How to Identify and Get Rid of Aphids



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What are those white bugs on your plants? They’re probably aphids! Here are our best tips on how to identify and control aphids in the garden.

What Are Aphids?

Aphids seem to find their way into every garden. They are small, soft-bodied insects that can survive in almost any zone. Aphids multiply quickly, so try to control them before reproduction starts. Many generations can occur in one season. The good news is that they tend to move rather slowly and aphid control is relatively easy.


Identifying Aphids

Aphids are tiny (under ¼-inch), and often invisible to the naked eye. Various species can appear white, black, brown, gray, yellow, light green, or even pink! Some may have a waxy or woolly coating. They have pear-shaped bodies with long antennae; the nymphs look similar to adults. Most species have two short tubes (called cornicles) projecting from their hind end.

Adults are usually wingless, but most species can develop a winged form when populations become crowded, so that when food quality suffers, the insects can travel to other plants, reproduce, and start a new colony. Aphids usually feed in large groups, although you might occasionally see them singly or in small numbers.

While aphids in general feed on a wide variety of plants, different species of aphids can be specific to certain plants. For example, some species include bean aphids, cabbage aphids, potato aphids, green peach aphids, melon aphids, and woolly apple aphids.


Photo credit: GrowVeg.com. Some aphids are darker colors, like brown. The potato aphid is a common brown aphid.

Aphid Damage

Nymphs and adults feed on plant juices, attacking leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit, and/or roots, depending on species. Most aphids especially like succulent or new growth. Some, such as the green peach aphid, feed on a variety of plants, while others, such as the rosy apple aphid, focus on one or just a few plant hosts.

  • Look for misshapen, curling, stunted, or yellow leaves. Be sure to check the undersides of leaves, aphids love to hide there.
  • If the leaves or stems are covered with a sticky substance, that is a sign that aphids may have been sipping sap. The honeydew, a sugary liquid produced by the insects as waste, can attract other insects, such as ants, which gather the substance for food. When aphids feed on trees, their honeydew can drop onto cars, outdoor furniture, driveways, etc.
  • The honeydew can sometimes develop a fungal growth called sooty mold, causing branches and leaves to appear black.
  • Flowers or fruit can become distorted or deformed due to feeding aphids.
  • Some aphid species cause galls to form on roots or leaves.
  • Aphids may transmit viruses to certain plants, and also attract other insects that prey on them, such as ladybugs.


Photo Credit: John Obermeyer/Purdue University. Aphids can be various colors, including yellow, and produce a sticky honeydew substance.

Control and Prevention

How to Get Rid of Aphids

  • Try spraying cold water on the leaves; sometimes all aphids need is a cool blast to dislodge them.
  • If you have an aphid invasion, dust plants with flour. It constipates the pests. 
  • Use commercially available biological aphid controls or by spraying with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.
  • You can often get rid of aphids by wiping or spraying the leaves of the plant with a mild solution of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent.
  • Stir together 1 quart of water, 1 tsp of liquid dish soap, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Do not dilute before spraying on plants.
  • Organic controls include soapy emulsion, horticultural oil (read the directions), and pyrethrum spray. Soapy water should be reapplied every 2-3 days for 2 weeks.
  • Use homemade garlic or tomato-leaf sprays.

How to Prevent Aphids

  • For fruit or shade trees, spray dormant oil to kill overwintering eggs.
  • You can purchase beneficial insects, such as lady beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, which will feed on aphids. These are usually ordered via mail—check the Internet for labs. They should keep the aphid populations controlled in the first place.
    • You can also plant flowering groundcovers in home orchards to attract predators.
  • Companion planting can be very helpful to keep aphids away from your plants in the first place. For example:
    • Aphids are repelled by catnip.
    • Aphids are especially attracted to mustard and nasturtium. You can plant these near more valuable plants as traps for the aphids. 
    • Nasturtiums spoil the taste of fruit tree sap for aphids and will help keep aphids off broccoli.
    • Garlic and chives repel aphids when planted near lettuce, peas, or rose bushes


Hosing down your plants is one way to control the aphid population in your garden.

Using Alcohol to Control Aphids

Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) works fine and is easy to find, but be sure it doesn’t have additives. Ethanol (grain alcohol) seems to work best. Alcohol usually comes in 70 percent strength in stores (or 95 percent strength purchased commercially). To make an insecticidal spray, mix equal parts 70 percent alcohol and water (or, if using 95 percent alcohol, mix 1 part alcohol to 1 ½ parts water). 

You can also add alcohol to a soapy emulsion to make it more effective. For example, in a spray bottle, combine 5 cups water, 2 cups alcohol, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap.

Caution: When applying an alcohol or soap spray, or a combination, always test a small area first, and apply in morning or evening, when the sun is not beating down. Watch the plant for a few days for any adverse reactions before applying more. Plants can be sensitive to alcohol and soap. Also, some soaps have additives that can damage plants—select the purest form.

Do you have more tips for controlling aphids? Let us know below!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Nutrient requirment for coloured bell pepper

Dear Sir/Ma'am,

I'm a small grower of coloured bell pepper. I'm very keen to learn about different growing stages of bell pepper. I want to know that, Which nutrients elements required for different different stages of bell pepper?
Dilip Gehlot


Do aphids start multiplying in the soil? Is it best to change the soil that the plants attacked by aphids, are growing in, to successfully get rid of them ?

Aphid control

The best way to control aphids is to squash them between your thumb and forefinger. Start with the heaviest concentration of the lil buggers and squish away! Wash their nasty guts and carcasses off leaves when you're done. Be careful not to tear leaves. I have a moderate sized garden so I can manage most of it but this method might not work for larger or commercial size gardens unless you have help. It helps if while you're insecticiding them you taunt them by saying, "you're dead now!" or, "you're all going to die!" Get creative with it! Happy squashing!!


I have these pests on a Carolina reaper plant. I believe it stunted the growth of the fruit. The peppers were very small, smaller than normal and they have already turned red. Typically they grow green to full size then mature to red.

Anyways, curious to know if this type of pest infection is dangerous to the actual fruit. I washed the fruit (pepper) off but unsure if it is safe to consume.

stunted fruit

There are a few reasons why pepper fruit can be stunted. For example, if the plant was planted too early, and the blooms were exposed to cool temperatures, then those fruit can be stunted. (Aim for 70 to 80F day temps, and above 55 night temps before planting.) Diseases such as tomato spotted wilt virus can also cause stunting of fruit. If the whole plant is stunted, then it could be cultural conditions, such as too little water or inconsistent application, not enough nutrients, etc. A heavy pest infestation, such as of aphids or whiteflies, can also stress the plant and cause sparse fruiting and stunting of fruit, as well as yellowing/wilting leaves etc. As to whether the fruit is safe to eat–it might depend on the cause of the stunting, and how far gone the fruit is. Sometimes stunting can affect taste/quality, so it would not be worth eating. If there is any doubt as to safety, it would probably be best not to eat it.

please help me...

I have been told that my house is infested with insects and bugs. I have been very sick for months. At first I was secreting a sugary substance from my skin in different areas. I have undergone several different stages. I can't handle this anymore. I have tons of urine and blood tests proving that I am not on drugs. This aphids match exactly what I am going through. I have had the very tiny black ones come out in my urine. This is not a joke, and I truly need your help.

Insect control in garden

I have used Johnson’s baby shampoo to control insects in my garden. I mix 2 tbs shampoo to 1 quart warm water and spray infested area, it kills the aphids and keeps them away for weeks, it is the cheapest solution I have ever made and works well.


Will this method also kill the baby caterpillars and/or the butterfly eggs that are on the leaves also? I have a milk thistle (butterfly plant) that has tons of these nasty things on it and the big ones are killing my baby caterpillars. I want to get rid of the aphids but not the caterpillares. Or eggs.

Bugs on houseplants

I noticed what I believe to be aphids on a couple of tomato plants that I re potted and brought in from outside when the temps got cold. I did a spray of water, dishsoap and cayenne on them, but then I looked at my other plants and a couple seem to have the bugs too. I'm assuming they spread to those because of the tomatoes. So I decided to spray ALL of my plants with that same solution. Now I am wondering if perhaps I did a bad thing by spraying the plants that I didn't notice any bugs on. I guess my question is...does that solution hurt other plants or is it pretty safe to not only get rid of the bugs, but also as a precaution to keep them from crossing over into the others? Thank you.

Bugs on Houseplants

Hi Kathy,

As long as the amount of cayenne in the solution isn’t too strong, it shouldn’t hurt the plants. The solution should prevent aphids from moving across to uninfected plants. Also, if you do notice any ill effects, stop applying it immediately.  

Flower pests

I have been facing this flower pests problem for quite some time.. i have spotted small white insects on the leaves of the plant and these ones dont fly. They slowly retard the growth of the plant and eventually flowers either stop blooming and rot away or they stop forming all together. I cam send the photos . Please help

spotted flower pest

Although we are not entomologists, we can certainly try to help you identify the pest. We’d suggest that you send us an email at almanaceditors@yankeepub.com, along with 1 or 2 photo attachments (low resolution, please). If you can, please tell us the approximate size of the insect, the flower type that they visit, your state/province, where you normally see the pests (stem, flower, leaves, under leaves), if they group in clusters or individually, if they are active during the day or night, specific damage (such as holes in leaves, brown patches, fading, wilting), and any other clues that might help. Thank you!

stopping the cycle - ants farming possible aphids

At the start of the growing season I noticed the leaves of my peppers and eggplants were being eaten. I also spotted several ladybugs. Later, when the beans and corn came up I saw mole holes. After a good rainstorm, all was well, no holes in the leaves. Then, on the sunflowers the ants appeared. Hole reappeared, this time on the beans. Everytime I approach the beans or sunflowers I am attacked by ants. I started with a nighttime hard spray of water on every leaf, under and over. This morning I noticed less ants, so I was able to get close enough to the sunflowers to see some yellow spots on the back. I put out some borax ant bait traps at the bottom of the sunflowers and the row of effected beans. Got some neem oil, but the beans are now in blossom. Any suggestions? I can't weed or pick anything if I am being attacked by ants. They bite aggressively!

Getting Rid of Ants in the Garden

It sounds like you’re doing nearly everything you can! Borax ant traps are the most effective way to deal with a colony, so you may just have to wait and see if the borax does the trick. Alternatively, you could try using diatomaceous earth (DE), which is a fine powder that rapidly dehydrates ants and other insects. Spread a solid, ½-inch-wide ring of DE around the sunflower stems and bean stalks, as well as any other nearby structures that the ants could crawl up. Apply DE when you know the ground will stay dry for a few days, so the DE doesn’t get washed away. DE is non-toxic, but cover your mouth and nose while applying it to ensure that the fine particles don’t get into your lungs.

APHID CONTROL: July 3, 2017

H202 works well. Also wipe aphids with wet paper towel, spray top & bottom of leaves. Keep close watch & repeat as necessary. Can't post link but quick search will turn up how-to.

Getting of aphids in the rose garden

When you plant marigolds among the roses you will not have aphids! It is as simple as that!

Marigolds and aphids

I'd heard that they'd get rid of aphids, so planted around my roses and tomato plants. Guess what they're loaded with aphids even after spraying with neem and later with garlic

Bait plants

I'm confused about the concept of bait plants. I have seen black aphids in my front yard and my back yard. They seem to love lamb's quarter, which grows as a common weed here. Am I supposed to leave the bait plants in place and treat them regularly so I know where the pests will go and can kill them? Or what?

Bait Plants for Aphids

Most gardeners simply leave the bait plants be, but there’s no reason not to periodically get rid of the bugs on bait plants, too. In fact, it’s a good way to provide extra protection for more-valued flowers and vegetables. Avoid using chemical sprays or wipes on bait plants, though, as this might deter aphids and drive them back to your non-bait plants instead.

aphids in roots

A friend gave me a couple of plants and I started to see aphids so I decided to move one of the plants to another location, away from my other plants. I sprayed the plant leaves and stems with soapy water. I thought maybe the aphids could be in the soil so when I removed the plant I also investigated the soil. I was surprised at the number of aphids that were living in the roots of the plant. I now periodically flush my plants with the soapy water. I'm not a dedicated gardener so I still find aphids on occasion so I'm not sure how this is working but I think any treatment should take the roots into account.

Aphids and Flies

Planting Marigolds will take care of aphids. We have a 10 x 16 "Rose Garden" that has approximately 8 -
10 plants that keep them at bay. We plant them at each corner and one on each side. Sometimes I place a few among the plants to make sure they are protected.

And.... Geraniums in containers at each door (larger spaces, i.e. garage door and slider) I may have additional pots for wider openings. Since we started this we have had no (I repeat NO flies in the house!!! My husband - a biologist - thinks it is the leaves and not the blooms. Sometimes the garage door is open for hours. We do not use any harmful chemicals on the lawn and garden so our beautiful little Maltese has the run of the yard!

Aphids on Rough Skin Lemon, Tahitian Lime, Eureka Lemon Leaves

I'm in Johannesburg, South Africa.
What can I use on these trees ?

Critters on your Tahitian Limes (citrus)

Wetable sulphur, neem oil. Organic materials. If you are badly infested, it is a lot of work to stay organic. Bad infestations, I use malathion, but the bees do not like it. Nor do humans. With any insect problem, you need to repeat many times to stop the reproductive cycle. Be steadfast, and re apply after much rain. University of California Davis is an ag school and publishes on the web. My Hawaii farm has your same troubles. Repeat applications to stop the reproductive cycle. Also spray the ground around the trees. Then the critters do not have a home anymore. Good luck

Aphid control on plants!

There is a GREAT!! Product, that I never see mentioned on any site, that is considered to be, and can be used as organic! It's made from the Chrysanthemum Daisy flower. Its called, "Hi Yield Garden, Pets, and and Livestock Dust", and I swear by it!! It knocked out my aphids AND the fungus gnats in my potted indoor pepper plants!? Totally! To control aphids, spray plants well, with water stream to knock them off. Then, I sprinkled on soil AND plant leaves both, and started bottom watering too. Before applying dust, I also watered potted plants with peroxide (5 percent), and water, as a soil soak to kill any larvae in soil, first.( One part peroxide to 4parts water.) Reapply dust every few days and carefully follow directions, AND read ENTIRE label BEFORE using! Take precautions as some people could be allergic or have breathing problems like asthma! Always wear dust mask! Reapply until you haven't seen your target pest(s) for 2 weeks or so. Yes. It is used on pets, and Livestock to control flies, fleas, etc. It's THAT safe! And it works! Please try, esp. if you want to stay organic! Check label if you buy a diff. brand of a pyrethrum based product, as it may contain butoxyl, which is NOT organic and unsafe! Hope this helps someone else. Good luck!

did you snort this dust? it

did you snort this dust? it clearly says on all high yield products that they are insecticide and not flower products..and they kill bees, which we are losing too quickly as it is!

Aphids attacking summer squash and pole beans

Over the last couple years, I've had aphids wipe out these flourishing crops. Once they get started, there is no stopping them. Insecticidal soap, neem oil, hand picking, shop vacuum and blowing them off with the hose only delays the inevitable. I prune off the most invested leaves but I cannot stop them. By mid-season I have to pull the plants. I will try flour dusting and adding alcohol to the soap solution but I'm skeptical. Is there some way to stop them before they get started?

aphid troubles

How frustrating! Have you tried to attract beneficials to your garden? These may help to keep the populations down a bit. Try planting some flowering groundcovers around the perimeter of the garden and order some beneficials such as lady beetles and release them in the area. Silver-colored reflective mulch helps to repel aphids, and using row covers early in the season helps to protect seedlings. Good luck!

Give Aphids the Bait and Switch

The *easiest* thing to do is grow a bait plant or plants that will draw aphids out of your valuable crop. Depending on the size of your grow, either line the perimeter of your garden with the bait plants or keep one or two in the corner of your growing area. I don't know what you're using as far ar fertilizer and/or additives but I don't use ANY nitrates in my garden.

Still, feed your bait plants with Blood Meal: they'll grow really tall, really fast yet have really thin cell walls (sending off infrared struts to insects). I also root drench and foliar with chitin found in crab and shrimp shell. Doing this could prevent insects all together, Chitin provides a bulletproof vest for your plants, you'll definitely notice...so will the bugs, they'll be on the hunt for an easier meal (infrared). They'll head straight for the bait plant(s) and leave the rest of the crop alone. Seriously.


The soapy mixture with hot sauce plus some salad oil (spray adheres to plants) also works not only for aphid, but as a deer repellant.
North Carolina US

Black aphid infestation on garlic!

For the first time, in early January I found black aphids all over a small area of garlic. I fought with insecticidal soap and eventually that plus snow seemed to stop them. But they have now moved to a larger bed and are covering the garlic there. Insecticidal soap hasn't touched them there. I've switched to Neem oil but it doesn't seem to be slowing them down. I'm thinking of adding alcohol to the Neem and water to try that but am running out of options. Any other thoughts?

Garlic for Garlic

Hi, Karen: Sounds like you’re giving it a good shot! Be sure to read and try everything in “Control and Prevention” above. Be very thorough in applying, and do not overlook the bases of the scapes. You could try adding alcohol, but first we would try it by itself. This goes for all solutions. If you are thinking of fixes with dish soap or Neem oil or alcohol, always try a solo one first, before combining with other agents. You might try a garlic oil spray. Start with 2 crushed garlic cloves steeped in a quart of boiling water overnight. If you think you see some results, feel free to make it stronger by adding garlic or reducing water. Feel free to add some crushed red pepper if garlic alone doesn’t work. Keep trying and keep experimenting! Good luck!

Garlic for Aphids NO NO NO

I just came from the grocery store with garlic cloves to put in my yard to shoo the mosquitos away. They were full of aphids! Know I wonder if I am going to have Aphid's over populating my yard. I saw them and dusted them off in the middle of my lawn because like I said I bought the garlic to throw around this one area that has mosquito over population. I think they like garlic.

garlic spray

Garlic oil spray has been used to battle aphids for generations. However, garlic contains sulfur, which, besides being toxic to pests, is also an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Be sure to spray the underside of the leaves where aphids gather. The one caution is that garlic spray kills beneficial insects (such as ladybugs, who are natural predators of aphids) just as easily as it kills the bad guys.


Aphid control

Please see my earlier post, by Vickie Morgan, on Oct.6th, 2017! It REALLY works! Good luck!

I think my plants have aphids.

I have a variety of plants on my bay window, Gobble Guts, Lilly Looks and a few others I have forgotten their names. Most have been in the bay window for four years now. Recently I had noticed a green, very small but lively bug on my plants. The stems and leaves are covered in them. Are they aphids??? If so what can I do about them. If not aphids any idea as to what they could be and how to get rid of them would be much appreciated as I really don't want to loose any of my plants on my bay window.
Thank you.

aphids on the loose?

Crowded plants can be a pest breeding ground. Add dampness and you have some happy insects. You might try separating the plants, giving them some breathing space. Let them dry between waterings. Give them sun, if they require it (some houseplants prefer indirect light).

Rather than hazard a guess on this, Wendy, we are going to suggest that you Google “household pests” and look at the images. Any look familiar?? If so, click through and see if the source page helps you clarify the matter. Come back here to see how to deal with the pests if in fact they are aphids. Don’t mean to make you work, but wouldn’t want to send you down a wrong road.



use merit or bayer tree & shrub. aphids gone.

aphids and milkweed plants

have several milkweed plants which are covered in yellow aphids. I have about 20 newly hatched catapillars, i have tried lady bugs and neem oil, which kills the catapillars. i have cut off all the growth with infestation. i have moved the little baby catapillars to uninfested flowers. any suggestions as to getting rid of the aphids and keeping the catapillars alive?

milkweed rescue

If you have removed the caterpillars, you can wash the aphids off with a milk soap solution or an insecticidal soap—but only if there are no caterpillars present. These solutions will kill the caterpillars. In fact, do not use insecticides on milkweed plants that you will use to fee the larvae. We hope this helps.

Aphid control

I had a lot of trouble with aphids on my chilli plants.
Washing with soap gave only temporary relief. Likewise using bug spray.
I now patrol the plants twice a day and gently pick off any aphids using a length of sticky tape.
This gently removes the insects without damaging the plants.

Yellow aphids on my hoya

I am so frustrated with these yellow aphids on my Hoya plant that I have for more then 10 years. I have tried the soapy solution and the blast of cold water and insectisidial soap and also cut some of the plant of, nothing is working. I still am getting a few on the plant and don't want to bring it inside the house. I need help. Can I soak the entire plant in a trash can filled with soapy water or what else can I do?

aphids on hoya plant

Try hitting your plant with a spray of alcohol to kill the aphids, then blast with water to knock them off. They’ll probably still return.  You can also use “Safers” soap and soak the entire plant, as the label will instruct. Yes, they will return but not right away. Finally, if you are desperate, there is a more chemical approach; you can also water with Bayer Tree & Shrub, which makes it poisonous to them and they stay away.

sticky substance

I have a sticky substance on my cherry tomatoes after i have picked them. What is this?


Often, stickiness on tomatoes is due to the honeydew secretions from aphids–a harmless sap substance, easily washed off.

Looked at a turned red/brown

Looked at a turned red/brown grape vine leave with a magnifier, I was shocked to see a colloney of a tiny crawling insects moving around. Some are bright red and some are blackish with many leggs on each side. what can I do to treat them.

aphids in the soil

I have a 10' X 20' garden. This year my fava beans, green beans, cucumbers and kale were completely infested with aphids. I have disposed of the plants and read comments on how to get rid of them in the soil. However, do you just spray the Neem oil or pyrethrin on top of the soil in the entire garden? Do you have to "scratch it in"? When should I spray it?
I do not want to have the same problem next year.

Applying Neem Oil

Hi Carol, Neem oil is only effective when applied directly to the aphids (not the soil). It kills them on the day they are sprayed, so applications will likely need to be repeated. You may want to consider releasing beneficial insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps before resorting to Neem.

Aphid control

I had success with the following: In fall, mix in even proportions vinegar, baking soda and dish soap. Spread the mixture on the ground surrounding the infected tree or bushes. Around a badly infested lime tree I sprayed twice in fall and once in early spring. No aphids came back that season.

Ants, Butterflies and Bees

I'm in charge of my neighbors flowers and plants while he's away until October 1st. Something is eating his Penta's. I have found a very tiny black beetle (very shiney, round not oval) and tons and tons of what appear to be Florida Carpenter Ants - front half red, back half black. What ever it is, or they are, they are completely decimating the Penta's.

I have sprayed twice with an organic spray from Home Depot and it's done nothing. I would attack them with chemicals but I DO NOT want to hurt the bees and the butterflies. What on earth can I do to save these Penta's?

Penta Pests

Hi Michelle,

How strange! Pentas are rarely bothered by pests or disease. It’ wonderful of you to want to protect the bees! Not knowing what the pests are, I suggest two things: 1. Rub the leaves with warm soapy water to get them off of the plant. 2. If possible, take a few photos of the insects and the damage they cause and visit a local plant nursery (not Home Depot). Ask the staff if they are familiar with the pest–that is the only way to choose the right product for treatment. The spray you applied may be effective only at a certain stage of the pest’s life cycle. In order to treat, you must know thy enemy! Hope that is of some help.


Controlling of aphids

I want to get ride of aphids in my garden


My kale and broccoli have aphids extremely bad I am going to pull the plants but want to know what I should do too the soil around them. It just rained and lots of them dropped off the soil is gray now. Should I treat it with soapy water? Will that help can I replant in that area right away?

Thank you for your advice.

How to Treat Soil

We would advise washing the soil with a soapy solution, avoiding overfertilization, and using insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils (neem oil) on the soil. If you’d like to plant right away, we’d also recommend perhaps planting garlic with your new plants so that the aphids will stay away. Good luck!

Leafs on green peppers are chewed on

I usually us "Seven-5" and dust it lightly on most of my plants when I see the leaves being bothered ... Will Seven-5 take care of my green pepper plants?

Pepper Plants

Given this is an edible, we don’t recommend chemical applications. See if you can identify the insect that is chomping on your leaves. It may very well be something that will be gone in a few weeks and your peppers will be none the worse for wear. Often, insect pests feed at dusk and nightfall. It’s a good time to go out there to see what you are dealing with. Sometimes a simple solution of warm water and dish soap is enough to deter pesky feeders.


My lime leaves are curling, brown stuff at the undersides of the leaves, a lot of ants on some leaves. Are these aphids?

Distorted and Brown Leaves

It appears that you might have aphids based on the distortion and color of your lime leaves. The brown undersides could be a collection of brown aphids or sooty mold caused by the honeydew that aphids secrete. In order to be sure, use our tips to identify the small bugs. Good luck!

Tomato Problem?

My tomatoes are doing well,but am seeing the leaves curling upwards. Are these aphids?

curling tomato leaves

Curling tomato leaves can mean several things. There are some viruses that produce this effect, but it can also be signs of stress due to cold temperatures and rain, irregular watering, too much water, heat and drought, improper pruning, herbicides, transplant shock, mites … If it is aphids, they would be fairly easy to see – check under the leaves and along stems and junctions for small, pear-shape insects – usually moving very slowly or staying still. Color ranges from dark gray to green to orange, depending on species.

bug spray

In the one home made bug spray, you listed 2 parts alchohol to 5 parts water then you switch from parts to 1 Tbsp. dish soap and didn't give an over all measurement. I gave this recip to my dad who place it in a approximately 1 litre. He sprayed it on his plants and they wilted and some died completely. When we rinsed the wilted ones to try to save them the water running off was sudsy, and a white layer on the soil. You might want to change the recipe to give the soap measurement in parts or the whole recipe in measurements.

soap/alcohol spray for aphids

Oh, my goodness! We are so sorry to hear about your dad’s plants! We have revised the formula to: 5 cups water, 2 cups alcohol, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap.
Whenever applying an alcohol or soap spray, or a combination, to plants, always test a small area first, and apply in morning or evening, when the sun is not beating down. Watch the plant for a few days for any adverse reactions before applying more. Plants can be sensitive to alcohol and soap. Also, some soaps have additives that plants may be sensitive to – try to use the purest form. If still wary about trying – dilute the formula first, watch your plants for a few days, and then work up to full strength gradually if the plants seem to be able to handle it.

Aphids, good recipes, nasturtiums

This summer, for the first time aphids on my viburnum. Yes, the new growth. My neighbor had asked for advice about his bushes then I checked mine. I pruned a lot of the new stems out and used hard spray. I'm going to try the recipes above. I have confidence in them and they won't hurt anyone else. Howis the nasturtium thing supposed to work??? The 2nd year I had them in my old yard they were black with aphids so the leaves weren't very appetizing to eat. Hmmm... the aphids are probably rich in protein! They showed up the next yr. so I don't grow 'em.

nasturtiums and aphids

The nasturtium will attract aphids AWAY from other plants. The idea is that you sacrifice the nasturtium—left the aphids collect there, then discard the plant, aphids and all.
 You don’t want to eat the nasturtium flower when the plant is used in this fashion.

We hope this helps!

Ladybugs v Aphids

I have a tree in my yard that is covered in wee aphids, clumped in every wad of new/shriveled leaf growth. I also have ladybug eggs all over the same tree, and quite a few ladybugs running around eating the aphids and mating. My concern is that the ratio of aphid to ladybug is at least quadruple, and even though each ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids a day, my tree and surrounding plants may die well before the ladybugs can ramp up. Should I be patient and wait for the ladybugs to do their thing? If I treat with the above, will it kill off the ladybugs as well?

Tiny lice like bugs on my day lilies. White / yellowish in color

I've never had these before and they are everywhere. Please help before I lose all my flowers. Thank you.

Afids on new stated from seed plants.

I started plants from seed, set them outside to get them hardened only 30 mins 1st day couple hrs 2nd day inside for a day, out couple hrs 4th day, and I find afids all over my kale. How did I get them in that length of time?

why aphids

This is one of the most vexing challenges for all gardeners—there seems to be an aphid type for almost eveyr plant! There is no one reason why aphids appear, indoors or outdoors. Soil with high levels of nitrogen are said to favor aphids; do not add to soil unless nec (do a soil test).

Vegetables are susceptible at seedling stage, so some sources recommend growing plants under (row) covers. Kale, being a cool season crop, is especially vulnerable.

If the plants do not survive…there is probably still time to buy seedlings (you did not say where you are).

Wish we had better news…

Garden Mums and Iris

Ever year they get invaded by whiteflies and aphids. What can I do to stop the invasion? What is best way to get rid of them?

aphid and whitefly controls

Try washing the aphids off the plants with a strong spray of water from a hose, and repeat if they reappear. For more controls for aphids, please see article above.

For whiteflies, you might like to go to: http://www.almanac.com/content/whiteflies for suggestions. Some gardeners actually have had success using a hand-held vacuum cleaner to pick up the adult insects; morning is best, when the adults are sluggish. Place the vacuum bag in a plastic bag, seal, then freeze to kill the insects.

Can Spider Kill Aphids?

Shouldn't Spider Be Able To Kill Aphids Since The Aphids Are Bugs Aren't They?

do spiders eat aphids

I don’t think spiders eat aphids. They do not pick up insects. They seems to trap insects in their web, wrap them up, and squeeze them to death. Ladybugs like aphids!


I can tell you that spiders don't kill aphids. I know this because I have so many humongous spiders and I have lots of aphids all over my plants.

I have few tomato plants in

I have few tomato plants in my garden and when the plants are bit shaken very tiny white insects fly out of the lower part of the leaves.
How do I get rid of those ?
What is the normal organic pesticide available in India for the flowering plants ?

Does anyone know if they get

Does anyone know if they get on alocasia "frydek"? I think that's what is on mine but I'm not sure

bio products for aphids

use monoshot and neem a life ,bio products from Gujrat Life Science available in India Contact Mr Rajesh Umatt

I found that the ants were

I found that the ants were actually bringing the aphids to my cucumber plants. My Solution - I grabbed a bottle of cinnamon from my cabinet and shook the bottle aroung the base. In a couple of days - no more ants and no more aphids. It tool about 2 weeks for the cucmbers to regain consiousness and start growing again.

Hi there , I got this

Hi there , I got this hibiscus plant and couple days after I got it I notice the the leafs where turning yellow and falling and it was becoming more and more , I check and there was little white bugs so I knew it must be because of them, I prayed my plant with mixture of soap cayanne garlic and citrus. but it seems to get worse my plant barely has any leafs left .. I worry that its gonna dye . How to I save it

If you have white bugs on

If you have white bugs on your hibiscus, those bugs are probably white flies not aphids. White flies love hibiscus plants. Unfortunately, it's a problem. There are a couple of things you could try.
1) Get yellow sticky cards from a garden center and stick them in your plants. The buys will stick to the glue.
2) Get a horticultural oil and spray your plant.
3) Cut back any infected portions.
We hope you can save your plant unless it's too far gone!

Hi, I have a baby apple tree


I have a baby apple tree that has ants crawling all over the leaves and branches I haven't noticed any aphids yet but would like to prevent them and get rid of the ants can anyone suggest a good spray that won't harm my tree or the fruit it will eventually produced. I am based in the UK and a novice gardner

Garden safe has a nice Spray

Garden safe has a nice Spray for bugs that does well in organic gardens but what I use is bayer's vegetable and garden spray that works like a charm

when possible, repot the

when possible, repot the plant and throw away the dirt. Larvae liv on top of the dirt and breed. All the above help the plant but can be reinvested from the dirt!

Firstly, I'm dating this post

Firstly, I'm dating this post because I dislike that I have no clue how old the existing conversation in here is.

- June 14th 2015 -

Garden & Zone: Containers on a 2nd floor deck, in zone 5b (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)

Plants: red & green pepper (in containers), hanging strawberry plant, strawberry mint plant (tastes like strawberry mint, does not produce berries haha), lemongrass, ivy, lobelia, fuschia hybrid, calibrachoa hybrid & green dracena and a bleeding heart plant that I pray is going to survive in a container over winter (my fave plant ever, let's see if apartment life will support bleeding heart 'captivity')!

PROBLEM: green aphids found on my pepper plants this morning, along with what I had THOUGHT are maybe aphid larve (they are long and skinny white worm looking species, MAYBE a millimeter or two in length), but I have found other information that indicates they MIGHT be "aphid midge (Aphidoletes aphidimyza) larvae" which I read actually controls aphids.

So, few things I want to inquire about between my problem and things noted within this thread.

First, does the diatomaceous earth help control the aphids? Or just the ants? Is this just an overall generally good thing to sprinkle at the base of plants to protect from certain infestations of enemy insects? I have some bought in the gardening section (to clear up I'm not using the pool formula :D )a few years back...does age of this product affect efficacy?

Next, I read a suggestion to just hose off the aphids from the plants regularly with cool water (luckily I recently bought a hose and the attachments to use it with my kitchen sink...again, 2nd floor apartment), so that is what I had done this morning. I have a funny feeling that because I am not blessed with life's solutions being the simplest ones, that those little buggers (pardon the bun) will be returning and forcing me to attempt solution #2!

So taking into consideration I have a passing by dog who uses the deck to gain access to the back yard, some robins who have a nest on our deck using it for 2 rounds of offspring every summer, a cat who is indoors but sits at the screened door which my peppers are RIGHT beside the door, here are the solutions I will be looking at.
Firstly, I will be adding a couple containers of nasturtium as my first line of defense, then the options are as follows;

1. mixture of soap and water
2. mixture of soap and water and alcohol
3. mixture of soap and water and cayanne
4. 'organic' pesticide
5. giving up ;) (I won't likely make this choice....I LOVE PEPPERS)

So, my curiosities are this;

if I use the DE, what can I expect it will do for current problem? or what can I expect it will do in general?

did I just spray off aphid larvae or the aphid midge larvae which would have been there to take those aphid down?

will the nasturtium survive the infestation of the aphids? or will I have a flower that looks like it went to war with the aphids and the aphids will win?

do I need to attempt control of the aphids on the nasturtium or just let the flower do it's job attracting the little buggers as if it's the crack dealer and the aphids are the crack heads? (haha...sorry if you don't find that funny...I have a sick sense of humour)

are there other flowers or plants one would suggest placing beside the peppers to help with insect control (be it for aphids or any other common invasive insect that might like my peppers as much as I do)?

with the plants and flowers I have listed that I currently have, are any of them at high risk more than others for the aphid attack (I assume aphids will attack any plant equally...little 'buggers' are not plant prejudice!?!?!) or any other insects infestation?

Remember, I am on a 2nd floor deck in zone 5b (in Ontario) and am determined I am eating peppers that I have harvested myself ;)

First of all, WHERE did you

First of all, WHERE did you get the attachments to hook to your kitchen sink??????? I also live in an apartment and am tired of carrying a bucket!!
Secondly, the best thing for aphids is Epsom salt!!! For a real large pot I use a half cup per pot. Just mix it up a bit with the dirt on top and then water like normal. Within two days all the aphids and white flies were gone. And they have NOT come back!!!!! I used it on my roses, tomatoes, pumpkin plant. Plus all my decorative plants. I also use it on my inside plants!! The Epsom Salt has something in it that the plants need!! ALL my plants are growing like crazy!!!! It seems like my pumpkin plant is growing about two inches a day!!! So remember, 1/2 cup of EPSOM SALT per pot!!!!!

Can I use Epsom salt that has

Can I use Epsom salt that has a lavender scent? I am wondering if the lavendar would hurt the plants at all.

Eating too many peppers

Just a word of caution: I've known two people who eat a lot of peppers and hot spicy food all the time and both died of stomach cancer. I'd never even heard of stomach cancer. One was Asian, the other just really loved peppers in her food. Apparently the beneficial vitamin C derived from the pepper is not greater than the cancer causing factors.


Eating a lot of peppers does not cause cancer according to a google search on the topic. In fact, it actually fights cancers and has many other health benefits.

Hey all, I have started and

Hey all,
I have started and indoor Hydroponic garden with about three pepper plants, 2 tomato plants, and 2 basil plants. I have had them for about 4 months with out any bugs or any issues. Today while adjusting some of the plants, I have noticed a ton of aphids (on all of them other than the basil). I sprayed them with a combination of 2 parts alcohol and 5 parts water and added garlic as well. Are there any other steps I can take to enure the safety of my plants. Insects are not an option due to the fact this is an indoor set up..

Thank you all.

Hi, Patrick, These are

Hi, Patrick, These are probably root aphids (they seem to be the most common in hydroponics). Root aphids spread through water, apparently. Some sources advise putting liquid pyrethrym concentrate into the water/nutrient mix. Pyrethrum is an organic pesticide, sort of. Apparently the production process is not entirely. Depending on the strength of it, Pyrethrum may kills any beneficials you have introduced. Consult a local organic vendor for information.

Hi Patrick! Have you tried an

Hi Patrick! Have you tried an organic insecticidal soap? I use to have an aphid problem on my indoor herbs and Safer Brand's Insect Killing Soap cleared it up. You can usually find it at a nursery or garden store.

Hope it works for you!

I heard that planting

I heard that planting Marigolds is a good defense for aphids, but do not remember why. I think they attract a beneficial insect.

Hey, What about pumpkins? I

What about pumpkins?
I heard they are delicate and you have to be careful of what you put on them.
So what can I use for pumpkins?

To make a garlic solution to

To make a garlic solution to combat aphids, mince a few cloves of garlic into 2 teaspoons of mineral oil. After a day, strain out the garlic pieces and add what's left to one pint of water. Add one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. When you apply the solution, you can dilute it down with water in a spray bottle (about 2 tablespoons garlic to 1 pint water). It's organic and safe.

I have a hibicus tree that i

I have a hibicus tree that i have treated for aphid but they keep coming back...I have used water and dishwashing soap and sevin and horticultural oil at different of course and got rid of them 2 times so they must be in the soil so what can i do to kill the ones in the soil? this is a house plant...I have spent more time and energy on this plant than any other plant in my life......this has been going on since may...

We would advise washing

We would advise washing regularly, avoid over fertilization, and use insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils (neem oil). However, if this has failed, you might want to turn to more serious insecticides or actions (bifenthrin, permethrin, resmethrin, disulfoton, imidacloprid). Speak to your garden center.

change the soil it's planted

change the soil it's planted in change the pot it's growing in treat the leaves for aphids once more problem should be gone
make sure you rinse off the roots

I just found what looks like

I just found what looks like a green aphid. I had no experience with green ones before. I have a cutting from a black raspberry plant that is infested. I didn't notice any insects when I brought it in.

This is in my "green room" where I'm propagating plants so it could be a disaster! I have lots of succulent cuttings taking root in there. I will try the NEEM oil I have along with the soap/alcohol/water/cayenne solution. I will paint or spray all my plants, just to be sure. I tried a soap/vinegar/epsom salt solution for weed control and it worked very well, so I'm sure this will work just as well. Thank you for everyone who posted!

I have two chilli plants kept

I have two chilli plants kept on a window sill..and I recently noticed some of their leaves were sticky and started to curl inward. I noticed on the underside some small white spots of things that moved.
I've made and tried the rubbing alcohol+water+soap formula right now..How often should I be spraying it on the leaves? Do i leave it to dry or do i have to wash out the liquid on the leaves aftwr a while? And do I spray on both sides?

I mix with water,soap and

I mix with water,soap and rubbing alcohol then spray I will see next day if will gone for good what if they come tiny white bugs on my hot pepper

I had a TON of green aphids

I had a TON of green aphids feeding on a tiny jade plant. I took a spray bottle with about a 1:1 mixture of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol and a little dish soap. (I would use more alcohol if you only have the 70% kind). I sprayed the plant thoroughly on the stems and both sides of the leaves and I thought nothing had happened, but then I took a q-tip and wiped some of the aphids off and they appeared to be dead!

I'm guessing the dish detergent acts as a wetting agent that either helps to drown the aphids, or helps get the alcohol onto/into them which perhaps does the killing.

Either way, I wiped the rest of them off but I have to see if they'll make a comeback yet.

Hello:) my organic veggies

Hello:) my organic veggies (yellow+green squash), peppers,tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon+Marigolds are in 1 area I am asking about. I hav 1 pumpkin w black dust on part of the skin. So far 1/2 of it+a few leaves turning yellow. We use our llama-doo+they all grow like magic!I can look into which pest is causing said issue. My ? Is I have many happy Lil frogs working on the leaves to eat pests:). So I won't use anything that may harm frogs, bees, butterflies or birds and lady bugs etc! Won't these sprays burn them?:(. We have a large wildlife habitat+ponds. With many frogs, turtles, ducks, geese and wildlife. Plus chickens in same zone as this raised bed that's growing like magic! We have Ants around but do our best to just vinegar and rinse the ones that enter the home or bother pets. Cinnamon isn't safe for pets, nor are onions and garlic. I have tons of peppermint with some being 5 feet away. We have many fruit orchards+vines. Iset up frog habitat in that plot+they adore being there. I have Peppermint Castile Soap but won't it burn my eco pal's? The BlackBerry vines have grown and migrated within 3 feet of the plot. Ahh:)," its like Jack's Magic Stalks from the llama-doo! Strawberries, Blueberry bush, Figs, Lemons, Oranges, Apples, Cherries, Grapes, Pears,Loquat+more are all about our place. We have many Weeping Willows are there any solutions from any of these that may help my possible Flea Beetle and or Mites or whatever? I will do the work as long as it won't hurt:) THANK U!:)

My aphids (black) are out of

My aphids (black) are out of control. They are ruining my zucchini and okra plants. My question is: can I cut the bad leaves of the plant? My okra is still producing but my zucchini plants are suffering bad from the aphids. They have damaged the fruit to non edible fruit. And I'm asking when they get this far gone do I just pull up the plant.

Interesting mentioning

Interesting mentioning nasturtiums because they are a magnet for aphids. But maybe the intention is if you have plants that you are protecting you'd plant nasturtiums to attract them away from your crops?? Sort of like a bait plant is in vineyards. Just curious.

Good point. Nasturtiums are a

Good point. Nasturtiums are a great "trap crop" or sacrificial crop to plant near your vegetables. And, yes, nasturtium are very attractive to aphids (blackfly, greenfly, whitefly) which will often completely cover the stems. Expect to see ants 'farming' the aphids for the honeydew they release. Put nasturtium near your beans and lettuce and see how it works for you!



I'm pretty sure I have a

I'm pretty sure I have a aphids s on my flowers. I've read a lot of information for example spaying with soap water. if possible I would like to know if this will kill the aphids??my plants seem to be dying from the bottom also. So are they in the root of the plants. I'm going to try the soap water.I've never had to deal with this before and I don't want to use pesticides. I would appreciate any help you might suggest,would any type of dish soap work?

In a spray bottle combine 2

In a spray bottle combine 2 parts rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap.

wont the rubbing alchohal

wont the rubbing alchohal hurt the plant

As far as soap/water mixture

As far as soap/water mixture it killed my plants. Stripped them of their leaves within 24 after spraying them. Wont ever do that again!!!

Funny you mention nasturtiums

Funny you mention nasturtiums as helping - that is the only plant I have found black aphids on in my container garden! Have to try one of the sprays suggested.

I notice that no one is

I notice that no one is mentioning bean plants. I have black eyed peas and green beans, The ants are farming aphids harder than I am gardening! Every day I can check the peas and beans, spray with the onion/garlic/pepper/soap spray. Recipe is from organic gardening dot com. Every day they are back! I can't keep up with the activity! My pods will be almost completely covered with aphids and ants, running down the vines and under the leaves! I can't stand the ants! I already spoke with the local ag extension agent, who said spraying daily would work. However, in California we face watering restrictions at the moment, 2 times a week for watering. The ants/aphids have resisted it all. They are now spreading to some of the melons and cucumber in my garden, and possibly saw signs this morning on one of the squash. I am about to just throw up my hands and give up, let them eat the dang beans and peas. as long as they leave my heirloom tomatoes be!

The ants are there because of

The ants are there because of the aphids. They are "farming" them.  The ants are good guys. The aphids are pests. Get rid of the aphids and you'll get rid of the ants.  You an just blast those aphids with a soapy spray. Once the plants dry, just dust some DE (diatomaceous earth) on the plants and at their base.
We would ignore the ants but if they are really out of control, try boric acid. Make traps with 4 parts sugar, 1 part boric acid and put in saucers; they'll take it back to the colony.

How can the ants be the 'good

How can the ants be the 'good guys' if they're farming the aphids? ;) IMHO, the ants are just as guilty, maybe even more so since they farm the aphids.

I've found that insecticidal soap works well on aphids. I mix my own & use castile soap diluted with water, since castile soap seems to be more potent than regular dish soap.

I was wondering why no one

I was wondering why no one had mentioned boric acid (aka Borax) before! I use it for laundry & around the outside perimeter of my house and my plants as a dry dust and haven't had any problems….. Except for this year, I have chronic pain in my lower back & am limited to what I can do. Dusting my flowers & shrubs wasn't done & I noticed my first green aphid on my new transplanted moonflower plant! I will need to get some boric acid. You can buy Borax, the brand name in the laundry aisle at your local walmart or grocery store (Meijer, Kroger,etc…)for around $3.50! Alot cheaper than buying the general name boric acid from a gardening/department store & you get a lot less!

I have successfully used the

I have successfully used the boric acid solution to stop ants in the house... but please check the chemistry... Boric Acid and Borax are NOT the same. Boric Acid is the product to use... purchase from a pharmacy.

Per Park Ranger advise, I did sprinkle Borax on California visit to surround/outline tent to prevent ant intrusion . That is used in powder form, not dissolved in water.

Diatomaceous earth is excellent to surround the base of a seedling as it's sharpness cuts any crawling bug(slugs, etc). D. Earth is a product used for swimming pool filters. It is non toxic. We do eat it! It's in lots of grain based foods because lots of grains are stored with diatomaceous earth to keep the bugs from eating the grain!

**Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate, boracic acid, orthoboric acid and acidum boricum, is a weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, neutron absorber, or precursor to other chemical compounds.
** Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.

You are not supposed to use

You are not supposed to use the *Diatomaceous earth that is for swimming pools, for pest control. the kind used for pools is not considered non toxic. I know people who use it* for flea control, but always it is pointed out to avoid the kind for pools.
You seem to have more overall knowledge about it than I do...but I wanted to make that one point.

Boric acid and Borax are not

Boric acid and Borax are not the exact same thing. as far as I know. They MAY be related but I do think are 2 separate things. I use Borax for laundry and cleaning stove top etc....as well as in a DIY flea control mixed with salt, maybe one other thing. I make ant bait/killer with boric acid, sugar & water.

Had the same problems. I

Had the same problems. I use
Cyonara insect control for aphids, hornworms, stink bugs, it kills any insest that takes a bite. My troubles are over, untill next time. Spray every two weeks. Don't worry about rain. I add a little dish soap to make it sticky

You sound overrun with insect

You sound overrun with insect pests. I'm no farmer, but I use chili spray made from our own chilies, to control virtually all pests. I've never found anything nearly as effective. One may have to spray a few times over a year and spraying underneath the leaves helps a bit. Nature always has the best solutions. Just add chopped chili to water over heat and when cooled, decant into spray bottles. Avoid inhaling the fumes and avoid cheap, hyperbred chilies. No pest will return. I don't yet grow okra, but will be soon. For the flesh of produce, use a weaker solution and avoid using the spray for about 3-4 weeks before picking. Good luck

I have found the best

I have found the best solution for ants to be to track them back to their nest opening, and treat them there. You can use a commercial ant poison (Amdron is the only one that works for me), and I put a tight screen over the area so my lovely lizards and birds cannot get near the poison. There are less harmful ways to treat ants, too, if you research it, only I've not found success with any of them yet. Keep your eye on the nest as it will no doubt come to life again sometime in the future. Also, make ever widening circles around the nest to find its connected nests. I have one 100 feet away not even in my yard that connects, so I treat them both. For some reason, great big red ants inhabit the nest but don't wander far. And the teeny tiny ants track back to the nest, too, from my garden far away. I don't understand that, but there you have it.

Plant garlic near whatever

Plant garlic near whatever vegetables or plants are being attacked by aphids. I'm sure there are some plants that won't like being near garlic, so please look into this first.
I found this tip in an old gardening book dating from the 1930's. My only experience of using it was on plum trees. Had a really bad infestation, planted 3 bulbs around each tree.
The theory is that something the garlic releases into the soil is then taken up by surrounding plants. This renders the aphids infertile. So, garlic doesn't kill aphids but it does stop them reproducing. Worked for me and my plum trees.

I used to broadcast garlic

I used to broadcast garlic bulbs in various areas around and in my garden to help with aphid control. I'm pretty sure I read it in something Rodale published. I believe initially I started with it around the roses. Was the only thing allowed within a few feet, little grassy garlic bulblets all around. I NEVER had aphids in them. Lived there for 18 years with the same roses. So i expanded it to the rest of the garden areas where I saw aphids occasionally. I never thought to take it out to the orchard.

My mother has garlic all

My mother has garlic all around her yard and especially garden to eat, but she also has said it helps keep some of the pests away, well tonight I noticed it's the garlic that is COVERED with black aphids..... ? Makes me wonder how effective a garlic spray would be also.

I have two mature Chinese

I have two mature Chinese elms that are covered in aphids. The cars underneath are covered in aphid yuk. Because they are so tall spraying the leaves isn't an option. I have beneficial bugs in my garden but it's too much for the trees. I prefer organic but it's getting worse. Is there anything I can do in the soil around the tree to stop this

I'd recommend talking to an

I'd recommend talking to an arborist about organic pest control. You can sometimes rent (or buy) a tree sprayer that will spray an insecticide even up into tall trees. If you'd rather not use insecticide, you might consult the manufacturer (or an arborist) if you can just use a tree sprayer to knock off aphids with a stream of water (it won't get rid of them, but it will help control them). You want to make sure it isn't too strong a spray, though, so that it doesn't hurt the leaves. Meanwhile, you might consider a car cover--it gets the cover sticky with honeydew (the aphid yucky stuff), but saves cleaning the car. I had to do that once when aphids attacked a tall tulip tree by the driveway.

Just reading a book that says

Just reading a book that says planting marigolds helps "control" the aphid population: maybe it won t kill existing infestations but it would be worth researching since its a natural solution. Good luck.

The Marigold trick won't

The Marigold trick won't work, the aphids are eating mine =(

I honestly haven't had much

I honestly haven't had much luck using marigolds to control anything. It could be where I live, tho, since Northeast Florida seems to be insect heaven.

Sick Euonymus with rolled

Sick Euonymus with rolled leaves. My 28 year old and previously very healthy euonymus bush has developed extremely rolled leaves on much of the new growth, though part of the bush has normal new growth. The side edges of almost every leaf are rolled toward the top surface of the leaf, and the leaves are stunted and pale green. On close examination with a magnifying glass, I can see a few VERY TINY white specks that move. To me, they look like mites or perhaps tiny aphids. There does not appear to be webbing or honeydew. What can I do to save my burning bush? And to keep it from spreading to the other euonymus 10 feet away?

Missoula, Montana

I'm not sure aphids are

I'm not sure aphids are causing this problem, as there are so few of them. The leaf edges are rolled up so tightly, but with no web, and with little lighter colored nodules on the underside. It affects most of the shrub, but several whole branches are (so far) NOT affected, even though parts of these branches mingle with the affected branches. We haven't fertilized the adjacent lawn with weed-killer since last fall, and we did a prune before the leaf buds burst. The euonymus 10 feet away seems unaffected. It's a mystery!

My 28 year old and previously

My 28 year old and previously very healthy euonymus bush has developed extremely rolled leaves on much of the new growth, though part of the bush has normal new growth. The side edges of almost every leaf are rolled toward the top surface of the leaf, and the leaves are stunted and pale green. On close examination with a magnifying glass, I can see a few VERY TINY white specks that move. To me, they look like mites or perhaps tiny aphids. There does not appear to be webbing or honeydew. What can I do to save my burning bush? And to keep it from spreading to the other euonymus 10 feet away?

Missoula, Montana

I just noticed that where

I just noticed that where weeds, grass and lupine grow in the field near my garden, that every lupine plant are covered with aphids. I am worried that they might spread to my garden plants. Should I pull out the infected lupine nearest my garden and burn the plants? There are too many plants in the field that are infected to spray them.

I started my tomatoes in

I started my tomatoes in little coffee kurig containers, when I transplanted them there were these tiny white bugs loads of them in the soil I have no clue what they are can any one help and give a suggestion on how to get rid of these things what ever they are pleaseee!!!! Thanks,joy.

There are many types of bugs

There are many types of bugs so it's hard for us to identify. Perhaps white flies? See photo here:
Perhaps the soil was nonsterile or nonpasteurized? Transplant in new soil and wash out any container with soap and water.
For many insects--from aphids to white flies--just spray the plant and leaves on all sides with a soap/oil mixture. See our pest pages for more information.

I am starting to have odd

I am starting to have odd shaped holes in the leaves of my mustard greens which are growing quite nicely otherwise. When I looked at the underside of the leaves I found a couple of lady beetles. If I use Organicide (from Home Depot) on them will it hurt the lady beetles? I have lettuce and broccoli planted also and I don't want the aphids or whatever other pests are attracting them to get out of control.

The active ingredient in Organicide appears to be sesame seed oil.

Product information at the

Product information at the Web site of Organic Labs (the manufacturer) says the Organicide 3-in-1 Garden Spray is "soft on beneficial insects" and "will not harm Bees, Butterflies, Ladybugs" but we'd suggest that you talk to the manufacturer directly to be sure, especially as there are several formulas of Organicide available, and we're not sure which one you have.

i discovered some very tiny

i discovered some very tiny brown bugs on my indoor ponytail plant. at first i thought it was flecks of loose dirt... when i used a jewelry loop i discovered bugs. they look like tiny brown moths that jump more than fly. they congrigated where new shoots sprout. i used the dish soap and water spray but it didnt make a difference. are these aphids or another pest?

These brown bugs are not

These brown bugs are not aphids. See the photo on this page. It sounds like scale. Do they look like brown bumps and is there a sticky residue? If so, that's scale. Dip a cosmetic sponge in rubbing alcohol and gently rub them over the stem and underside of the leaves to remove the scale. Completely remove any heavily infected leaves. Move your ponytail palm away from other plants until it is no longer infected.

I planted some romaine

I planted some romaine lettuce transplants in my garden box and they are doing very well but I have noticed some light colored pests recently … probably aphids. I got a sprayer and mixed a very light mixture of white vinegar in water. I sprayed the underside of each plant and it seems to have made a difference. I will monitor them everyday to see if the vinegar water bothers the growth of the lettuce but so far I'm happy with less aphids.

The Aphids are killing my

The Aphids are killing my garden! I have a square foot garden that is completly full however all of a sudden the Aphids are destroying my broccoli crop and lettuce. I dont need them hurting any thing else. We live in South Carolina where the weather has been cool one week and hot the next. I have tried the cool water and spray with Ivory soap. Does any one have ideas that they know works well for this area?

Aphids do tend to be

Aphids do tend to be troublesome in cool, dry weather. You need to catch them early and spray foliage with soapy water, then rinse with clear water or use insecticidal soaps. You could also fill yellow pans with water to trap the aphids.
On a bigger scale, you'd need to investigate two or three insecticide treatments at five-day intervals may be needed to clean up plants.
Be sure to clean up plants immediately after any harvesting. We hope this works out!

For the first time last

For the first time last summer our laburnum tree was infested with aphids. Is this likely to happen again this summer?

This tree is relatively

This tree is relatively pest-free but it is indeed susceptible to aphids. We would visit your local nursury for an organic spray.

Hi, iv just started a garden

Hi, iv just started a garden and im growing sunflowers. Iv noticed the plants leaves were getting eaten and my plants are starting to die.iv tried spraying water on it with the hose and it helped some but only a little. I want to start growing herbs but I dont want the same thing to happen. Iv found two small caterpillars. Is there a spray I can get that kills bugs but is plant-safe? Preferably at home depot.

If you see aphids, try a soap

If you see aphids, try a soap spray every 4 to 5 days. You can even make your own: water and 2-3% washing up detergent.
However, it sounds as if you have caterpillar damage. Pick them off twice a day with gloves and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. If this doesn't work, ask Home Depot for a BT spray (Bacillus thuringiensis) which is considered a low danger to honeybees and beneficial insects.

Aphid and Mite problem! I

Aphid and Mite problem!

I just purchased about 1500 lady bugs.
Maybe they helped a little but there are only a few left after a week or two.
They were in a green house where did they go? There is also a mite problem on my strawberries. My set up is a hydro ponic ebb and flow system in my green house in NJ. We are growing about 50 strawberries, dozen tomatoes, A few Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber, and basil.

What works is looking through each plant and cleaning each leaf with my hands and squeezing the aphids or breaking off the leaves that infest. I am constantly killing them but they are still there. The mites make a web across the leaves of the strawberries.
I clean the web off with a spray bottle and my hands. There still are leaves that have turned brown but they have not killed my plants. I was thinking about calling the lady bug people back and telling them the bugs died too quickly and to send more.

My fear is that they eat the new flowers for strawberries and tomatoes.
Therefore, the plants will never bear fruit because they are working against me.

Its a hobby but I also wanted to see something out of my efforts. The entire system that I build cost about 3500 dollars. Overall my light bill for two 600 watt grow lights costs about 170 per month. My next step is to look into insecticidal soap.

What is your opinion?

Hi Mark, We suggest that you

Hi Mark,
We suggest that you call the lady bug people back and tell them what happend to see if they have any suggestions.
Insecticidal soap, if used according to directions, will cut back on your pest problems. Also read some of the comments on this page to find out what other readers have tried.
Good luck!

Sounds like the mites you

Sounds like the mites you have are spider mites. The only organic method I've found that works to kill them is Neem oil. Or squishing them & the web, but that can get tedious & doesn't really help with a bad infestation.

For aphids, I either squish them and/or use a home made insecticidal soap made from castile soap diluted with water. Castile soap (or any type of soap) basically causes the insect's cell membranes to 'break' so the insects die of dehydration. I usually use peppermint castile soap, as the peppermint oil in the soap seems to intensify the effect of the soap. I usually use 1-2 Tbsp per quart of water.

Also, I've read in a number of places that insects are territorial & generally define their territory by where they 'hatched'. Did the ladybugs come fully grown or were they nymphs or eggs? If they were fully grown, that might be why they didn't stick around for long. :(

Hi yes I'm curious, I have an

Hi yes I'm curious, I have an above ground garden in my apartments the floor is cement then I used bricks and wood pallets to make it. I've finally started to yield my chiles and after my first harvest another round of buds came out...and that's when the infestation started. First ants then black tiny little bugs I'm assuming are the aphids. I've done everything but nothing seems to be working I tried an insecticide I tried cold water showers I tried the alcohol water soap solution and nada and it's making my plants growth stunt. Helllppppp

Aphids are common pepper

Aphids are common pepper pests though they usually look like tiny whitish specks, not black. See the picture on this page. Spray a mild solution of soapy water on all sides of the leaves, especially the undersides.  If the infestation is severe, spray with pyrethrum.
Tiny black specks are probably flea beetles. You can dust with wood ashes or spray with a garlic or hot pepper solution. Spraying with pyrethrum will also control flea beetles.

How do you make the Garlic

How do you make the Garlic solution? I noticed some tiny little dark colored bugs or beetles on my Cranberry Butterfly bush, was thinking they could be baby ladybugs but not sure. Then I seen your comment here and thought hmmm could be tiny flee beetle but I do not know what those look like! Also if I use the Garlic solution you suggested will it harm the Ladybugs? or their babes? or will it harm the Monarch Butterfly? or Monarch Caterpillar? Or harm any other Butterflies or Butterfly Caterpillar? Also wondering if you know why my Sunshine Blueberries, and my Chandler Blueberries, leaves are turning brown and crisp and leaves dying. Also have already lost 2 of my Sunshine Blueberries to this and getting ready to lose a 3rd and last one. Need Garlic solution recipe Please, and is Garlic solution OK to use on my Butterfly bush and my Blueberry bushes. Please....reply Almanac staff. Thank you for any help you can offer.

To make a garlic solution to

To make a garlic solution to combat aphids, mince a few cloves of garlic into 2 teaspoons of mineral oil. After a day, strain out the garlic pieces and add what's left to one pint of water. Add one teaspoon of liquid dish soap. When you apply the solution, you can dilute it down with water in a spray bottle (about 2 tablespoons garlic to 1 pint water). It's organic and safe.

Also try 1% Ceylon Cinnamon

Also try 1% Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil mixed with 99% water, sprayed on the plant with a pump sprayer (Home Depot $9.99). However you should first wash your plants with the hose set at firm pressure to wash away as much of the mold (created as a result of aphid honey dew droppings) and aphids as possible. Then spray the whole plant and a little Cinnamon Oil at the base of the plants to stop the ants that also come to eat the honey dew created by aphids. Ceylon Cinnamon Oil is a powerful mold killer and safe to eat. But dilute, otherwise it will burn the plant leaves.

I was managing aphids until

I was managing aphids until recent heavy rain followed by high heat. I pulled all my infested plants carefully ( kale & tomatoes) , but the aphids are ALL OVER the soil. How to rid them there? I live in Colorado, 6100 ft., zone 5. I would prefer an organic solution. Thank You!

Aphids do like kale. knock

Aphids do like kale. knock them off with sprays of water. Organic insecticides that are effective for aphid control in vegetable gardens are insecticidal soap, pyrethrin, and neem oil. Apply in mornings all over every side of leaf.

Aphid Removal Success! I live

Aphid Removal Success!
I live in Colorado and my huge tree gets infested yearly. I be tried everything from organic to (finally) toxic solutions. The tree was too large and dense to stop the infestation. Now I purchase two small bags of ladybugs from my local nursery (maybe 2,000 in each?), sprinkle cola on the area around the base of the tree, and release them at dusk. They stick around until the aphids are gone and then fly away! The neighborhood kids all come out and we read ladybug books before the release. It's an annual event!

If you need some good

If you need some good insecticidal soap check this store they have a lot of organic solutions for aphids!


If you plant a row of tobacco

If you plant a row of tobacco away from your tomatoes you will find that the aphids and other pests will eat the tobacco instead of your tomatoes

The photo is misleading as

The photo is misleading as most aphids you will encounter will not have wings. Also, most aphid species DO discriminate between plant species (well plant Families anyway), and most will NOT go from plant to plant. Most often only the flying stage of the insect will go to another plant. Cabbage aphids for instance WILL NOT infect roses. There are a few species that are indiscriminate too, so you should know your insects.

Thank you for bringing this

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have revised the text and will look for a photo that shows a more typical adult form.

A botanist who was our TV

A botanist who was our TV weatherman, Harry Volkman, in OKC some 50 years ago gave us gardening tips when he did the weather show. He said: "To keep the pests, such as aphids, off your tomato plants all you have to do is break a large branch down close to the ground. DO NOT BREAK IT OFF, just break it and let it hang and stay there. The plant will then emit a chemical that the pests such as aphids do not like and will stay away from your tomato plants."

So have you tried that & has

So have you tried that & has it worked for you?
Maybe the plant no longer smells like food?

My tomato is starting to get

My tomato is starting to get aphids. I have used some plant bug sprays, but not heavily because a ladybug has laid her eggs on my plant. Is there anything else I could use to get rid of the bugs?

It sounds like you have the

It sounds like you have the best solution already. Ladybugs eat aphids.

That's unfortunate... Your

That's unfortunate... Your treatment of aphids is one of the recommendations, but the wilt is not necessarily a result. The wilt pathogen is seed and soil borne; it might reside in the soil. (There are a couple of kids of wilt, btw). Once a plant "catches" the wilt, it is difficult to recover from it.
You can try to grow tomatoes this year. Rotate them: plant them in another spot or in new soil, if you use a pot. In each case, amend the soil with healthy compost. And buy resistant cultivars; the plant tags will indicate this, or ask the nursery attendant. We hope this helps.

Last year, 2012, my tomatoes

Last year, 2012, my tomatoes suffered a bad infestation of aphids. I washed them many, many, many times gently with the hose. Didn't work...then all the plants had bacterial wilt....couldn't get that stopped and then the high heat! I am wondering if washing them so many times and all the splashing at the bottom caused the wilt. I had cut the leaves off at the bottom up at least 12" but still were infected. Any ideas?? I also am wondering if I should plant tomatoes in that garden again...I don't have many options to rotate. Hope this year is better. Thanks

How to grow large tomato -)

How to grow large tomato -)

They were probably in the

They were probably in the tree long befroe you built your tree house. Sounds like you need a strong ant and roach killer. We had a tree house growing up and had to put up with wasp's nest and everything else that crawled and flew. My brother got bit by a spider, and that was the end of out tree house days. The only things you can do is spray the whole place with an ant killer. Good luck.

If you want a butterfly

If you want a butterfly garedn you'll just have to learn to live with the bugs. Any insecticide that kills or repels another bug will do the same to a butterfly. Why not get a good insect identification book and learn to recognize and appreciate the variety of creatures that are attracted to your butterfly garedn. Was this answer helpful?

Ants farm Aphids like we

Ants farm Aphids like we raise cows. Get rid of the ants and usually you will also get rid of the aphids.

Many know that ants milk

Many know that ants milk aphids. What most don't know is how to get rid of the ants in a safe, non-chemical way. Any known remedies for this?

Unless you have fire ants, we

Unless you have fire ants, we would recommend you try to live with ants as they manage pests and do good work. However, if you can not co-exist, you could use beneficial nematodes. Also, borax and sugar (1/2 and 1/2) mixed with water to a thin paste is something that may work. Put it in mall shallow dishes close to where you see the ants (keep it away from pets and small children if possible). The ants will eat the mix, bring it back to the nest and eventually kill the entire colony.
Pour boiling water over the nest, or sprinkle coffee grounds over the hill.

I just dug into red ants in

I just dug into red ants in the garden. Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of them?

TANGLEFOOT is a sticky gel

TANGLEFOOT is a sticky gel put around tree trunks to keep ants from getting to the aphids in fruit trees. Works great.

Plant a mint-leaf plant where

Plant a mint-leaf plant where ever you are having this problem. You may also just clip some leaves and set on top of ants, or boil some leaves in water and pour over area. Works for me. Good-Luck.

I use grits. the ants will

I use grits. the ants will eat the grits and drink water and they swell and die. I learned this from a AC tech, ants had gotten in our ac once and he used grits and it killed them. so now I use grits for ant beds too. works very well as long as they get water in a day or two afterwards sprinkling grits on them.

Cinnamon is a great natural

Cinnamon is a great natural ant repellant I sprinkle a little on my inside planets I'm going to try that outside this year I did not know ants were bad for plants ... But that explaines a lot now.

The best way to prevent

The best way to prevent aphids is to plantmarigolds every where u can

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