Thursday, 28 February 2013

Green Gardening - Kill Aphids the Natural Way

Green Gardening - Kill Aphids  with the Natural and Organic Way
Stop using insecticides that can harm other insects, animals.
Killing aphids naturally is better for your plants, the environment and beneficial bugs in your garden.

Aphids are small sap-sucking insects, and are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners over the world.

Both adults aphids and nymphs suck plant sap, which usually causes distorted leaves, buds, branch tips, and flowers. Severely infested leaves and flowers may drop. As they feed, aphids excrete a sweet, sticky honeydew onto the leaves below. This allows a sooty mold to grow, which, in addition to being ugly to look at, blocks light from leaves. Also, some aphids spread viruses as they feed.
In addition to the fact that once aphids get into a garden, they breed like crazy, the bugs also leave behind a goo that eventually breeds a black mold on the plants' surface. If this is not caught before this occurs, it can cause irreparable damage to the plants in your garden.

Killing aphids naturally is not only better for the environment, but it is also a more effective way of killing the insect. Aphids don’t respond well to insecticides. Pesticides are more likely to kill the predatory insects than the aphids, so the insect population usually increases after spraying. Using natural ways to kill aphids preserves the insect’s natural enemies while creating a hostile environment for aphids.

Use Lacewings and Ladybugs to kill aphids
Aphids have a number of natural enemies, and these insects are much better at controlling aphids than any other method available to gardeners. Pampering and nurturing their natural enemies is an excellent method of organic aphid control. Introduce beneficial bugs, like lacewings and ladybugs, to your garden as a natural way to kill aphids. Nearby plantings of mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, and dandelions will help attract these insects to your garden.

Aphids natural enemies    ( the  GOOD  bugs of the garden )  :  Lacewings and Ladybugs

Here is Tips To Attract Ladybugs To Your Garden Image by Jeremy Vandel , Heather Rhoades
Attracting ladybugs is one of the top wishes for many organic gardeners. Ladybugs in the garden will help to eliminate destructive pests like aphids, mites and scale. Getting ladybugs to come to your garden and, more importantly, stay in your garden is easy once you know a few simple facts and tricks.
How To Attract Ladybugs To The Garden
The number one thing that will help attract ladybugs to your yard is food. Ladybugs eat two things, pest insects and pollen. They need both of these things to survive and when these things are in abundance in your garden, they will happily relocate to your garden.
There are several plants that ladybugs like to eat the pollen from. These flowers on these plants normally have flat flowers (like landing pads) and tend to be white or yellow. Flowers that attract ladybugs are:
AngelicaCalendula   , Caraway  ,  Chives , Cilantro  , Cosmo  ,  Dill  ,  Fennel  , Feverfew

Organic Aphids damage control

1. Sprays plants with strong sprays of water from a garden hose to kill aphids.
A strong spray of water from a hose will knock many of the aphids off the plant, and they won’t be able to return. It also rinses off some of the honeydew. Spray the plant every day until the plant is aphid free.
(A hard, driving rainstorm will have the same effect.)

2.Control ants that guard aphid colonies in trees from predators.
While predatory insects are bent on destroying aphids, ants in the garden are the aphid’s sworn protectors. Ants feed on the honeydew produced by aphids, so it is in their best interest to defend this precious resource. Getting rid of the ants so that the predatory insects can do their job is an important part of a good aphid control program.
Control ants by trimming the lower parts of the plant so that they don’t touch the ground and give ants easy access. Control ants  by placing sticky bands around the trunks. Coat the lower part of the stem with a sticky substance, such as Tanglefoot, to prevent the ants from climbing. You can apply the sticky substance directly to the trunk of thick-barked trees and shrubs. Wrap the stems of other plants in tape and apply the product to the tape rather than the stem.
Cornmeal and sugar is also a good mixture to try. The cornmeal will expand after it is eaten and will also kill the ants. Cornmeal and sugar  place this around the base of the plan.

Make an ant trap. Make a collar out of a piece of paper to trap ants. To do this, cut out a circle that is at least 8 inches wide. Make a cut to the center of the circle and cut a small hole in the center that is wide enough to fit loosely round the base of the plant. Smear one side of the paper with Vaseline.   Place the collar, Vaseline side up, around the base of the plant. The ants will get stuck in the Vaseline.

3. Spray aphids with homemade tomato sprays , homemade garlic sprays , homemade pepper sprays.  This is better than insecticides , pesticides. This is one of those green, cheap solutions that really work. You don't need a toxic spray, and you don't need to spend money on commercial  insecticide.

Tomato Leaf Spray is effective in killing aphids and mites. It works because the alkaloids in the tomato leaves (and the leaves of all nightshades, actually) are fatal to many insects. They can also cause gastric discomfort in humans and pets, so try to avoid spraying this where kids or pets might be tempted to mess with it.
How to Make Tomato Leaf Spray: Ingredients: Two cups of tomato leaves , Two cups of water , Cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer , Spray bottle
To make the spray, chop up the tomato leaves and add them to the water. Let it sit overnight to steep. When it's done steeping, strain the leaves out of the water. Add another cup of water to the steeping liquid to dilute it a bit, and add the concoction to a spray bottle.
Using the spray is simple. Just spray your tomato leaf spray on the leaves (top and bottom) and stems of infested plants. Once should be enough, but check back the following day to see if you missed any, and, if you did, spray the plant again. Don't keep this spray for more than a week or so. Any unused portion can be diluted with more water and safely added to your compost pile.

Garlic Oil Spray is a great, safe insect repellent. Simply put three to four cloves of minced garlic into two teaspoons of mineral oil. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then strain the garlic out of the oil. Add the oil to one pint of water, and add a teaspoon of biodegradable dish soap. Store in a bottle or jar, and dilute the mixture when you use it by adding two tablespoons of your garlic oil mixture to one pint of water.
This mixture works because the compounds in garlic (namely, diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide) are irritating or deadly to many insects. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves. What insects does garlic oil repel? Whiteflies, aphids, and most beetles will avoid plants sprayed with garlic oil. A word of caution: don't apply this spray on a sunny day, because the oils can cause foliage to burn.
To use your garlic oil spray, first test by spraying an inconspicuous part of the plant to see if your mixture harms it at all. If there are no signs of yellowing or other leaf damage after a day or two, it is safe to use. If there is leaf damage, dilute the mixture with more water and try the test again. Once you have determined that it won't harm your plant, spray the entire plant, paying special attention to the undersides of leaves.
Warning: Garlic oil is a non-selective insecticide, which means that it will kill beneficial insects (such as lady bugs, who are natural predators of aphids) just as easily as it kills the bad guys. It's best to keep as many beneficials around as possible. This spray should only be used if you haven't seen any beneficial bugs in your garden. The tomato leaf recipe, above, won't harm beneficials, so you should use that if you're lucky enough to have some beneficials in your garden.

Homemade pepper sprays : Mix together a few table spoons of hot pepper sauce--whatever you have in the refrigerator will do--with a few drops of biodegradable dish soap in a quart of water. If you don't have hot pepper sauce at home, purchase some at the store. Don't worry about buying the most expensive one or the hottest one, if it's made of peppers, it will work. Let the solution that you have created sit over night.
Using a cheap, plastic spray bottle, which can be purchased at most discount stores, spray the solution onto the area where the aphids are infecting the plant. The capsaicin (the same thing that is used to relieve muscle pain in humans) in the peppers, which is the ingredient that causes the heat, will annoy the aphids and cause them to leave. Not only will the capsaicin annoy the pests, but the dish washing soap will dissolve the outer shells of the aphids, usually causing them to die.

** Note **  Don't use these sprays on lacewings and ladybugs ! You want to kill the pest aphids ,    Not the predatory insects that eat (feast on) aphids. 

These sprays are easy to use, inexpensive, and effective. As you can see, even organic home remedies require care and attention to their effects. In general, use each spray as little as possible, and use it responsibly. You'll win the battle against aphids, and still have a healthy garden after they're gone.

4. Plant aphid-discouraging plants:  garlic , onions , chives, mint(Mentha) and  petunia   near infested plants, as the smell drives aphids away.  Plant your favourite roses or other aphid-attracting plants alongside aphid-discouraging plants. Aphids dislike garlic, chives, onions, mint, petunias. Aphids love nasturtiums. Roses grown with garlic plants or chives are much less prone to aphid attacks and both have a beautiful flower of their own during flowering season.

5. Sprinkle flour over the aphids using a sieve or flour sifter. The flour will coat the aphids and they will drop off.

6. Dig banana peel into the ground. Cut-up banana peels or use dried banana pieces for this. Dig the cut-up peel or dried pieces 2.5–5 cm / 1–2" into the ground around the base of every plant that aphids are attracted to. The aphids will soon be gone.

7. Grow plants for a homemade aphid control. Plants such as the following are attractive to aphids and good for organic aphid control. Growing these far from other garden plants will lure aphids away and keep the garden aphid-free.   Nasturtium  ,  Aster  ,  Mum ,   Cosmos , Hollyhock  , Larkspur , Tuberous begonia , Verbena , Dahlia  , Zinnia

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