Aphids on Houseplants
Aphids are pear-shaped insects that feed on plant juices. They can appear gray, green, pink, yellow, black, white, or brown depending on what they consume and the species. Some species grow wings when the host plant becomes too crowded. Aphids are usually found on the underside of leaves.
So, if you see a group of pear-shaped insects on your plants, it means that your garden is infested with aphids. The presence of honeydew, increased ant activity, misshapen leaves and sooty mould are other signs of aphid infestations. Honeydew is the sugary substance produced by aphids.
How to Get Rid of Aphids on Houseplants
Do not know what to do about aphids on houseplants? If you are dealing with an aphid infestation right now, the first thing that you need to do is to remove the infested plants.
The second step in getting rid of aphids on houseplants is to implement natural pest control methods. Aphids quickly reproduce, so you need to act fast.
Do not use synthetic pesticides because many pesticides are not safe around pets or humans. It also kills off beneficial insects and pollutes the food chain. So, here is how you can get rid of aphids on indoor plants.
Prune and isolate infested plants
Isolate the infested plant then check the leaves and stems for plant damage. Prune the heavily infested parts then throw the contaminated foliage in the trash.
Treat the plant while it is being isolated. Since some aphids can be found in the soil as well, it is a good idea to repot the infested plant and use a sterile potting mix.
Spray the infested plants with a strong stream of water to dislodge both the adult aphids and the nymphs. If the plant has delicate foliage, you can dip it in a pail of water to remove the aphids. You can do this in the bathroom.
The organic materials found in neem oil kill aphids by disrupting their reproductive system. It is a kind of horticultural oil that can be used for organic gardening. You can make your insecticide spray by mixing 1 quart of lukewarm water, 1 tsp of Castile soap and 2 tsp of neem oil.
Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle then treat the infested plants with it. You must apply neem oil regularly to get rid of aphids permanently. Due to its residual effect, neem oil will continue to kill aphids after application. Neem oil will not harm beneficial insects because it is a natural pesticide.
Isopropyl alcohol can kill all kinds of aphids by breaking down their outer layer. Apply a cotton swab dipped in 70 percent rubbing alcohol to aphids to kill them. To control a large aphid population, dip a piece of cloth in rubbing alcohol and then wipe down the infested leaves to remove the aphids at once.
Another option is to make your alcohol solution by mixing 1 quart of water and 1 cup alcohol. Spray the infested parts with the solution every week to get rid of the aphids for good.
You can also get rid of aphid eggs during their dormant stage in winter by wiping down leaves with a piece of cloth soaked in the alcohol solution you made. The alcohol will prevent eggs from hatching and growing into adults.
Insecticidal soaps can kill aphids, mites, whiteflies, thrips, and other harmful insects. The soap contains fatty acids that dissolve their exoskeleton. You can either buy a ready-made product or make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 quart of water.
Some of the insecticidal soaps that we recommend are Safers Insecticidal Soap RTU 1L and the Green Earth Insecticidal Soap RTU 1L.
We also recommend the use of Safers End-All II 1 L RTU C7. This product is particularly useful in controlling aphid infestations in small or large infestations.
How to Prevent Aphids from Infesting Your Houseplants
Preventing or eliminating aphids on houseplants can be tricky. Healthy plants are more resistant to aphids. So, growing healthy plants is the best way to prevent aphid damage.
By using the right fertilizer and watering techniques, your plants will develop more resistance against pests like aphids. Here are some of the best ways to prevent aphids from attacking your plants.
Predatory insects like lacewings and ladybugs eat aphids. So, by releasing beneficial insects, you can control the aphid population in your garden.
Check plants before you bring them inside your home. This is particularly important if you are planning to bring outdoor plants inside your house.
Wipe leaves in winter
By wiping the leaves with neem oil or a diluted alcohol solution, you can get rid of aphid eggs during their dormant period.
Aphids damage plants by feeding on plant juices, leaving behind curled leaves and distorted fruits or fruits. Controlling aphids may not be easy, but it is not completely impossible. Follow the tips stated above and you can get rid of them in no time.