News and knowhow for farmers

How farmers can control aphids sucking their crops using organic means


Farmers can easily control aphids by using some organic practices, such as sprinkling ash, spraying a neem solution or planting trap crops and avoid the use of pesticides which must be controlled for safety of the consumers.

Use of organic means to control pests such as aphids do not restrict farmers to observe maximum residue level (MRL) by Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and applied though similar, but not always by different countries.

Generally aphids attack crops by sucking their juices (sap) making them grow more slowly as well as transferring diseases from sick to healthy plants eventually killing the attacked plants.

They (aphids) always more dangerous during dry season as they are washed away in rainy periods. They also hibernate under plant leaves and stems to avoid much heat during a sunny day as they have soft bodies which are easily affected by much heat.

Controlling aphids

One, a farmer can visit the field or farm regularly to find out if the pests have attacked the crops. If so, the farmer can remove them physically by pressing them with fingers as they live in large groups called colonies and they cannot fly away.

Secondly, a farmers can spread cool ash early in the morning when there still dew which will enable the ash to stick at the surface of the leaves of stem. This will make the plant hard hence the aphids cannot suck the sap staving them to death.

The ash should be spayed for three days to ensure all the aphids are killed.

However, ash from bamboo leaves, mustard or bananas should not be used as they are strong and can burn the plants. Wood or rice straws ash is better.

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Thirdly, a solution of a bar of a laundry soap can also be used by rubbing the soap on a basin and mixing it with water until it bubbles. The solution can be sprayed using a sprayer for three consecutive days and the aphids will be cleared. The solution should not be too soapy or too watery for its effectiveness.

Also, a farmer can also use a neem solution to kill the pests on vegetables. This is done by grinding 2kg of neem leaves and mixed them with about 16lts of water and filter the solution before pouring it into a sprayer the spray on the affected plants for three days to control the aphids.

Neem leaves have a bitter taste and when it is sprayed on the affected plants for the three days the aphids will go away.

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Finally a farmer can plant flowery crops such as the mustard nest to the main crops. This will attract ladybird which feed on aphids. They (aphids) are also attracted to mustard flowers for nectar and when they get there to feed the ladybird will feed on them hence wiping them out the far.

The mustard should be planted seven days after planting the main crop to enable it flower at the right time and last longer and to protect the crops.

RELATED CONTENT: How to control aphids in wheat

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