Plants have various ways of calling for help. If you see yellowing leaves, slow growth and a black sticky tar, you may have aphids.
Aphids are nasty garden pests that eat a wide variety of plants by sucking the sap from new plant growth.
They gather seemingly overnight and cause an enormous amount of damage, so it’s important to treat them quickly.
Before treating, be sure to correctly identify your pests as aphids. There are a lot of bugs in the garden, and not all are nuisances. Treating unnecessarily can kill beneficial bugs.
Ask your Garden Center associate for help.
Here are quick and easy methods to help your plants survive an aphid attack.
Effective Aphid Controls:
- Look for aphids when temps are 65-80°F, typically between changes of seasons in spring and early fall.
- Don’t over-fertilize plants with nitrogen. Nitrogen promotes growth, which attracts aphids. Instead, opt for a consistent, balanced feeding schedule and follow directions.
- Run a gloved finger along the affected leaves or stems to squish aphids. Be gentle to avoid damaging your plants.
- Shoot a blast of water at the area with your hose to knock off aphids.
- Pinch or prune stems that are heavily infested.
- Treat heavier infestations with an insecticidal soap or neem oil. Follow directions to avoid further damage to your plants and garden.
- Attract ladybugs that feed on aphids. Lure them to your garden by planting things they love such as cilantro, dill, fennel, yarrow, scented geraniums, cosmos and coreopsis. Or purchase ladybugs in bulk to add to your garden.