennae, sometimes found in gardens. They come in hundreds of species of all colours: white, green, red, black, or yellow. These little beasts cause irreversible damage and disease to plants and should be removed. Since chemical treatment can be harmful to our environment, here are some natural techniques for doing so.
Why is this a problem?
Despite their small size, aphids are harmful insects in the garden. In fact, they produce large quantities of honeydew. This is a sweet sap that makes the leaves sticky and shiny. It collects on the underside of infested plants, forming smoke and black mould, which turns the leaves grey. Its sweet taste attracts many other insects that are harmful to vegetation, such as flies, ants and wasps.
The first infestation of these insects can usually be detected and localised. However, the problem can spread rapidly if not treated in time. It can be observed in particular on ornamental and vegetable plants, but also on trees. Colonies hide behind leaves, buds and small branches. In order to limit the damage as much as possible, it is best to control the infestation in its early stages.
Damaged leaves can be easily identified by the yellow spots on the back. The leaves will eventually fade and dry out or curl up. Some variants of this creature cause plants to form galls. These are ball or spindle-shaped swellings of plant tissue, which usually contain huge numbers of aphids in various stages of growth.
Which natural technique can be used to avoid aphids?
When aphids invade roses, fruit trees or other plants, it is a disaster for a garden. To get rid of them, there are several simple, practical, but effective tricks. This process is part of the maintenance steps to improve your plantations.
- For your houseplants, it is essential to install weather stripping and screens around the entrances to the house. This will discourage the encrustation of adults. Infested areas should be destroyed regularly.
- In your garden, spray fruit trees with dormant oil to destroy overwintering eggs. Spraying powerful jets of water underneath the plants will limit the development of their populations.
- You can also place a container of yellow-tinted water, as aphids prefer this colour, on the spots where their colonies are found to drown them.
- Various other tricks and old-fashioned remedies also help to repel these insects. These include the use of liquid black soap diluted in warm water, mint, coriander and coffee grounds. Planting a few match heads in the soil can scare away aphids as they hate sulphur. It is also possible to grow types of plants that attract aphid-feeding insects, namely ladybirds.