All pictures from Google
Aphids are considered a nuisance in our gardens. I did some research to find out more.
Most commonly green or black, aphids can also be red, brown, or grey. These tiny insects suck the nutrients out of the plants. When they are enormous in numbers, they can harm flowers and fruits. They multiply rapidly and gather in large groups. Some can develop wings to travel and multiply on other plants from the original one they were feasting on. Whenever you see plant leaves that are curled, misshapen, or turning yellow, check the bottom side for aphids. If the only sign you find is a sticky substance, that's the honeydew left by the aphids behind -it's their poop- and it attracts other insects such as ants or ladybugs. Often, the only sign you can notice is that ants are crawling up and down your plant: this means many more aphids are or have been there, and they left honeydew which ants are ravenous about...
Additionally, aphids constitute a meal of predilection to hover flies, which are great pollinators, ladybugs, and parasitoid wasps. That's the good news about having aphids in your backyard. And rest assured, aphids cannot harm humans. They won't survive in our hair and cannot spread diseases to animals or humans. Their only field of expertise is plants. There are rare occurrences of aphids biting a human and causing a mild skin rash but this is rather exceptional. This doesn't mean that these creatures are good but rather necessary in the food chain. So if you want to keep your plants, and garden space, clean, let's consider the following natural ways to limit the expansion and repel these little critters:
- hose them down with high-pressure water. As simple as that!
- mix insecticidal soap with water and spray the leaves on their bottom part
- neem oil, mixed with water and liquid soap, can do wonders! It stops the females from laying eggs and that's a way to stop the speedy breeding
- plant catnip, garlic, and chives next to lettuce, peas, and rose bushes. Their scent will repel aphids
- dust your plant with flour. It constipates the aphids and this leads to their death.
Avoid using chemical products: aphids will develop a resistance to them over time and they will multiply again, infesting your plants and flowers.