When inspecting plants look out for tell-tale signs:
- the actual animals, often sucking at the most tender leaves
- plenty of ants patrolling the plants
- limp and wilting leaves
- sugary, sticky honeydew on the leaves
- Aphids are hard to prevent, but there are a lot of predators eating aphids. Companion plant flowers with the crops, especially members of the parsley family to attract hover flies, ladybirds and lacewings.
- Also make sure that the plants are healthy by feeding, watering and mulching accordingly.
Dealing with aphids:
- First means of action when discovering aphids is to physically remove them by hosing them down with water. It’s hard for them to climb up again, but ants will carry them back. This is why hosing down should be done frequently.
- If aphids persist apply a soap spray. The spray should be used only focally to avoid to put too much pressure on other insects.
Thoroughly mix in the 5 litre spray-can
5 liters of water
3 tbsp of liquid soap
Important notes on using the spray
- this spray is not toxic to humans
- fill water into the spray-can first, then add soap to avoid to much foam to develop
- spray top- and downside of the leaves and all of the rest of the plant
- never spray in bright sunlight because this will burn the leaves and cause more damage than it helps. Spray in the late afternoon
- don’t spray too late in the day. The leaves need to dry off before nightfall, otherwise you are inviting in spores fungi by offering a humid night environment. Spray in the late afternoon
- spraying needs to be done consistently, once per week and after every serious rainfall until the aphid problem is in control
- make a note in the garden log book about what you applied and where, so following gardeners know where to pick up the work
- always rinse the spray-can and its hose. It’s hard to fix it, if it gets clogged up