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How to Get Rid of Aphids Organically

Hi i'm Tricia and Organic gardener.

I grow organically.

For a healthy and safe food supply.

For a clean and sustainable environment

For an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Aphids will trouble most gardeners at some point.

Although aphids will rarely kill a mature plant,

they can carry diseases like cucumber mosaic,

and they'll attract ants.

Fortunately they're easy to deal with.

I'll show you how.

Aphids are tiny, sap-sucking insects.

Most species of aphids are not heat tolerant

so they're more trouble during cool weather

especially in the spring.

Aphid populations can explode quickly so check plants often.

Check the undersides of leaves

and be alert for curled leaves and shoots

which can also signal an aphid infestation.

There are several cultural controls that you can apply

that will prevent aphids.

Aphids are attracted to new, lush growth.

Don't over fertilize.

Use an organic balanced fertilizer

and do periodic soil tests.

If you find aphids

also look for signs of beneficial insects.

Aphids have many enemies

such as ladybugs, lacewings,

syrphid flies and parasitic wasps.

Look for the aphids themselves and mummified looking aphids

that are the signs of parasitic wasps.

An active population of the beneficial insects

can often control aphids.

In the early spring you can release beneficial insects

to make sure you have a thriving population.

Ants can be a barrier however to the beneficial insects that are trying to eat the aphids,

especially in trees.

Ants will feed off of aphid honeydew

and will fight of beneficial insects.

Control the ants and then you can control the aphids.

For more information, check out our video "How to get rid of ants."

While the beneficial insects are working

there are several non-chemical controls you can use

that wont harm the beneficials.

Prune out aphid infested shoots

and leaves from the mature trees and shrubs.

Rub aphids off smaller plants with a cloth.

You can blast aphids off of your plants with a strong stream of water.

This bug blaster

is non toxic and it works very well!

You can also use floating row cover like this Agribon

to prevent aphid attack!

Another great alternative to chemical controls

are these green sticky traps

The aphids are attracted to the green color of the traps

and they get stuck to the trap instead of your plants.

If after all those measures the aphids are still winning

you can try an organic insecticide that's labeled

to control aphids

like this Organicide,

or this Safer insecticidal soap

which have the least harmful effects on beneficial insects.

I wanted to get some advice from a professional farmer about how to control aphids.

So I asked Dena

from Sweet Roots Farm here in Grass Valley.

What cultural practices do you guys use here to help prevent aphids?

so...

The top three cultural practices we use

are crop rotation,

So we move where we plant susceptible crops

around our fields.

we also strip the leaves from the kale

to promote healthy leaves

and put energy into those leaves

as well as removing aphids from the plant

so they desiccate and die in the pathway on a warm day.

So you strip down below the top growth which is what we're noticing here?

So they look like little trees.

Yeah!

But that helps with air circulation and also

since aphids don't move very fast

and they're connected to the plant

their vascular tissues

when you strip them and put them in the path they'll die.

So that's a good way to reduce populations

And sometimes if we can't get ahead of them

we'll just mow the crop in.

Lastly, we'll plant things that attract things that like to eat aphids

so we'll plant

the white, sweet Alyssum,

and we have hedgerows throughout the farm that attract beneficials

that come in and eat the aphids. And we can see that.

And which beneficials are you attracting with these kinds of plants?

Well we have amazing

flushes of ladybugs here

and so we wanna give them ladybugs a really nice

amount of beneficials as well as

they'll come in and

eat the aphids. And it's actually

not the ladybugs, but the

the younger instars (larvae)

that will eat most of the aphids

Good! Well that gives them a good dinner

and takes care of the aphids at the same time.

Well thank you very much for your help and your advice

and...

We thank Sweet Roots Farm in Grass Valley, CA

Protect your plants from aphids

THE VAMPIRES OF THE PLANT WORLD!

and grow organic for life.