Aphids on their own plants shock many gardeners. There are a number of home remedies available to get rid of insect pests. This article clarifies whether and how aphids can be combated with milk.

Aphids as plant pests

Almost 1,000 species of aphids, Aphidoidea in Latin, romp around in Central Europe. They are yellow, green, gray and brown-black. Some specialize in one host, while others randomly colonize crops, herbs, ornamental, and potted plants. Commonly infested ornamental plants in the garden are, for example:

  • Angel Trumpets (Brugmansia)
  • Geißblatt (Lonicera)
  • Roses (Pink)
  • Snowball (Viburnum)

Lice also have their favorite plants:

  • Bohnen (Vicia faba)
  • More (Zea mays)
  • Mirabelle (Prunus domesticus subsp. syriaca)

symptoms of an infestation

The animals prefer to insert their proboscis into a thin, delicate or soft membrane, such as leaf axils, young shoots and opening buds. The result is:

  • curling leaves
  • brown leaves
  • falling leaves
  • dried up buds
  • Crippling soft shoots

The excretions of the pests are sugary and form sticky specks. They alone do little damage to the plant. The sugar serves as a nutrient solution for bacteria and fungi, on which they thrive and cause the plant to die.

Milk as a home remedy

It is a natural remedy. The product can be obtained quickly, contains no harmful substances and does not cause any damage itself. The liquid forms a kind of protective film on the leaves and stems and impairs the activity of the harmful insects. Because on the well-wetted surface, the suction proboscis has difficulty penetrating the pathways of the leaves.

Tip: An important side effect can be observed after use: the milk mixture dissolves the sticky sugar coating on the leaves, which drains off with the water.

This is how milk works against aphids

In addition to water, carbohydrates, protein, minerals and vitamins, it contains lecithin, which belongs to the phosphatides, a subgroup of fats. It is also included in the lactic acid and ensures the homogeneous connection of fats and liquid. The lecithin coats the aphids’ skin and mouthparts, enclosing them completely, preventing oxygenation. The insects can no longer breathe and die.

Making sprays: instructions

A home remedy with milk to combat aphids is very easy to make. All you need is:

  • milk
  • water
  • measuring cup
  • spray bottle or spray container
Note: Mix everything in a ratio of 1 to 2, i.e. 2 parts water for 1 part milk.

To treat a pot plant, mix 100 ml (milliliter) of milk with 200 ml of water, pour the mixture into the spray container and shake to mix well. It can then be used immediately.

Time and start of treatment

First lice settle on the plants in spring. They move fast and are therefore not easy to find. Left untreated, aphids often multiply explosively. It is therefore important to regularly check plants for infestation so that the lice can be combated immediately if necessary. Treatment with the solution is successful in a small number of animals after just one application. If a large colony sits on the plant, the spraying process is repeated.

Relevant points for effective application

  • dry plant surface for better adhesion
  • spray all parts of the plant above ground
  • Treat aphids on leaf undersides
  • pay attention to hidden spots
  • spray dripping wet
  • last injection process against hitherto unreached specimens

frequently asked Questions

You can take fresh milk and UHT milk. Even buttermilk is suitable for treatment because the active ingredient, lecithin, is dissolved in the milk water during the production of butter. Filter out the solid components before use so that the nozzles do not become clogged.

You can use the product at any time without hesitation and eat the vegetables.

Choose a dry, warm day. The water sprayed on evaporates quickly in the heat and the aphids are quickly encased in the active ingredient, lecithin.

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