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Eco-friendly Control of Aphids in the Garden

Ants, lady beetles and a clear sticky substance on your leaves are good indications that aphids have moved into your garden for a meal. 

These small tear-dropped shaped insects come in a variety of colors including black, brown, green, red, and peach. 

These pests have needle-like mouthparts and suck plant juices, causing leaves to curl, yellow, brown become distorted and stunted when populations and feeding levels are high.

The aphids secrete a clear sticky substance called honeydew.  Ants often move in to feed on this sweet tasty treat.

And if you see lady beetles, nature has moved in to control this pest.  Both the adults and larvae can eat hundreds of aphids in one day.

Start treatment, if needed, with a strong blast of water.  This dislodges and kills many of the aphids.  Follow with eco-friendly products like insecticidal soap, Horticulture oil, or Neem.  Repeat weekly as needed.

A bit more information: A black fungus called sooty mold will occasionally develop on this sticky liquid.  The fungus feeds on the honeydew not the plant. Fortunately, controlling the aphids will help wash off and prevent the sooty mold.

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