Aphids are one of the most common pests, causing tons of damage to crops every year. Chemical pesticides are increasingly losing demand because they pollute the environment and can harm your own health. As an alternative, hobby gardeners use baking soda. The experts have examined whether it helps and if so, how to use it.

Definition Natron

Baking soda is the sodium salt of carbonic acid, which is white and crystalline in appearance. A gas develops from the substance, which is why it is mainly used in baking powder. It is related to soda and used to be extracted from so-called soda lakes. Nowadays, the offer is mainly limited to synthetically produced baking soda.

In the household it is often used for cleaning, against heartburn or for making your own washing powder. In the plant sector, it is often used against pests and in particular against aphids. It offers an environmentally friendly control measure and is a cheap household remedy that is available in well-stocked supermarkets and pharmacies.


When using baking soda, acids are neutralized and carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short, is released. Toxic gases are produced due to the formation of CO2. These are harmless to humans in small doses. However, they are deadly for the small aphids, a few millimeters in size, as numerous experiences confirm. The poisonous gases phosphine, methyl bromide and hydrocyanic acid first pass through the respiratory tract. From here they penetrate into the circulatory system, spread throughout the body and at the same time poison it with respiratory paralysis. In addition, the toxins penetrate through the skin into the body. As a result, the aphids often die just a few minutes after coming into contact with the baking soda. So that this effect is achieved and successful control is possible,to meet lice .

buy soda

Baking soda is available as a fine and coarse powder. For use as a natural control agent against aphids, it is advisable to use finely ground baking soda. It dissolves better and faster. Gritty baking soda can clog a squeeze bottle nozzle.


In order to produce an effective remedy against lice with baking soda, a basic recipe forms the basis, which can be supplemented with other substances as desired and required.

Basic recipe

  • half a teaspoon of baking soda per liter of water
  • mix both together well
  • a few drops of washing-up liquid ensure a better combination of water and baking soda
Tip: If you don’t have baking soda at hand, you can use a tablespoon of baking powder instead of baking soda in an ’emergency’. The prerequisite is that baking soda is an ingredient in the baking powder.

Additives for more effectiveness

If the aphids show little to no reaction after one application of the baking soda and water mixture, additional elements can be added to enhance the effect.

citric acid

The citric acid is an important substance for a higher efficiency of action. If the citric acid also penetrates the body of the aphids, the pH value changes. It falls far into the acidic range and the pests burn internally. 50 milliliters of citric acid are sufficient as an additive per liter of water.


If you don’t have citric acid at home, you can use alcohol. Alcohol works differently, but works just as effectively by poisoning. In the baking soda-water mixture, it ensures a much higher effectiveness and significantly increases the chance of successfully controlling aphids without causing additional damage to the plants. Spiritus should not be missing, especially in the case of a stronger infestation.

Additives for better use

Because the baking soda dissolved in the water hardly or not at all sticks to the aphids and plant parts and drips off immediately, it is advisable to add at least one of the following ingredients, which enable better adhesion. The soda can only achieve its effect with a dwell time.

cooking oil

A tablespoon of cooking oil, while difficult to disperse in water, is enough to increase adhesion. The cooking oil provides more “viscosity” and has the property of not being rinsed off so easily. If it lands on the aphids along with the baking soda, it allows enough time for the toxins to penetrate the aphids.

soft soap

Soft soap is viscous and gives the water mix a slightly firmer consistency. Add around 100 milliliters of soft soap for one liter of water. This is only slightly distributed in the water, so that it does not completely dissolve in its structure. The baking soda in the water now also moves into the tiny soap components. If it gets on the aphids, a thin film of soft soap forms and the baking soda can do its job.

Instructions for use

The manufactured soda-fighting agent is to be used quickly after pouring into the water. As is known from carbonated drinks, the gas evaporates quite quickly and with it the toxins, which are supposed to work against the aphids. Moving on, the ideal application looks like this:

  • Pour baking soda into a spray gun
  • The nozzle should be set wide and with a soft jet
  • Spray potting soil first
  • then continue spraying on the lower part of the plant
  • slowly work towards the top of the plant
  • spray all parts of the plant dripping wet from all sides
  • Don’t forget the underside of the leaves
  • wait a few minutes and repeat the process
  • if necessary, repeat every two to three days (usually not necessary)
Tip: Ants are usually attracted to the sweet aphid excretions. The problem can be solved quickly with pure baking soda powder by sprinkling it on the ant trails, the potting soil and around the flower pot.


Aphids are not immediately recognizable at first glance, nor is damage, which usually only becomes visible after some time. In order to prevent a new infestation of aphids, baking soda can be used regularly once a month as a preventative measure according to the recipe described above and the mentioned instructions for use. It does not harm the plants in any way.

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