Gardening is a real challenge because of the amount of work involved. Majority of the work, though, involves protecting the plants than growing them. Just like having kids, plants need to be taken care of and treated for diseases and fed and so on. They do not simply grow. Similar to kids they, too, need their regular checkups and medication so they do not get sick. Like children?s viruses, plants are regularly attacked by pests, who feed on the plants, destroying them day by day.
One such pest is the aphid. Aphids are small insects that feed of plant sap, causing them to dehydrate and then eventually die. However, dehydration is not the only way it kills plants. When aphids suck the sap out of plants, they secrete a substance called honeydew. This causes fungus to grow on the plant which acts as a parasite, sharing the plants resources, killing it faster.
As a result, for most gardeners and planters, aphids can be a real problem. There are several pesticides to get maintain aphid control and get rid of the pests. However, excessive use of these chemicals are not healthy to the plants. Additionally, in the case of vegetable plants, the vegetables become almost unusable when pesticides are used. Fortunately there are other remedies that can be used for aphid control.
Using Neem oil is a good solution as it gets rid of aphids yet does not affect the growth of the plants in any way. Simply washing vegetables and fruits will wash away the oil, making them good for consumption. While maximising aphid control, the oil does not fend off insects such as bees which are useful to the growth of plants. Another method of aphid control is to trick aphids using a yellow colored glass filled with water. The yellow color will attract the aphids into the glass, drowning them instantly. Soap on the surface of the water will help reduce the surface tension of the water, so that the light insects do not float on the surface.
Using a high pressured hose can also be used for aphid control. The pressure of the water will throw the aphids of the plants. Once thrown off, the aphids are most likely not to return to the plant. This method of aphid control is safe as it does not involve any chemicals. However, it is not as efficient as other treatments. It merely delays the aphids destroying the plants.
A home remedy for aphid control is to use liquid soap such as hand-wash soap and spray the plants with the solution. This dissolves the protective coating of the aphids causing them to dry up and die. Here again, in the case of fruit or vegetable plants, they will have to be washed thoroughly before use.