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Fact Sheet: Orgarnic controls for aphids

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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.

RE­LATED CON­TENT: Plant­ing cori­ander in your farm con­trols aph­ids, white flies and mites

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.

RE­LATED CON­TENT: How to con­trol aph­ids and leaf miner in kales

RE­LATED CON­TENT: How to con­trol aph­ids in wheat

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.

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