Keeping aphids out of your garden can be difficult. Also known as greenflies or whiteflies, aphids are troublesome pests that can be extremely hard to deter from any garden. Feeding on leaves, stems, fruit, flowers, roots and buds, aphids can quickly destroy any vegetable garden and make it impossible to maintain a healthy yard.
Aphids typically destroy gardens by consuming the moisture inside plants, inserting a proboscis into the vegetable matter of the organism and transmitting a virus into the plant that kills it.
A single aphid is able to produce up to 80 new aphids every week. Multiplying at an exponential rate, aphids can completely consume a garden in under one month. If your plants are yellowing, browning, or curling up, you’ve probably got an aphid infestation.
Traditional treatments for aphids, such as roundup, require gardeners to douse their plants with powerful insecticides that penetrate into the fruit and vegetable grown within a garden, making them unsuitable for consumption.
Other pesticides leach into the groundwater and damage the environment, or present a very serious health risk if inhaled. If you’ve identified an aphid infestation in your garden, it’s best to avoid these treatments and look for a natural alternative that prevents aphids without damaging your health or that of your plants.
Diatomaceous Earth To Control Aphid?
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a highly effective alternative to chemical insecticides. Mined from mineral deposits that are created by the fossilized remains of ancient aquatic plant life, diatomaceous earth is a chalky white powder that is over 85% silica.
When aphids come into contact with diatomaceous earth the substance binds to their exoskeleton, abrading away the waxy outer layer and absorbing the lipid oils and moisture inside their bodies. This process is completely chemical free, fatally dehydrating aphids within a matter of hours while not affecting plants in any way.
In this article we’ll provide simple step-by-step instructions on the best method of using diatomaceous earth to eliminate aphids from your garden and prevent further infestation.
Step 1: Eliminate Infestation & Wash Your Plants
The first step in removing aphids from your garden is identifying any plants that are too far gone to save. If you notice any plants that are crawling with aphids, curling, and brown, cut these plants out root and stem and discard them in a place far away from your garden.
Proceed to blast all of your surviving plants with a hose at high pressure to simultaneously wet the plants and knock any aphids off the plant, which will force them to climb back on.
Step 2: Apply Diatomaceous Earth
After watering your plants, your next step is to distribute a fine layer of diatomaceous earth dust evenly over all surfaces of your plants. A diatomaceous earth applicator will make this job easier, as distributing DE by hand is both wasteful and time consuming.
For information on the best diatomaceous earth applicator for this job, take a look at our article on the Top 3 Diatomaceous Earth Applicators. Make sure you get diatomaceous earth on the underside of the leaves of your plants and their stems.
When the aphids you’ve knocked off the plants climb back up, they’ll become coated in DE and subsequently die. Any hatching eggs or larvae will also become suffused in diatomaceous earth, effectively eliminating all aspects of their life cycle.
Step 3: Apply Diatomaceous Earth Around Plant Base
Once you’ve dusted your entire garden, place rings of DE around the base of every plant. This will ensure that any aphids migrating between plants or hatching from the soil will become coated in DE.
Leave the diatomaceous earth for one week before removing to ensure it has time to remove all aphids from your garden. If heavy rain or wind dislodges the DE application during this time, reapply and wait a further 7 days.
Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:
We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:
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Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.