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Aphids, how to get rid of them?


Aphids are fearsome insects that attack leaves and feed on plant sap. There are natural ways to treat against them.

Leaves curl up and become sticky.

Key facts about aphids

Common name – aphid
Appears in – spring, summer, fall

Favorable conditions – most plants might be attacked, but the weakest plants are the most vulnerable.

Having a garden brimming with insects, especially ladybugs, greatly helps control aphid populations.

Regular treatments against aphids will help you consistently eliminate them and keep them away from your plants and rose trees.

Effective organic aphid treatments

Aphids attack many plants, rose trees and fruit trees in our gardens. They can do considerable damage.

The following treatments can help fight aphids, and if one particular strategy doesn’t seem to work, you can apply several solutions together. Associating repellent plants and, beneficial insects and organic treatments is most effective.

Ladybugs & other predator insects

  • Ants care for aphids while ladybugs eat them.Since ladybugs eat aphid larvae, they naturally contribute to controlling aphid populations. This method is increasingly practiced by professionals who manage parks, and it is 100% organic.
  • Other common insects also devour aphids: green lacewing, hoverfly

Fermented stinging nettle or fern tea

  • It is sold now in horticulture stores but can be produced naturally too.
  • It is an excellent 100% organic way of fighting aphids.
  • Learn to make your own fermented stinging nettle tea.

Fermented rhubarb tea

Soapy water

  • Made with Marseille soap or beldi soap dissolved in water and sprayed on the plant, this soap mix makes it hard for aphids to stick to leaves.
  • Grate 5 oz (150 grams) of soap and dissolve it in 1 quart (1 liter) water, add and mix in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Spray on plants.

Aphid repellent plants

Fighting ants

  • Fighting ants is necessary when they have established their nest.
  • Ants attract aphids and fuel their spread.
  • Here are good techniques to rid your garden of ants.

Aphidoletes larvae

  • These are excellent aphid predators, but they are only active from 60°F (16°C). They are rarely sold in horticulture stores.


  • Products derived from this plant can be used in organic farming. This is one of the main ingredients in aphid-control products sold on the market. It is very effective and will mercilessly annihilate these parasites.

Flowered lawn

Flower buds are a favorite for aphids.Special flowered lawn mixes are prepared these days, which repel most parasites and specifically aphids when the combination of flowers start to bloom.

  • This flower lawn mix can be sown in gardens and in the vegetable patch to protect vegetables.

Finally, a basic rule is to reduce use of chemical products as much as possible.

They usually wreck havoc in the local ecosystem, and weaken natural defenses that usually make plants immune to diseases and parasites.

Learn more about aphids

  • All chemical treatments have heavy impacts on our environment, so think of the planet and use organic aphid treatments!
  • Plant species that are routinely attacked by aphids include of course rose trees, but also whole trees such as lime trees or basswood or spruce and also certain fruit trees like the pear tree, peach tree or cherry tree.
  • Watch for leaves turning black as soot, this matches symptoms of sooty mold, which is a direct consequence of an aphid invasion.

Read also:

Smart tip about aphids

Most damage occurs during the growth or vegetation phase, specifically in spring and at the beginning of summer. This is when treatments are most needed and effective.

Images: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Joseph Holt; Pixabay: Rainer Berns, Myriam Zilles
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  • Steven Durkin wrote on 8 May 2023 at 2 h 02 min

    I have just purchased a new home in Ukiah Ca. There are existing rose trees. It is now early May. The plants have new green branch growth growing along the base of the cane trunk. Full green leaves and roses blooming. I would assume that I should prune the new green branches from the woody stock or trunk? Can these cuttings be planted elsewhere?
    I believe that should cut them at the 45% angle I have read, or do I cut them as close to the stock as possible? Now the the full rounded head of the tree is crowded with branching, leaves and flowers; would it be best to let the Spring Bloom continue and do the proper pruning when Summer comes? Or do I cut and prune the head green growth now. I never grown roses before and these are well tall established I believe rose trees?
    Please advise. Thank You

    • Gaspard wrote on 12 May 2023 at 13 h 07 min

      It seems to me you have beautiful cane roses growing! We’ve got two rose-pruning tutorials that are going to be of help here: one on pruning hybrid tea roses (often grown as cane roses), and the other is on shrub rose pruning, which are generally grown short and bushy.

      Usually the timing for pruning roses is very early in spring. You’ll have roses still mid-summer if you prune now, so you can go ahead and get some pruning done to control it. And then, come next spring, you can prune again more knowingly to shape it according to what you’d like it to look like!