They come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes in your home vegetable garden and, no, I am not talking about the many varieties of tomatoes or peppers you just planted. I am talking about one of the most destructive species of insects that affects just about everything and anything you grow in your vegetable garden.
The insect species are called aphids. They reproduce asexually and thrive in warmer climates, which can create a tremendous aphid population in your home vegetable garden. If they are not caught early enough you mind as well kiss your vegetable garden goodbye. They do their damage by feeding off of soft leaves and stems of plants which stunt growth and lead to plant deformities. When the population of aphids each a number large enough, many will form wings and fly off to neighboring plants and the process starts over on the new plant. Here are some methods you can use to control the aphid population.
Your first step in any program is to come the realization that, yes, you have a problem. So say to yourself, hi, my name is, , I have a problem with aphids in my garden. Obviously I say this jokingly, but on a serious note, the first step you should take in controlling aphids is to use yellow sticky traps. They are available from any home or garden center and I have found that the ones that cost a dollar or two works just as well as the ones that cost five or six dollars.
Get to know what neem oil is. Neem oil is safe and affective way to control aphids (and other harmful insects) without damaging the plants or harming the environment or your family. You can pick up Neem oil at any garden center for under ten dollars and it is worth its weight in gold. Follow the application instructions on the brand of neem oil that you purchased as each brand has its own way to be used.
You can also create an environment in your garden that attracts lacewings and ladybugs, two beneficial insects that love to feed on aphids. Cilantro makes for a great plant that attracts ladybugs as does dill and fennel. Once you have the ladybugs in your garden you would want to keep them. A search on Google for `ladybug houses’ will give you plenty of results to purchase (or build your own) a habitat where they can lay their eggs. The more ladybugs you have, the better off you will be.
Do not become a victim to aphid destruction in your home vegetable garden. There are steps you can take to prevent and control them without using harmful pesticides.