Aphids are one of the most destructive pests in the garden, but physical controls, trapping crops, and beneficial flowers can help you get rid of them without using harmful chemicals.
To eradicate aphids in your garden, prevent plant lice from returning, and control ants, try one of these safe and simple solutions at home (which appear when aphids are on the rise).
The legs, antennae, and cornicles (tailpipes) of oleander aphids are all black. Oleander, common milkweed, swamp milkweed, and butterfly plant are all commonly infested.
Their numbers, like those of other aphid species, can explode in a short period of time. The plants will seem shiny due to the emission of honeydew, which can stimulate the formation of sooty mold when high populations are present.
Unlike most other aphid species, predators occasionally leave oleander aphids alone. The cardenolide poisons from the milkweed are sequestered by the oleander aphids, making them toxic to predators. As a result, predators are unable to properly feast on their prey.
While the vivid color of these aphids makes them easy to detect, smaller numbers can be found by following ants as they move around the plant. Ants will take care of the aphids and gather their honeydew for sustenance.
How to Control Yellow Aphids
Before you try any of these ways, save any monarch eggs or caterpillars and transplant them to another milkweed plant, or try breeding monarch butterflies indoors.
Rub Them Off
Some people just rub aphids off with their fingers and thumbs to get rid of them. If you’re not afraid to get your hands (or gloves) dirty, this can be beneficial when the numbers are low.
A constant trickle of water on the aphids can also be used to flush them out. To prevent stem damage, use your other hand to grip the milkweed plant. Spraying a stream with a spray bottle is also beneficial.
If you spray isopropyl alcohol directly on monarch eggs or caterpillars, they will die.
Wash Them With Soapy Water
A little soap never hurts, and it can help you get rid of those annoying aphids. Spray the aphids immediately with 2 tablespoons dish soap in 1 gallon of water, rinse, and repeat.
Brush Them Off
Brush them off the milkweed plants with a detail brush to get into the nooks and crannies without hurting the plants.
Use Coffee Grounds
Those bad aphids need a break, so scatter coffee grounds around them to keep them away from their beloved milkweed plants. Although there are mixed comments on how beneficial this is, it can’t hurt to try.
Plant Different Types Of Milkweed
As your milkweed patches mature, this preventative approach can become quite successful. Plant many different types of milkweed in different parts of your yard and garden. You can sacrifice one little patch to the angry aphid gods if the aphids have a favorite region.
Introducing Predators That are Feeding On Aphids
Although introducing beneficial insects to consume the aphids looks like a natural solution, beneficial insects such as ladybugs and mantids also eat monarch eggs and larvae.
Parasitic wasps have been dispersed in some areas to manage undesired pests. Unfortunately, these wasps also prey on beneficial species like monarch butterflies.
Repel Them With Planting Other Plants
Onions and marigolds, for example, have been demonstrated to repel aphids and naturally lower their population. Planting these repellents near milkweed attracts more butterflies while keeping aphid populations under control.
Simply Cut It Off
If your milkweed has become fully consumed by aphids, trim down any areas of moderate to heavy infestation and discard it. To avoid a touching aphid-family reunion, dispose of the cuttings far away from the garden.
To enhance the adhesive surface area of the tape, wrap it around a pencil.
For a full-sized vacuum cleaner, attach a micro attachment, but you may alternatively use a mini keyboard vacuum cleaner.
You could also apply a professional-grade pesticide, but it’s likely that monarchs, other wildlife, and the environment could suffer injury (or worse) from using harsh chemicals.
There’s a reason butterfly gardeners use organic pest control…it won’t kill the butterflies!