The best home remedies for aphids

Aphids appear out of nowhere in spring and attack young leaves and shoots of several plants with its piercing-sucking mouth parts. Read here which home remedies help against aphid infestation.

Apr 09, 2021 02:26 pm
readtime icon 10 Minutes
Green aphids
Aphids suck on different parts of the plant and mainly draw out sugar from the plants. Depending on the number of aphids, the plant gets weakened

Aphids make life difficult for many gardeners every year, because they are one of the most common plant pests. Within a very short time, the yellow, green, reddish or black insects can grow into huge colonies and damage the leaves and young shoots of many plants with their piercing-sucking mouthparts. Moreover, aphids transmit harmful pathogens - primarily viruses. Therefore, you should not take an infestation, especially in fruit trees, lightly.

But you don't have to go straight to the "chemical spray". There are many inexpensive and organic home remedies that have been proven effective in controlling aphids If individual plants are infested, it is often sufficient to spray the pests with a sharp jet of water or to wipe them off with your fingers. Since flightless aphids are not quite mobile, the chance of a new infestation is very low.

In the case of a heavy infestation, home-made broths, manure and teas made from various wild plants that are rich in certain minerals are particularly suitable. Used regularly, they not only work against various diseases and pests, but often also provide the plants with important minerals.

You can use the following home remedies to combat aphids on your plants effectively and in an environmentally friendly manner.

The classic: Hard soap and soft soap

Probably the best-known home remedy for the fight against aphids is soft soap or potash soap, which is also the main component of many shaving soaps. The soap does not contain excess fat and contains no fragrances, dyes or thickeners. Shower gels and other soap-based personal care products, on the other hand, often contain microplastics and other additives that are harmful to the environment and may not be well tolerated by some plants. They are therefore not suitable for combating aphids and other plant pests.

You can make an effective home remedy for aphids by dissolving 1.76 ounces of soft soap in one liter of warm water and fill the cooled, liquid soap solution into a suitable spray bottle. Use this to spray on the affected plants.

Tip: If there is heavy aphid infestation, the effect of the spray can be increased with some alcohol or spirit. For the additional effect you need two teaspoons of alcohol or spirit, which are simply stirred into the soft soap solution.

Stinging nettle broth

An extract from nettles is also an effective home remedy for combating aphids. To make an extract, 3.52 to 7.05 ounces of fresh leaves are placed in one liter of water for two days. Sprayed directly, it works against the annoying pests. Important: Do not leave the extract too long - otherwise it will begin to ferment and turn into stinging nettle manure. This strong-smelling liquid must never be sprayed undiluted onto the plants.

Harvesting nettle leaves
A home remedy for aphids is a broth made from fresh nettle leaves. You cannot harvest the leaves without gloves
Tansy broth

Tansy broth can be made to encourage re-flowering in fall. To do this, 17.63 grams of fresh or 1.05 ounces of dried herb is soaked in ten liters of water for 24 hours. Then dilute the broth with 20 liters of water to apply the tried and tested home remedy to the diseased plants.

Wormwood tea
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) has a strong spicy aroma because of its essential oils

Wormwood tea not only helps against aphids, but also against various sucking and eating vermin. For the tea, 3.52 ounces of fresh or 0.35 ounces of dried wormwood leaves (Artemisia absinthium) are brewed with one liter of boiling water and then strained through a fine sieve after 24 hours. To combat aphids in spring and summer you can use undiluted tea.

Field horsetail slurry

To make a field horsetail slurry, you need 2.20 pounds of fresh or 7.05 ounces of dried herb, which is soaked in ten liters of cold water for 24 hours. Dilute two liters of the slurry with ten liters of water and water or spray your plants with it every week. Caution: Field horsetail slurry is only effective in the early stages against aphids or as a preventive measure.

Bracken broth
Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
A natural remedy for reducing aphid infestation is a broth made from the bracken leaves

2.20 ounces of the fern leaves is mixed with ten liters of water. The broth can then be sprayed undiluted against aphids and is particularly suitable for indoor plants. Since brackenis very high in potash, the broth strengthens the plants just the way a fertilizer would.

Onion and garlic tea

Onions and garlic are true all-rounders! The popular spices help many house plants with a pest infestation. A helpful home remedy for aphids can be made from 1.41 ounces of chopped onions or cloves of garlic boiled in five liters of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for at least three hours and then sieve it. Spray your plants with the undiluted broth every ten days. By the way, this mixture also helps against various fungal diseases.

Another method is to chop the garlic into small pieces and press them into the soil. The aphids are deterred by the scent. It is important that the garlic pieces are deep in the ground so that the room is spared the strong smell. If the plant is already infected with aphids, however, this method no longer helps.

Rhubarb leaf broth

A broth made from rhubarb leaves helps against the black bean louse (Aphis fabae). To do this, boil 17.63 ounces of the leaves in three liters of water for half an hour, strain the liquid and spray it on the infested plants several times one week at a time. The broth also acts as a fertilizer for the plants.

Rhubarb leaf
A broth made from rhubarb leaves helps against the black bean louse
Skimmed milk or whey

If aphids are discovered on tomato plants at an early stage, a liter of skimmed milk or whey is suitable as a preventive home remedy. Diluted with four liters of water, the mixture is applied to the plants every week. If the infestation is severe, this method is not suitable as a sufficient remedy.

Black tea

Black tea also helps against aphid infestation. To use tea as a home remedy for aphids, pour one liter of boiling water over two tea bags of black tea. The tea should steep for at least 15 minutes. Pour the cooled tea into a spray bottle and spray the plants on all sides with it.

Tobacco broth: Effective but prohibited

An old, very effective home remedy is tobacco broth. In the past, 1.76 ounces of tobacco was boiled with around one liter of water and the tobacco residue strained with a cloth. The cooled broth was then sprayed onto the infested leaves and young shoots. The nicotine in it is a very strong neurotoxin and reliably kills aphids. Since the 1970s, however, the use of purchased and self-made preparations containing nicotine as insecticides has been banned in the home garden.

These home remedies for aphids are ineffective

In contrast to wormwood tea, wormwood tea does not kill the pests, but only confuses the animals with its strong and pungent odor. Even vinegar does not kill aphids directly, but only prevents an infestation, since the parasites shy away from acid. In addition, you have to be very careful with the dosage, because the strong acid also attacks the leaves if the concentration is too high. As a watering treatment, nettle liquid manure has a stimulating effect on young plants. It also strengthens weakened plants, but does not help fight pests that are already there