How to fight back against aphids

How To Fight Back Against Aphids

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Those pesky little green bugs can cause a lot of damage, so what can you do to fight back? Here are some of my top tips for dealing with aphids.

Squash Them!

Put some gloves on, because this will get messy, and run the infested stem between your thumb and forefinger, squashing the aphids as you go.

A bucket of soapy water next to you to wash the bug juice off your gloves is a good idea as you squish. It is messy and time-consuming but because 99% of the aphids will be flightless you can do some serious damage to their numbers.

If, however, you don’t get them all they will soon be back so this is not a one-time and done job.

Hose Them Off

One easy method of trying to keep aphids off your treasured flowers is to spray them off with a high-powered hose.

This should knock the aphids off and also kill a few at the same time. This is a fairly easy method and doesn’t harm the plant at all as long as it is established enough – don’t do this with young plants!

Crucially though it won’t kill all of the aphids so it is more of a method to try and minimise the damage rather than get rid of the aphids altogether.

Washing Up Liquid Spray

This is one of those home remedies that seem to get recommended for every problem but it can work on aphids.

The idea behind this is that you spray a diluted mix of washing-up liquid onto your aphids. The sticky spray makes it so the aphids can’t breathe and they therefore die.

It does work but it is nowhere near as effective as commercial sprays.

One issue with this method is that it can cause burn-like damage to the leaves of your plants so you do need to be careful.

Just because it is not a pesticide doesn’t mean you can go spray crazy. Rinsing the plant with a follow-up water spray can really help here.

Commercial Sprays

There are lots of different bug sprays that will kill aphids, some organic, some not. I always advise trying to use organic methods where possible but I can understand why you may want to try and use a proper pesticide on lupin aphids.

but I will say, give the organic methods ago before resorting to pesticides if the other options don’t work.

Made for fruit and veg!
Bug Clear for Fruit & Veg Concentrate
£13.99 £11.33
  • Same day, spray and eat
  • Contact insecticide for ornamental plants, fruit and vegetables
  • 100% natural active ingredient
  • Controls greenfly, blackfly, whitefly, scale insects, mealybugs, red spider mites and other mites
  • For use both indoors and outdoors all year round
We earn a commission from any items purchased through this link at no charge to yourself. This helps fund what we do here!
03/01/2024 08:48 pm GMT

While made for fruit and veg this spray can work just as well on flowers.

The main active ingredient in this spray is rapeseed oil which is where the made-from-natural ingredients claim comes from. This spray should be much better for the environment and other animals than a pesticide spray.

If you want to go the whole hog and get a heavy-duty bug spray then I recommend bug clear ultra, made by the same people as the spray above but this is the full pesticide version.

Kills Lupin Aphids
Miracle-Gro Bug Clear Ultra Gun 1Ltr
£8.99 £8.69

Kills all major insect pests, including whitefly, greenfly, black fly, red spider mite, caterpillars and lily beetle, scale insects and mealy bugs For use on flowers, fruit and vegetables.

We earn a commission from any items purchased through this link at no charge to yourself. This helps fund what we do here!
03/01/2024 06:03 pm GMT


And finally, we have my favourite method, introducing ladybirds to your garden or allotment. Ladybirds are natural aphid predators.

You can buy them in their larvae form and then introduce them to your garden where they will hunt and eat aphids.

There is one downside to this method with lupin aphids in that some people say they won’t eat lupin aphids as they are too big for them! I have not noticed this myself but it is something to be aware of!

Aphid Super Predators!
Live Ladybird Larvae x 50
£15.99 (£0.32 / count)

These native British Adalia Bipunctata ladybird larvae have a huge appetite for soft -bodied garden pests such as aphids (greenfly and blackfly), spider mite, scale, mealy-bug etc.

We earn a commission from any items purchased through this link at no charge to yourself. This helps fund what we do here!
03/01/2024 05:18 pm GMT

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One Comment

  1. Hi, I have heard somewhere that garlic spray works too? Is this something you have tried?

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