Just in time for the beginning of spring, it flares up again, the fight against aphids. The pests seem to appear out of nowhere and multiply explosively. They mercilessly suck the plants, attract ants with their honeydew and transmit fungal and viral infections. Modern hobby gardeners are not panicking and now resort to chemical insecticides, but are concentrating on fighting the lice biologically. There are a number of effective home remedies available to combat aphids. The following lines reveal what these are and how they are used.

Appearance, lifestyle and symptoms of infestation

Before a home remedy for aphids is selected, it is primarily necessary to clarify whether it is actually the pests. Although they are considered the most common nuisance in the home garden, they are by no means the only one. You can identify aphids by these characteristics:

  • In the early stages, the location is the underside of the leaf
  • Later on shaded petals and shoots
  • The insects are 1 to a maximum of 7 millimeters long
  • The color spectrum extends from mostly green to yellow-brown and black
  • Predominantly wingless, rarely winged specimens

Aphids survive the winter in an ice state, from which they wake up in early spring. The immediately onset of explosive multiplication is due to the ability to virginity.

Since the predominantly wingless insects are almost immobile, the infestation concentrates on the host plant, which they visibly put through the wringer within a short time. Aphids pierce plant tissue with their mouthparts and suck out the sap. Since they are only interested in the small amount of protein, they excrete relatively large amounts of sugar in the form of honeydew. This particularly attracts ants. They come in droves and ‘milk’ the aphids. The aphid infestation escalates into disaster when fungal spores and viruses use the wounds to gain access to the interior of the plant. You can put a stop to this chain reaction with the right home remedies. At the latest when the leaves curl up,

immediate action

Experienced hobby gardeners react to the first sighting of aphids with an immediate and highly effective measure. If the constitution of the infested plant allows it, spray the lice off with as sharp a jet of water as possible. Ideally, you should hold the plant upside down, because the undersides of the leaves in particular are where the pests cavort. If the weight of the plant does not allow this procedure, it is advisable to protect the root area from flooding with plastic foil. Aphids that fall to the ground are unable to move to the plant and climb up.

Alternatively, soak a cloth or cotton swab in alcohol or spirit. Wipe any aphids off the leaves or dab the pests with the Q-Tips. The wax shell of the lice dissolves and the insects die. You can achieve the same effect with essential oils, such as those contained in Japanese medicinal plant oil.

Recognized home remedies for aphids

One of the many advantages of home remedies is that they can usually already be found in the pantry or bought the next time you go to the supermarket. At the first sign of infestation symptoms, you are therefore not forced to put off the fight against the long bench, but take action immediately. With a bit of luck, you can get rid of the lice with the following simple recipes.

soft soap solution

  • 1 liter of water
  • 15 ml soft soap or liquid curd soap
  • 15 ml spirit

Mix the ingredients well, fill into a hand sprayer and apply to the affected plants every 2 to 3 days. Continue treatment until no more aphids are seen.

milk-water mix

  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 liter of fresh milk

With these simple ingredients, you get a lice-killing mix. It doesn’t work right away; as long as you stay on the ball and treat the plant once or twice a day, all the aphids will be gone.

vinegar water

  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

This quite sharp mixture for lice proves to be no less serious. On robust plants, it gets rid of the pests within a few days. For delicate plants, on the other hand, you should give preference to milk.

coffee grounds extract

  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 tablespoon curd soap or milk or vinegar
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of coffee grounds

If a generation of aphids turns out to be particularly hardy, increase biological control with coffee grounds. This household remedy has not only proven to be a helpful fertilizer, but is also becoming increasingly effective in pest control. For this version of the home remedy, brew the collected coffee grounds again and let them steep until they cool. Now add soap, milk or vinegar and spray the solution regularly.

Note: Home remedies with at least one ingredient containing soap are unsuitable for combating aphids on lettuce.

Tabak Sud

  • Tobacco residue without a filter
  • water

Tobacco is poured with water and kept in a warm place for a few days. Production is quicker if the cigarette butts are briefly boiled until a brownish broth is formed. After cooling, pour the mixture through a fine sieve, fill it into a squeeze bottle and go hunting for aphids.


  • 2 teaspoons baking soda or washing soda
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 tablespoon of spirit
  • Splash of dish soap

This mixture really packs a punch. Therefore, a compatibility test in advance is recommended before you apply the home remedy on a large scale.

Tip: Sprinkle pure baking soda on the ant paths. The scents they use to guide each other to the aphids are destroyed.

nettle broth

  • 5 liters of water
  • 500 grams of nettle leaves
  • 1 handful of wood ash

Pour the water over the nettle and let it steep for 24 hours. Then boil the mixture and let it simmer for about 20 minutes on a low flame. Allow to cool, seven and apply every 2 to 3 days. Due to the unpleasant odor of this broth, you should refrain from using it indoors. Stirring a handful of wood ash into the broth will help mitigate the stench.

tea tree oil

  • 20 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 liter of water
  • Oil-in-water dispersant

The wide range of possible uses of tea tree oil can be excellently extended to combat aphids. While the essential oil is very beneficial to human health, it is deadly to lice of all kinds. In order for the oil to dissolve in water, it is necessary to add a dispersing agent, which is available in every pharmacy. Undiluted tea tree oil must not be applied under any circumstances, because the plant does not survive this attack intact.

rapeseed oil

  • 100 milliliters of rapeseed oil
  • 5 liters of water
  • 1-2 squirts of dish soap

There are numerous preparations based on rapeseed oil to choose from in specialist shops for biological control agents for aphids. However, you can easily make the home remedy yourself. In contrast to the essential tea tree oil, the addition of dish soap is sufficient for the oil and water to combine. After just two or three applications, you should see the first successes.

wood ash

  • Pure wood ash without additives
  • 1 powder spray

A large number of plants do not tolerate the wetting of the leaves and shoots very well. Tinctures, extracts and broths based on water are less suitable here in the biological control of aphids. If you, as a health-conscious hobby gardener, produce pure wood ash for the nutrient supply in the kitchen garden, you also have an effective home remedy against lice in your hands. Ideally, the ash is made of birch, poplar or ash. Repeatedly applied with the powder sprayer, you drive away aphids even from drought-loving garden plants.

Tip: Algae lime and rock flour serve as an adequate substitute if no wood ash is available.

Use sticky traps to control flying aphids

They rarely appear on the scene; Nevertheless, flying aphids increase the risk of infestation in the garden many times over. Scientists have determined that about one in every fortieth generation of lice is able to fly. The home remedies presented alone are not sufficient in the face of this catastrophe if your garden is affected. Sticky traps serve as an excellent intensification of control measures. You can easily make so-called yellow stickers yourself in just a few simple steps.


  • Neongelbes Tonpapier
  • laminator and foil
  • Fireplace matches or kebab skewers
  • Perforator
  • paint brush
  • 100 grams each of water and sugar

Before you process the construction paper into glue traps, lamination is recommended to extend the shelf life. However, this step is not absolutely necessary. Cut the paper into 5cm x 5cm squares, maximum 10cm x 10cm. Now punch the small panels on one side and push the wood through. Boil the water and sugar until the mixture develops a honey-like consistency. Use the brush to spread the sweet topping on the squares – the self-made sticky traps are done.

Combat lice biologically with beneficial insects

As an environmentally conscious hobby gardener, you are not on your own in combating aphids. Inside greenhouses and enclosed spaces there are a number of hardworking beneficials ready to lend a helping hand.

Ichneumon wasps (Aphidius colemani)
The larvae of the parasitic wasps , which also locate and parasitize individual, hidden aphids, are available in specialist shops. These beneficial insects are therefore recommended for application in the early stages of an infestation. From a constant temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, they become active.

Lacewing larvae (Chrysoperla carnea)
The larvae of the delicate greenish shimmering lacewings eat aphids at breakneck speed. Unfortunately, the beneficial insects are almost extinct in the wild. Experts therefore breed them specifically so that hobby gardeners can benefit from this effective biological control method against aphids. Incidentally, their field of application is not limited to closed rooms. They also attack the pests in the garden or on the balcony.

Gall midges (Aphidoletes aphidimyza)
From March to October, the predatory gall midge keeps aphids in check in two ways. The adult insects are out at night to paralyze and destroy the lice with poison. In addition, the females lay the eggs in the immediate vicinity of aphids, so the larvae feed on the pests from them.

Two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata)
The resident ladybirds are the most important predators for aphids. Where they settle once, they hunt the pests for several generations, so they provide a long-lasting help. Two-spot ladybirds are often used in combination with lacewing larvae when there is a particularly intensive aphid infestation.

As an accompanying measure to the use of beneficial insects, direct control of ants is recommended. Worker bees are so keen on honeydew that they fiercely defend aphids.

Other beneficial insects do not have to be purchased at all, but settle voluntarily in the garden. If you offer retreats to birds, hedgehogs, ground beetles and assassin bugs, they will feel right at home. A small pile of brushwood, a rotten tree trunk, a dense hedge are enough for the natural predators of aphids to settle down and provide free help in the fight against pests.

Don’t let aphids spoil your enjoyment of gardening. A wealth of proven home remedies is available to stop the pest invasion. The more attentively you observe your plants, the better the chance of controlling aphids in the early stages. Recognized in good time, a powerful jet of water can sometimes help. Otherwise, look around the kitchen for soft soap, vinegar, milk, baking soda, or coffee grounds. From this you can conjure up effective home remedies in no time at all to biologically combat lice. Vegetable broths also make a valuable contribution, as do tea tree oil or canola oil. If push comes to shove, get help in the form of parasitic wasps, lacewing larvae, gall midges, ladybirds or predatory mites. Even if the aphids arm themselves with wings, there is no need to use chemical insecticides. In just a few simple steps you can set up a sticky trap that even flying lice cannot escape.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *