Aphid Killing and Deterring Spray

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Spring planting has started here on our lil’ farm and with our precious seeds, now in the ground, we have to be on alert of the harmful bugs that wreak havoc on our garden.

The other day my son was out taking pictures of our garden and he came across black bean aphids on a nearby weed. It is just a matter of time before these little guys move to our newly sprouting veggies!

There is nothing worse than grabbing a handful of peas pods off the plant and having squished aphids all over your hand! We had to do something!

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In a perfect scenario, I would love to see a mass flight of ladybirds (a.k.a ladybugs) swoops in and make quick work of these pesky critters! “Ladybugs” eat about 50 aphids a day which is amazing but sometimes the aphid population is so bad that even the few lady bugs we have are no match.

 

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I was excited to find two weeds that had aphids but also had ladybugs busy clearing them out. We chose not to spray these weeds and let the aphid’s natural predator do it’s job. I fear that spraying the plants that had the ladybugs would harm or deter them and that is not a risk I am willing to take!

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The other weed we found was heavily infested and with no ladybug army to come take them out, I immediately started looking for an aphid essential oil cure/prevention spray! Besides, I had a “test subject” to try stuff out on!

 

After a bit of research and trial and error on the “weedy test subject,” I found a recipe that killed those little buggers. We checked back after 30 minutes to an hour of spraying them with this recipe and most had already died, still attached to the plant by their plant juice sucking mouth parts!

In a nerdy homeschool mom mindset, I grabbed our handheld zPix 200 Microscope and captured a few images of a leaf covered in the dead aphids!

 

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My son, forever the scientist, also took advantage of the moment and had a bit of a Science lesson on aphids!  He put them under the big microscope and managed to get some great shots using Kodak EasyShare C195, it fits right up to the eyepiece of the microscope! (Yes, we are such nerds!)

 

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Anyway , back to the “fix!”

Here is a basic recipe for keeping aphids off your  yummy veggie plants without having to use harsh toxic chemicals! In 1/2 gallon of water, put a squirt of mild dishwashing soap, 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and 8-10 drops of wild orange essential oil, 8-10 drops peppermint essential oil and 10-15 drops lavender , stir gently. The soap should break up the oil so it can be mixed evenly. Spray the solution on the plants, making sure to spray underneath the leaves too! Always shake before using to disperse oils.

Aphid Spray

 

I wanted a smaller amount (to fit my small “test” spray bottle) so I did a pint of water, a few drops of dishwashing soap, 1/4 tbsp. of cooking oil, and 2 drops each wild orange and peppermint oils and 3 of lavender . (Basically, I quartered the recipe above)

 

Between the ladybugs and the Essential Oils, we will put an end to those plant juice sucking aphids this year!!

 

Blessings to you,

Becky

© Becky Husband & Oh Happy Daze Disclaimers

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About beckyhusband

Becky is a Christian homeschool mom blogger that lives on a small farm in Deep East Texas. When she isn't homeschooling her kids, she is busy documenting their life on her blog through photography, video, and slideshows. She has always been talented using the computer and working with digital imagery in an artistic and inspiring way. Her experience includes recording and editing videos for church, capturing and editing digital photos, scanning and digitally "cleaning" paper photos, and creating photo slideshows.

Posted on April 9, 2014, in Homesteading, Nature, Oils & Herbs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I am going to try this. I know I have a problem with most plants. One jelly bean plant-succulent has tiny, very tiny white spots, kinda oblonged shape & gray to black looking substance like maybe mold. The white stuff looks like it could be eggs but they aren’t rounded at all. I’ve noticed a tiny spider lives in my plant. I spritzed it with a mix of water & apple cider vinegar. Just a few minutes ago. Don’t know the outcome yet. A succulent pot in the same area has tiny lil insects that look like they could be a fruit fly but could just look similar. But their is a lot of them & they love that plant. It is in my screened in sunroom. No trash, standing water or food. I haven’t sprayed anything yet on the second plant. I need help. Also #3 my dahlias & primroses have a June bug problem, at least that’s what I call them. I have put seven dust on them & it doesn’t seem to matter. #4 I do have slugs & have used ortho bug-geta, but still have the problem. We live in brushy mountain NC, we do have a lot of moisture running threw the ground. I try to take care of my plants & hate when they have problems. Any help would be great!
    Also what is a good plant food?

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