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How To Keep Your Garden Aphid-Free

Aphids are a plague to gardeners everywhere. A crucial part of the pest ecosystem, aphids offer little good to green thumbs that spend hours cultivating bountiful fruit and veggie gardens only to see them nibbled away.

Aphid bugs are tiny, pear-shaped insects that are usually green or yellow. They’ll eat just about every kind of plant although they prefer warm weather leaves and tomatoes, too. They’re difficult to spot but usually show up by the droves, thousands at a time. Here are a few of the best ways to get rid of aphids once you find them…

Pick Them Off

If there are only a few aphids on your plants, use your fingers to pick them off! If you can’t stand the thought of killing the bugs, relocate them. But beware: seeing a few aphids usually means more aren’t far behind.

Water-Jet Spray

If you have a hose near your garden, turn the sprayer on high and spray the aphids off the plant. If the stream is strong enough they should drown before they can make it back up the plant. This technique doesn’t work well for more tender, sensitive plants and requires vigilance. The water-jet method must be employed several times a week.

Prune the Plants

Some plants are only attractive to aphids because of their leaves. If you notice the bugs are avoiding the fruit or flowers, prune most of the leaves back off a particular plant and see if they return.

Natural Predators

Aphids may not be welcomed by gardeners but many other bugs love nothing more than a good old aphid feast. Many garden stores sell aphids by the hundreds – simply “activate” the ladybugs and they’ll eat your aphids gone. Ants are also a natural aphid predator to the bugs. If there’s an anthill nearby your problem may take care of itself as ants carry the aphids away to other plants.

Chemical Treatments

There are a number of pesticide treatments available that take care of aphids in one fell swoop. Most consist of IGR (insect growth regulators) that keep aphids from reproducing and slowly kill the whole colony. The vast majority of chemical treatments for aphids are safe for family and pest to touch although it’s always recommended you wash any produce you bring in from a garden. If you’ve got aphids you can’t seem to get rid of, call a local pest control company today to find out more about your options. You don’t have to live with these pesky garden nuisances!

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