Insect Problems: What You Can Do about Aphid Honeydew!
Do you have plants in your yard? Ever noticed a sticky substance on the leaves?
That’s called honeydew—no, not the fruit. It’s a waste that aphids leave behind after their meals. Not only is it messy, but it can actually damage the plant!
For instance, it can encourage fungal growth, which can cause the branches to turn black. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that many people want to get rid of aphid honeydew—or you know, the insects altogether.
Want to know how you can do that? If so, be sure to keep reading! We’ll be sharing some tips below.
5 Ways to Deal With Aphid Honeydew
Tired of having sticky plants? Don't want to remove them altogether? Here are a few things that you can do instead:
1. Hose Them Down
Minor infestations can be controlled with water. Basically, what you want to do is spray a stream of water at the aphids.
Repeat the process every few days until they are gone—this can take up to a couple of weeks. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a good choice for more delicate plants.
2. Use Soap and Water
Consider making your own insecticidal soap. It's easy—simply mix a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap with a quart of water.
Pour the solution into a spray bottle and apply it directly on the aphids as well as the plant. Pay extra attention to the undersides of leaves as that’s where larvae tend to hide.
The good thing about this method is that it won’t harm birds or pollinating bees.
3. Employ Natural Predators
Several insects munch on aphids such as ladybugs and lacewings. You can draw them to your garden by providing them with a proper habitat—that way, they’ll keep the aphid population in check for you.
There’s also the option of purchasing them online. Simply release them in your garden and you’re ready to go!
4. Remove Them Physically
Not afraid of bugs? Then consider removing the aphids by hand.
All you have to do is brush them off the stems and leaves. To protect yourself, it’s highly recommended that you wear a pair of gardening gloves.
Keep in mind, however, that this strategy can be time-consuming. You might want to try something else if your plants are housed in a large area.
5. Use Neem Oil
Neem oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree. What’s great about it is that it's effective against aphids!
Mix one teaspoon of the oil with a quart of water and apply it to the plant. You might also be able to find a pre-mixed solution at your local garden center.
In most cases, you'll need to use at least two applications to keep the bugs away.
Keeping Your Plants Healthy
And there we have it—five ways to deal with aphid honeydew. As you can see, you don't always have to resort to chemical insecticides!
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