Aphids, remedies to eliminate them: from biological control to the most effective aphids able to eliminate aphids without damaging the garden. Biological fight with ladybugs, swallows and other predatory insects.
The aphids are parasites better known as "plant lice“, These infest almost all species of ornamental plants, both indoor and outdoor, and also invade crops of agricultural interest. Don't be alarmed, they exist remedies for the aphids!
Damage caused by aphids
With the subtraction of the lymph and with the emission of saliva the aphids cause serious physiological alterations to plants. They also produce indirect damage: they are capable of transmitting many viruses by feeding on infected plants first and then moving on to healthy ones, in other words they behave a bit like malarial mosquitoes, they suck the sap of diseased plants and when they attack the new plant, they risk to infect her. It is evident that we must run for cover and think up remedies as soon as we see its presence.
Aphids, biological control
Of animals they feed on aphids there are very many of them and in nature this rarely causes them aphids reproduce excessively. Among the predators there are entomophagous insects which often lay their eggs near the colonies of aphids.
Among the insects they feed on aphids we find the Coccinellida beetles, both adults and larvae, the larvae of Diptera Sirfidae and Cecidomidae, the adults and larvae of Chrysopid Neuroptera, the juvenile and adult stages of Anthocoridae and of various birds such as the Tit, the Blackcaps and the Swallows.
Among the parasitoids there are the Hymenoptera Aphidids, Aphelinids, etc. whose larvae develop inside theaphid parasitized (recognizable by the dark color of the body). In this way, theaphid from parasite it will become host animals! Be careful to resort to parasitoids which could equally cause serious damage to the pantas. Green light for ladybugs and other garden-friendly insects mentioned above.
The listed insects, birds and parasites are commonly found in nature, so why don't they come to our gardens to eat the aphids that infest our plants? Unfortunately, there are often no suitable conditions for many of these predators in the gardens, or previous treatments - pesticides or other chemicals - have led to the removal of these species useful inbiological control of aphids.
How to attract ladybirds for the biological control of aphids
As stated, ladybugs are excellent predators of aphids and can be good starches in the garden. How to use ladybugs to kill aphids? You can use boxes with ladybug eggs, but it's not always easy to find them and they're not that cheap either. The market also offers adult ladybugs. Prices? 20 adult ladybirds or 100 ladybird eggs can be bought for around 35 - 40 euros. This product is very difficult to find. You can book it in specialized agricultural consortia or try it on Amazon, sometimes there is a product "Anti-aphids Presto Bio" which offers 100 ladybird eggs for 34.90 euros. The product is not always available, check by clicking onthis plant.
It is good to know, however, that it is not always necessary to plant eggs ... ladybugs can be attracted to our gardens with ad hoc strategies! There are plants such as Rumex or Salvia which at the end of winter are the first to be infested with aphids. However, the first ladybirds reproduce on these plants. To attract and reproduce ladybugs in your garden, you can grow these plants.
Biological fight with Hoverflies
Another group of insects whose larvae they feed on aphids are the Hoverflies, a family of flies that often have colors very similar to wasps and bees. And like bees, adult flies feed on nectar. So to attract these flies it will be advisable to plant several flowers in your garden.
Many plants are good for attracting hoverflies. Some examples? Rue, wild thyme, calendula, yarrow and a bit of all composites, that is, all those flowers that resemble daisies, umbelliferae such as carrots, fennel, elderberry and many others.
All flowers that do not have too deep calyxes are suitable. It is advisable, if you have space available, to plant a burdock, this plant allows the reproduction of another group of predators of aphids belonging to the family of the Miridae, in particular of the genus Deraeocoris. They are species of bedbugs that kill many aphids in a short time, they suck the aphids until they leave only the exoskeleton.
In a vegetable garden, with many different plants, you can have an even greater biodiversity than in a natural meadow, with so many predators that the parasites of our vegetables can never become really annoying or harmful.
Aphids, remedies adopted in organic farming
A quick way to combat the presence of aphids are insecticides. However, you will need to spray them periodically. Remember, all the poison we use to ward off aphids, it will also end up on our plates or in the air our children breathe. That is why we do not recommend them by promoting methods also used in organic farming.
The methods allowed in organic farming are not as harmful as insecticides. It is possible to intervene with specific aficides based on Pyrethrins, natural Pyrethrum, Imidacloprid, Acetamiprid, Pirimicarb: they will not be harmful to our health, but they also kill many useful insects. The same can be said, for example, of Bacillus thuringiensis (used in biological control).
Pyrethrum is widely used in organic farming not only foreliminate aphids. Its active ingredient, "pyrethrin", works very well even if many people, due to a bad way of use, are unable to appreciate it. Thetreatment to eliminate aphids, in fact, it must be performed in the evening, after sunset, so the sun will not be able to affect the effectiveness of its active ingredient which, being natural, is not persistent like other synthetic chemical molecules. Pyrethrin is a photosensitive molecule, effective only in the absence of solar radiation.
As stated, pyrethrum is widely used in organic farming to eliminate a large number of parasites such as:
2. crop bugs and green bed bugs
4. aphids and plant lice
5. crawling insects
6. white fly
9. common fly
10. many other plant parasitic insects
There are several pyrethrum-based insecticides on the market, they can be purchased in the form of powder, spray or concentrated liquid solution, to be diluted with water before use. L'natural insecticide pyrethrum-based can be purchased at specialized garden centers or can be purchased online: a package of Solabiol Piretro Actigreen Bio is offered on Amazon at a price of € 19.90 with free shipping. For all the info, I refer you to the official Amazon product page: Actigreen Bio Liquid solution.