Aphids are the most common pests encountered in the garden. In Europe now live up to 850 species, worldwide there are 3000. They feed on plant sap.
Aphids are only a few millimeters in size, but some species reach sizes of up to seven millimeters. Most of the species are unwinged, but can occur in winged forms during generational changes. They are plant suckers and are equipped with a kind of stinging proboscis.
Way of life
Aphids feed on the plant sap, the so-called phloem sap. To do this, they pierce the plant with their proboscises and mouthparts and suck it dry.
Most species reproduce by laying eggs directly on the plants. If the eggs are detected early, action should already be taken there.
Among the natural enemies of aphids are lacewings, ladybugs, ichneumon flies or hoverflies. Therefore, you should make sure that these animals find hiding places in the garden. This can be among other things deadwood hedges or you install an insect hotel.
Fighting aphids directly
If individual plants are infested with aphids, it is often sufficient to spray them with a strong jet of water from a distance of 20 – 30 centimeters. If the plant is too heavily infested, you should cut off the plant together with the aphids and dispose of it accordingly.
In the garden you should only use products that are gentle to beneficial insects.
Insider tip: Nettle liquid manure as fertilizer and against aphids
Nettle liquid manure works as a natural tonic in the vegetable garden and as a miracle against aphids. How to make the nettle liquid manure, we show you in the following steps.
The mixing ratio should be about 1:10, which means we need about 1kg of fresh nettles for 10l of liquid manure. Cut the nettles into small pieces with scissors and put them into an appropriate container. This can be a bucket or a barrel. Pour the required water afterwards. Then stir vigorously so that all parts of the plant are covered with water.
Now cover the container and let the slurry stand for at least seven days. Cover the container so that it is permeable to air. You can do this with a jute bag. Remember that it is not called nettle liquid manure for nothing. There will be a very intense smell, so please mix the liquid manure outside the house.
Now pour off the plant residues. These can be used as mulch or simply put them on the compost.
Now apply the liquid manure with a sprayer to the infested plants. Make sure you only apply the slurry to leaves that will not be eaten later, as they will be very unappetizing. Before spraying the plants, pour the liquid again through a cloth, otherwise the nozzle of the sprayer will clog.