Aphids: Prevention and treatment - 31. May 2021

Aphids are among the most common pests of the vegetable garden and can cause considerable damage despite their small size and immobility. They multiply rapidly, weaken the plant, and can transmit diseases. So, how do we recognise them and prevent them?

Recognising them

Large colonies are often found close to the main stems of the plants, but aphids are not limited to this.

Look carefully at your plants and look for yellow spots or small bumps that form on the leaves. Aphids are often hidden underneath.

Another indication is a sticky substance that covers certain parts of the plant. These are the aphids’ excrement. Rich in sugar, they promote fungal diseases and attract ants. They feed on it and actively transport aphids to other plants, in order to increase "production".

Preventing them

As usual, it's better to be safe than sorry! By cultivating a natural garden, you offer shelter to a multitude of beneficial insects, including the natural enemies of aphids, such as ladybirds or some parasitic wasps. This means that aphids will not develop as quickly.

Managing them

If the damage is already severe, cover with a black soap solution. This product is harmless to the environment, animals and humans and works by dissolving the shell of the aphids. The water can then enter through the respiratory pores and drown them.

Use a natural black soap, preferably liquid, and make it a 5% solution with lukewarm water (50 ml of soap for 1 litre of final solution). Then, generously wet the colonies of aphids with a spray, making sure to treat the underside of the leaves as well.

With this very simple method, you can treat your roses, tomatoes, squash, and indoor plants among others.

IMPORTANT: Wait a few days before the next harvest and wash your vegetables thoroughly before eating them.