Notes from the field: how I fought off the aphids

aphids_post_coverHi there, garden enthusiasts!

A few weeks ago I discovered that my asian eggplant was infested by aphids, and now I am sharing a simple organic method I used to get rid of these pests.

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Here they are, all over the leaves (both top and bottom)!

To get rid of the sap-sucking menace, I used this simple recipe for green soap (also known as insecticidal soap):

1 quart water + 1 teaspoon soap (castile soap is best, to avoid damage to weakened leaves) + 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil (optional, it simply helps the solution stay on the leaves longer). It’s easiest to apply the green soap solution using a sprayer.

To rid my precious eggplant of aphids, I first thoroughly sprayed it with the green soap.img_26031

Then, I used a tissue (a piece of fabric, napkin, paper towel – anything works!) to manually wipe the insects from the most affected leaves. This step is not always necessary. In most cases just spraying the pests with insecticidal soap is enough to kill them, but I wanted to be on the safer side.img_2605

Next day, I discovered a quite satisfying sight of dead aphid carcasses on the leaves. Still, to make sure I eradicate them completely, I re-applied the green soap.

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They are dead for sure: I checked by poking the shells 🙂

Second day post-treatment, there were no aphids to be found! I applied the green soap one last time.img_2618

Day three: still no aphids! At this point,  I was no longer treating, only checking the plants daily to see if the beasts return.img_2636

Long story short… one week later, still no sign of aphids! img_2732

Of course, there are other (fancier) ways to get rid of  aphids organically. For example, you can order beneficial insect larvae to release in the garden, like ladybugs and lacewings, that will happily devour the aphids. I do, however, feel like in my tiny garden’s case that would have been an over-kill (way cool, though).

I hope no aphids are feasting on your plants! If they do however, give this method a try!

 

06.21.2018 update: almost forgot to share the simplest way to get rid of flying insect pests, thanks to The Mindful Gardener for a reminder! If you have a garden hose (I don’t have one on my balcony, but most of you probably do), just give and infested plant a thorough hose-down with water under high pressure. That’s it! For more serious infestations, you may have to repeat this once or twice. This, of course, is the ultimate organic, chemical-free, reagent: pure water!

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Notes from the field: how I fought off the aphids

  1. I get blackfly on my dahlias and broadbeans, and I hose them with just water and rub them off. I repeat it every day for about 3 days and then they don’t seem to return.

    Liked by 1 person

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