Greenflies can be a real nuisance and difficult to control, and if they are left untreated, they can quickly damage your plants. The appearance and overall health of your plants can both be distorted by these sap-sucking bugs.
This blog post will discuss how to get rid of a greenfly problem and keep them from causing harm to your garden.
What Is a Greenfly?
Aphids feed on plants by sucking out the sap from stems or leaves. This causes yellowing of foliage, deformed leaves, and stunted plant growth in some. They also spread many plant diseases.
These pests also secrete a sticky substance called honeydew results which attracts other pests. This, along with sooty mould, will negatively impact your pants’ health and appearance. Therefore, you should act quickly and control aphids early to prevent further damage.
How to Get Rid of Greenfly or Aphids: 10 Proven Ways
Method 1: Beneficial Insects or Natural Predators
Ladybugs, lacewings and parasitic wasps are aphid predators; they are natural enemies that love to feast on aphids. Try to attract beneficial insects into your yard or vegetable patch by growing the right plants and avoiding the use of pesticides.
Greenflies are also a favourite food source for birds. Hence, encourage birds to visit your garden by leaving bird food out and putting up birdhouses.
Method 2: Chemical Sprays
If you’ve ever wondered how to get rid of greenfly colonies from your garden plants quickly, then chemical sprays will do just that. These chemical sprays are available in different strengths, so choose one that is appropriate for the aphid population you have in your yard.
Some of these sprays contain an insecticide, which can harm humans and pets, so always read the instructions carefully before use. Also, it is always better to remove aphids naturally.
Method 3: Water and Soap
If there are only a few aphids on your plants, then simply spraying your plants with a jet of water is enough to kill aphids. Just make sure that you get all over the plant, as there may be more hiding in corners or underneath leaves.
You can also mix one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a litre of water to create an effective spray to eliminate greenflies from your plants. Spray this mixture directly onto any infected plants and leave for 24 hours before rinsing off.
Method 4: Horticultural oil
This is a type of plant-based oil that can be used for controlling aphids. It works by smothering the insects so they can’t breathe and eventually die.
Mix two tablespoons of horticultural oil with a litre of water and spray onto your plants. It’s essential to check the label of your horticultural oil, though some may contain chemicals like pyrethrins which can be harmful if ingested by humans and pets.
Method 5: Neem Spray
Neem oil is an effective treatment for aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Neem can also be used against other pests, such as whiteflies, mites and beetles.
The thick oil is effective for killing aphids naturally by blocking their breathing pores. It can also prevent aphid eggs from hatching,
To make a homemade aphid spray, mix two tablespoons of neem oil with a litre of water and spray onto your plants. Be careful not to spray any flowers as they can also kill bees.
Method 6: Physical Removal
If there is a small infestation, then physically removing the greenfly by hand can be an effective way to get rid of them. Check your plants daily as adult aphids lay eggs on the underside of leaves, which hatch in a couple of weeks, causing an infestation very quickly.
Method 7: Garlic Aphid Spray
Aphids hate garlic, so this is an excellent way to deter aphids in your garden. You can either buy or make your homemade spray at home by crushing some cloves and then boiling them in water for 20 minutes. Once done, strain the liquid out and leave it to cool before transferring it to a spray bottle.
The liquid can then be sprayed directly onto your plants or mixed with a hose attachment for a more straightforward application over larger land areas.
You may need to repeat this every few days until all visible signs of greenfly disappear from the area you’re treating with garlic oil spray as well as any nearby.
Method 8: Insecticidal Soaps
Insecticidal soaps are another great way of tackling aphids in your yard. This aphids treatment work by smothering them and preventing their eggs from hatching, which means you won’t be seeing greenfly larvae and caterpillars on top of your plants.
Method 9: Traps
Set up traps to catch greenflies. Sticky traps are another way that works well against aphids by luring them with bright colours like yellow or orange. Aphids will crawl onto these objects and then die when they contact the glue-covered surface.
Another option is to place some old fruit or sap from injured plants on a plate and place it near your plants. This will help lure aphids away from your outdoor plants.
Method 10: Essential Oil Sprays
Last but not least, you can also use essential oils to make a natural spray for aphids. These oils work by suffocating insects and are a more natural way to control them without using any harsh chemicals.
Essential Tips for Controlling Aphids in Your Garden Naturally
Aphids love to feed on soft plant tissue. The result is deformed or stunted growth in plants, so controlling them early is vital for your plants’ health. Use the following natural ways to control aphids first before resorting to pesticides:
- Aphid removal can be done by picking them off by hand if there are not too many. You can also shake small infested plants near a bucket and then dispose of the insects in the bucket.
- Introduce beneficial bugs and predatory insects to your garden, like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, to help naturally control aphids.
- Apply a thick layer of mulch around plants to help keep moisture in and make it difficult for aphids to move from one plant to another. You can also use reflective mulch by applying aluminium foil around the plants or a white plastic ground cover to repel aphids from affected areas.
- Monitor your garden plants often so you can take action early if aphids start to become a problem.
- Make a natural greenfly spray for aphids using essential oils, neem oil, garlic, and soapy water.
- Use a strong stream of water to dislodge the aphids from plants. This is most effective when done early in the morning before they’ve had a chance to settle in and multiply.
- Implement an aphid prevention strategy by planting dill, chives, coriander, milkweed, and yarrow in your vegetable garden. These plants attract ladybugs, lacewings, and other insects that prey on aphids, making them excellent greenfly repellent.
- Trap aphids with yellow or orange-coloured sticky traps. These are commercially available and can be hung near the affected plants.
Aphids can be challenging to control, but now that you know how to get rid of aphids naturally, you can keep them under control and your garden healthy!
FAQs About Aphid Removal and Prevention
How Do I Get Rid of Greenfly Colonies Naturally?
There are a few different ways to get rid of a greenfly infestation naturally. You can remove them by hand, introduce beneficial bugs and predators to your garden, apply mulch around plants, use reflective mulch or make an essential oil spray for aphids.
What Causes a Greenfly Infestation?
Aphids are most commonly attracted to gardens with a high level of moisture and humidity. They can also be brought in on new plants or transported through the wind. Once they’re in your garden, aphids will reproduce quickly and can cause severe damage to your plants.
What Is the Best Way to Prevent Aphids in My Garden?
The best way to prevent aphids in your garden is to grow aphid-deterring plants and herbs like dill, chives, milkweed, coriander and yarrow near your vegetable plants. These plants will encourage ladybugs, lacewings and other beneficial insects that feasts on aphids. You can also use yellow or orange-coloured sticky traps to lure the aphids away from your plants.
How Do You Treat Greenflies on Plants?
If you have a small number of aphids on your plants, you can remove them by hand. If there is a significant infestation, you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to kill the aphids. You can also make a homemade spray for aphids made from garlic and essential oils. This will deter the aphids from coming back.
What Are Known Aphid Predators?
Many types of insects can help you get rid of greenflies. Ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies and parasitic wasps all feed on aphids. You can also introduce or encourage birds like bluebirds to eat the aphids in your garden.
Keeping Your Garden Greenfly-Free
Greenflies and other species of aphids can be challenging to remove and control. They seem to appear out of nowhere, and before you know it, your plants are covered in them! Thankfully, you now know how to get rid of a greenfly problem so you can keep the pest under control for good.
Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below! For more tips and tricks for keeping your yard healthy, please take a look at our other gardening articles.