What kills aphids on contact is a question all plant owners eventually end up asking. Aphids are one of the most common pests of both outdoor and indoor plants and feed off the plant’s nutritional sap.
The good news is that they can be killed and controlled using a variety of synthetic and organic substances. In this article, we will discuss all these instant aphid killers in detail.
- What Kills Aphids When Coming Into Contact?
- What Are Household Items That Kill Aphids on Contact?
- What Are the Synthetic Chemicals That Kill Aphids When in Contact?
What Kills Aphids When Coming Into Contact?
All aphids when coming into contact are killed by neem oil, peppermint oil, and nettle. Diatomaceous earth, wood ash, and liquid sulfur mixed with lime will also kill woolly aphids on contact. In addition, baking soda can also be utilized to kill and prevent aphids from infesting.
– Diatomaceous Earth
This material kills garden pests like aphids within 10 to 12 hours after application. It is basically a naturally occurring rock powder containing silica material, and it is one that would effectively tackle pests in a fast way.
How this powder works is that it dehydrates the pest bodies immediately upon contact and makes a most effective pesticide quickly. It is also very easy to use, and you just need to sprinkle a handful of this material, over the affected areas of the infested plant.
– Neem Oil
Neem oil is our favorite among all essential oils when it comes to effective aphid control in houseplants. You need to purchase the highest quality if you want to see positive results. Due to the way that it is an organic substance, you can use it for multiple applications that are required before the entire aphid infestation is eliminated.
Droplets of neem oil, or diluted ones with some soap, can be applied directly on the aphids using a Q-tip. This will immediately suffocate and kill them but this method is one that requires a lot of time and effort.
A foliar spray made by mixing this oil with water and a few additional drops of liquid soap, is easier and safer to apply all over the plant. Because it has been diluted with water, this method requires at least three to four applications, and it shouldn’t burn the leaves as well.
– Liquid Sulfur Mixed With Lime
Lime and sulfur liquid concentrate are two acidic products, and we can utilize both of them together to control aphids. You might already use sulfur as a DIY plant fungicide for your lawn and plants. Hence, you can go forth and purchase good quality limes from the market and squeeze out fresh juice from it.
Mix both of these ingredients together in an equal quantity and use cotton to apply it directly to aphids. However, be mindful that this mixture is highly corrosive which is why you need to wear rubber gloves and eye goggles while applying it.
– Baking Soda
Baking soda when mixed with water and oil can kill and deter aphids from the plants. Mix a one-third teaspoon of baking soda with half a gallon of water and a teaspoon of vegetable oil.
Then, you can use it every week under the leaves and sheathes of plants until the last traces of infestation vanish. Adding seven to eight drops of any liquid soap will make this DIY solution more potent, and then you can spray on them directly and see the impact that is left.
– Wood Ash
Wood ash is the powdery material that is left behind after the burning of wood. In gardening, it is commonly used as a soil-enriching fertilizer but will also kill root aphids on contact, and this way, you can free the plant from the sap-absorbing pests in such a short time.
What you need to do is mix this ash in with the soil around the affected plant. For aphids that are present on top of the plant, sprinkle a fistful of wood ash over the areas where these bugs are concentrated.
What Are Household Items That Kill Aphids on Contact?
Household items that kill the aphids on contact include some carbonated drinks, milk, baking soda, vegetable oil, and dish soap. Cooking oils suffocate and kill all aphids, just like horticultural oils. In addition, alcohol and vinegar can either be rubbed or sprayed to kill aphids.
– Carbonated Drinks
Phosphoric acid, used as an acid stabilizer in fizzy drinks, has the ability to disrupt the life cycle of aphids and kill them on contact. It will also eliminate beneficial insects from your garden like pollinators and earthworms.
Simply mix some carbonated drinks or any other carbonated drink with water in equal amounts. Pour this mixture in a plastic spray bottle with a mist nozzle and use generously on the plant under attack, and you have the right solution for homemade aphid killing liquid.
– Spraying Some Milk
You will be amazed to know that milk is an effective means of organic aphid control. It doesn’t matter if you use total fat milk, because they are responsible to suffocate the pests with the fat that they have; so note that a single application will reduce the aphids population by more than 40 percent.
To protect the plant, dilute the milk first with water in a ratio of 1:1. Put this solution in a spraying bottle and spray once every five to seven days until signs of aphid damage disappear.
– A Mixture of Vegetable Oil With Water
You can suffocate and kill them by covering aphids with a thick layer of oil. You can use any vegetable oil from the kitchen, like sunflower oil, and then you must mix it with water.
Just remember that mixing with water is essential to keep the plant from burning up along with aphids. This mixing needs to be in a ratio of one tablespoon of oil in one liter of filtered water, as this shows you how little oil you need because it is toxic for the body.
Using undiluted oil is obviously going to kill pests, but it needs to be done with caution. Firstly, identify aphids on the plant and use a Q-tip to pour oil drops directly on them. The latter is what will suffocate them, and they will die eventually after a few minutes of contact.
– By Spraying or Rubbing Alcohol
Alcohol, when sprayed or applied on the plants, is effective at killing and controlling aphids. Not all plants can tolerate being rubbed with alcohol, though. To mix the usual 70 percent alcohol with water: you must mix in two parts of alcohol, with almost one big spoon of oil, and five cups of water to emulsify and dilute it well.
Then you can begin to mist all over the infested plant, especially under the leaves and stem sheaths. Leave alcohol to rest on the plant for 20 minutes before washing off with water. It is possible that two to three applications might be needed before all aphids are killed.
– Use Vinegar Against Aphids
Vinegar is one pantry ingredient that can kill all bugs when sprayed on them, including aphids. Vinegar used in kitchens comprises only five percent acetic acid and needs multiple application to get rid of an infestation. To make it safe for the plants, you need to dilute it with water in a ratio of one to three.
Industrial-grade vinegar with higher concentrations of acetic acid, around 20 to 30 percent, is more potent against aphids but is not recommended for safety purposes. Once your kitchen vinegar has been diluted, spray it carefully over and under the leaves.
– Dishwashing Soap
Even though it is a dishwashing soap has been found to kill house pests like aphids on direct contact. It is a mild soap and non-toxic to plants when used in a diluted concentrate and applied once every seven days.
Now, you may go ahead and take one whole gallon of water and mix within it two to four tablespoons of the liquid soap with it. Use only a little at a time by putting it in a spray bottle and gently misting it under the leaves where most of the aphids are present.
What Are the Synthetic Chemicals That Kill Aphids When in Contact?
Synthetic chemicals that can kill all aphids when in contact include mild ones like pyrethin to very harsh ones like Malathion. Store-bought insecticidal soaps are also included in this category and plants can be washed with them to kill bugs like aphids immediately.
Insecticides with pyrethin should be your first option if you want a quick and easy solution against aphids. The good thing about pyrethin is that it kills bugs only if it comes in contact with them.
So if you wipe the underside of a leaf with it, aphids present there will die, but a lady beetle on the upper side of the leaf will remain unharmed. However, it will show you an effective result, because of the way that it eliminates the pests away.
That is why applying it through a wipe or a cotton roll is a safer option rather than pouring it all over the plant. If you want to protect pollinators and other useful insects, apply pyrethin at night time when they are not active near plants.
– Insecticidal Soaps
Insecticidal liquid soaps are a cheap yet effective method of aphid elimination. These soaps are amust have for all gardening enthusiast because they always come in handy. Moderate infestations of aphids, mealybugs, and spidermites can be easily controlled with these soaps.
What you need to do is to mix this soap with water and wash the plant thoroughly with it. Take a toothbrush and gently scrub to get all the adult aphids. These soaps are not so strong, so multiple contacts and washings will be needed to treat an infestation completely.
– Using Systemic Insecticides
Systemic insecticides come in handy in case of widespread aphid infestation in outdoor plants. These are strong chemicals, and this is why you cannot start using them indoors, as the odor can be quite strong. The active ingredient in most of these formulas is imidacloprid which also kills beneficial bugs and pollinators.
To protect pollinators like bees and butterflies, apply these insecticides on the roots of the infested plants only. When systemic insecticides are poured over the roots, the plant absorbs them directly and becomes aphid resistant. Always dilute them with water for home application otherwise buy a professional-grade soil ejector for them and use it accordingly.
– Using Malathion
Malathion is one of the strongest pesticides for houseplants and will kill all kinds of aphids in one go. People usually go for malathion after every other natural remedy for pest control has been exhausted.
You will also see that this is because they are damaging to the environment and kill beneficial insects as well. Take care to follow safety precautions while applying and avoid repeated use of this chemical.
– Go For Azadirachtin
Azadirachtin is a chemical in the neem plant that is responsible for its anti-pest action. A concentrated and more potent form of this compound can be purchased commercially if you struggle with aphids, particularly their eggs and larvae for it to free the plant from them with all ease.
It is so strong that a single application has been seen to eliminate 99 percent of the larval population right away. You may go ahead and start reading the instructions given by the manufacturers on the label first to obtain the most effective outcome.
– Insect Growth Regulators
In extreme cases, chemical insect growth regulators help control aphid populations by killing larvae instantaneously on contact and slowing down the growth of adults. One such product is Methoprene which is readily available in gardening shops and online.
Unlike most chemical control measures, it exhibits low toxicity to humans and pets. However, you still need to exercise caution and wear gloves and eyewear while spraying Methoprene on plants. The instructions given at the back of the product label are critical and should be read carefully before use, so that you won’t harm the plant and save them instead.
In this article, we have discussed an exhaustive list of substances that can kill the aphid population infesting your lawn, and now, a brief summary of all these products is given below for a recap:
- Neem oil, wod ash, and baking soda solutions are most common and effective when it comes to killing aphids.
- Use kitchen items like milk, cooking oil, coke, and liquid dishwashing soap for organic pest control.
- In case of severe infestations, resort to harsh chemicals like malathion and pyrethin.
- Methods like using yellow sticky tapes and introducing natural predators of aphids take a lot of time and energy but show you a positive result.
Save your time, money, and energy by using any of the above-mentioned products and get rid of aphids instantaneously.
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