Anyone who has a garden or balcony has probably had to deal with them at some point – aphids. You can find out how to get rid of the annoying pests to protect your plants here.
First it’s one, then it’s five, suddenly there are hundreds of aphids on the plant. They multiply very quickly. According to the Bavarian Garden Academy, a progenitor gives birth to around five young females every day without being fertilized.
Aphids spread a sticky honeydew on the plants. Black sooty mold fungi can later settle on it. In large numbers, aphids can cause significant damage to plants.
They suck the sap. They penetrate the cells. This can result in crippled leaves on fresh leaves, stunted shoot tips, or disease transmission.
Hobby gardeners should check susceptible plants regularly to prevent infestation. These include roses, red currants, the young shoots of fruit trees or various honeysuckles.
In addition to fresh shoots, aphids also like buds, young leaves and soft plant cells. If there are only a few animals, you can easily read them by hand.
If many aphids have already infested a plant, the best way to remove them is to spray the leaves with a powerful jet of water. The North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture advises this.
If that is not enough, you can also use a pesticide. Care should be taken to use agents that are gentle on beneficial animals so that other animals are not harmed.
Alternatively, there are also natural remedies against aphids – as examples, the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (Nabu) cites broth or liquid manure made from stinging nettle, horsetail or garlic.
Natural predators of aphids include ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies, predatory gall midges and many birds.
For example, a seven-spot ladybird eats between 100 and 150 aphids a day, according to Nabu. In one summer, the offspring of a single ladybird can kill around 100,000 lice.
The Nabu therefore advises promoting the beneficial insects in the garden – you can attract them with native plants, for example. A tit box in the apple tree or an insect nesting aid on the shed wall offers them a home.
Some crops can repel aphids. The Nabu mentions lavender, but also garlic or onions. Alternatively, aphids can also be diverted: Nasturtium attracts them, for example – according to Nabu, this is how you distract them from your favorite plant.