Aphid on bean sprout

El aphid is one such pests which is a nightmare when it lands in our flowerpot. Those little sticky bugs seem to invade everything. Above, next to them, come the ants that take care of them as if they were their flock, because they take advantage of the honeydew secreted by the aphids. It is difficult to combat them without resorting to systemic insecticides. But it can. exist ecological solutions that can be applied as a preventive or as a treatment.

In fact, we already know some: the preparations and infusions with potassium soap,  Horse tail o it they are effective against aphids. But there is still more.

Although there are many species of aphids, they are easily identifiable in our crops:

  • Most of the time, we can directly see the insect (measures about 3 mm).
  • They absorb the sap from the leaves with their beaks and they like tender shoots, which leave deformed (like rolled), dry and sticky by the molasses secreted by the aphid.
  • Appear yellow spotsso pale green at the bite points.
  • Along with them, many times a black mold, the Black Fungus, which uses the sticky molasses as a seat, and dirties and prevents the photosynthetic function of the leaves.
  • Also next to the aphid, the ants, which collect the drops of molasses secreted by aphids and are close to them to clean and protect them.
  • It is a pest that attacks during spring and the summer. It is favored by environmental dryness and excess fertilizers.
  • They extend through the winged females (There are females with and without wings) that disperse the colony to other platforms. They do not lay eggs, but produce perfect aphids.

The aphid infestation is so harmful because, in addition to damaging young shoots, with its sucking beak it transmits viruses between plants. In addition, Bold, which prevents photosynthesis, and ants converge with it.

To combat a plague of aphids you can adopt the following ecological remedies. The sooner you start the better, because the more advanced the plague is, the more difficult it is to control. If you detect the first symptoms, go for them. Remember to apply the treatments also on the underside of the leaves and never in the sun.

  • Remove weeds and crop debris from the garden so they don't take refuge there.
  • If the attack is weak, cut off damaged leaves and shoots. Remove what you can by gently scrubbing with a toothbrush.
  • There are other insects that fight them naturally. Ladybirds (in the larva stage they eat between 20 and 350 aphids for 400 days), lacewings or wasps (Encarsia formosa) can be introduced into their environment.
  • A very effective solution against aphids is to spray the affected plants with soapy water (potassium soap) or with warm water under pressure.
  • You can also try a very simple mixture: dissolve 2 tablespoons of neutral soap and 2 tablespoons of 90º alcohol in a liter of water. Add 3 or 4 macerated cigarette butts in half a glass of water, well filtered so that the nozzles of the sprays do not clog.
  • Another remedy consists of an infusion based on nettles. Put in a bucket 500 grams of fresh nettles and 5 liters of water, cover the container with a plastic or a board that fits well and stir often. When the mixture is broken, strain it into a bucket. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours and spray on the insects.
  • Remember the remedies based on it o Horse tail that we already published.
  • Lastly, plant near the species that act as repellants: honeysuckle, lupine, foxglove, or nettle.

More information - Potassium soap: natural insecticide, Making an insect repellent at home, Make an ecological fungicide at home

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  1.   txuelas said

    I recommend the use of ladybugs as the best solution in the fight against aphids.
    You can check its breeding and applications in http://www.criamariquitas.com

    1.    Ana Valdes said

      Thanks txuelas!