Lice on cucumber plants reduce the yield. The aphids can also transmit various diseases that can kill the plant. There are some home remedies you can use to get rid of aphids.

Collect aphids

If the aphid infestation is still limited, you can simply collect or crush the insects. It is best to use gloves and cover your arms. Some species are quite defensive and can also sting sensitive skin, which is comparable to a light insect bite.

You can also crush the insects directly on the cucumbers, but be careful not to apply too much pressure and damage the plants.

Tip: It is usually safer if you wipe off the insects beforehand and crush them in your hand.

Put on plant manure

The insects respond very well to plant manure that you spray the cucumbers with. Because cucumber plants are susceptible to powdery mildew , manure tends to serve a dual role, as it also strengthens the plants’ epidermis, making them less attractive to pests.

You can easily make liquid manure by filling a bucket or tub with 2/3 chopped up plant material and adding 1/3 water. Then let the mixture stand for several weeks until most of the plant parts have decomposed.

Suitable for plant manure against lice are:

  • Ackerschachtelhalm
  • nettles
  • rhubarb leaves
  • Knoblauch
Note: Always dilute the liquid manure for pouring or spraying in a ratio of 1:10 with water.

boil plants

In the case of an acute infestation, there is usually not enough time to apply a plant manure. You can also spray the plants with a decoction as a quick help if there is an increased occurrence of aphids. The same plants that you use for liquid manure are suitable for this. You can also make a decoction from lavender.

Note: A decoction is a very strong tea. Boil the herbs in water and leave them overnight.

Prepare oil solutions

Spray the insects with an oil and water mixture, the openings for breathing will close up and the insects will die quickly. However, the solutions have one disadvantage, because not only can they clog the respiratory openings of insects, but the stomata of the leaves can also be clogged, so that the plants themselves can no longer exchange them.

Oil solutions should therefore only be used once and in the case of a severe infestation. This will kill most of the lice on cucumber plants and the rest can be controlled with other methods.

Prepare oil solution

  • 20 ml neem or canola oil
  • 1.2 liters of water
  • Mix water and oil
  • mix in a few pots of washing-up liquid as an emulsifier
  • mix everything well
  • pour into a spray bottle

Apply soft soap

Soft soap is a popular home remedy for lice. If the infestation persists, the aphids also seal the leaf openings with their sugary excretions. You can use the soft soap to wash off these excrements along with the aphids. However, soft soap is more of a deterrent. If you use a soft soap solution repeatedly, the insects usually let go of the plants, since the energy expenditure is much greater than the food gain.

Prepare soft soap solution

  • 10 g soft soap
  • 1 liter of water
  • Mix soft soap with water
  • pour into a spray bottle
  • spray affected cucumber plants
Tip: As an alternative to soft soap, you can also make a curd soap solution or use 5 ml of washing-up liquid.

encourage predators

The advantage is that the aphid has numerous predators with which you can naturally fight the insects. The main enemy of the pests is the ladybug , or rather its larvae. They can eat up to 150 aphids a day.

In addition to the ladybugs, there are other predators:

  • lacewings
  • parasitic wasps
  • catchy tunes
  • small birds
  • gall midges

Depending on the location, you can encourage different predators. If your cucumbers are in the greenhouse, it is often difficult to attract predators. However, you can buy lacewing or ladybug eggs in a well-stocked garden store, which you only have to hang in the greenhouse. Within a short time, the insects hatch and start eating the pests.

Plant mixed crops

The benefits of intercropping to support cucumbers and repel pests is often underestimated. The scent of the essential oils encourages the cucumber plants and at the same time drives away the lice or ants that often tend to the pests.

Suitable herbs in the mixed culture for cucumbers are:

  • Savory (Satureja hortensis)
  • Thymian (Thymus vulgaris)
  • Ysop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Tip: Since cucumber plants are cultivated as an annual, you should preferably use annual varieties for the herbs.

strengthen plants

To strengthen the plants, you should pay attention to optimal growing conditions. Strong plants usually give pests little or no surface to attack. Therefore, make sure that you offer the cucumbers a suitable warm, humid climate and that the soil pH is slightly alkaline .

Cucumber plants are particularly sensitive to a lack of nutrients. This does not necessarily have to be a lack of organic nitrogen, but there can be a lack of iron or potassium. Especially if the leaves of the cucumbers change colour, this is a sign of a deficiency and you offer the aphids a good surface to attack.

frequently asked Questions

You can spray heavily infested cucumbers twice a week with a plant slurry. You can use the plant manure to fertilize the plants instead of spraying them once a week at most, thereby strengthening them from the inside out.

Yes, you should harvest cucumber plants regularly. This will encourage the formation of new shoots and flowers. From the harvest, however, you should rather fertilize with potassium, as this not only strengthens the plants, but also the fruits and shoots form a firmer skin.

Yes, you can combine different plants in one liquid manure. This makes it ideal for recycling the plants or refilling them if you don’t have enough of one variety. For example, you can combine the rhubarb leaves with nettle herb and make a liquid manure out of it.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

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