If you notice a few black or green aphids on tomatoes, you need to act quickly. These pests multiply quickly and can cause damage. We shall list the most common reasons why aphids infest vegetables and explain which home remedies can be used to fight them with organic ingredients.
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- Black and Green Aphids on Tomatoes: This is the Difference!
Black and Green Aphids on Tomatoes: This is the Difference!
First of all: There are different types of aphids. Aphids on tomatoes can be black, green, brown, or yellow-green in color. The green species can be found on the lower side of the leaf. Some black aphid species can fly and are therefore often mistaken for flies.
Is It Small Flies or Aphids on the Tomatoes?
The pests first attack the young leaves and shoots, where they can often be found at the base of the leaves. When they multiply uncontrollably, they secrete large amounts of honeydew. This sticky sweet substance attracts ants, which tend to the aphids and bring them to neighboring plants. The feeding points on the leaves are entry points for fungi, viruses and bacteria. Especially in a greenhouse, where many useful plants grow close together, an aphid infestation is very dangerous, especially for the young plants.
To detect the infestation in time, regularly, preferably before each watering, check the tomatoes for the following signs:
- yellowed young leaves and shoots;
- the young leaves are discolored and curl;
- there is a sticky substance on the leaves.
Use Black Tea against Green Aphids
Black tea should be used at the first sign of an infestation – then it can help effectively against aphids. If there are already large colonies on the tomato plants, it is better to try milk-water.
For the spray against the pests, first put 3 ½ cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add 3 to 4 tea bags to the water. After about half an hour, the tea bags are removed. Allow the tea to cool, then pour into a spray bottle. Spray the affected plants and neighboring plants from top to bottom. Then also spray the soil in the root area. Repeat the treatment every two days for the next week.
Milk Water against Small Black Flying Aphids
Milk is a fast-acting and reliable remedy against many pests. It is also very effective against aphids on tomatoes. The lecithin in the milk forms a sticky layer on the leaf surface and the aphids suffocate underneath. The remedy is also effective because the pests do not have time to react. Aphids, in fact, have a protective mechanism – when they are disturbed or attacked, they emit certain scent signals. The rest of the insects quickly give birth to offspring with flies that leave the plant and settle on the neighboring plants. Milk can prevent this.
For the spray, pour 1 cup milk and 2 cups of water into a spray bottle, close and shake gently. Then spray the affected plants with the milk solution. Repeat the treatment after 2 days and then spray the plants a further 8 times over the next two weeks as a preventive measure.
Soft Soap against Aphids on Tomato Plants
A solution of water and soft soap has similar results as the milk solution. All parts of the plant are also treated and the rest of the soapy water is used to spray the root area.
Soap Nuts against Aphids on Tomatoes
Soap nuts work very quickly and can help even with large colonies. For the spray, put 2 ½ cups of water in a saucepan and add 5 soap nuts. Bring the water to a boil and then remove the pot from the stove. Let the decoction cool overnight and then spray the plants the next morning.
Dish Soap against Aphids on Vegetable Plants
Mixing dish soap and water, is an effective home remedy against aphids. Pour 2 cups of water in a spray bottle, add 1/3 teaspoon of dish soap to the water and close the bottle. Then shake it vigorously and wait about 40 minutes. After that, you can spray the aphids. Treat all parts of the plant. Spray the plants and repeat the process after three days.
Lacewing larvae against aphids
By the way, there are also some beneficial insects that effectively eliminate aphids. Such are, for example, the lacewing larvae, which can eat hundreds of aphids in just three weeks. The lacewing larvae are harmless to humans and animals and are sold in garden centers.
Another option would be to attract the lacewings along with other beneficial insects to your home garden. For this purpose, you can put an insect hotel next to the vegetable patch or in the greenhouse.
Do you want to get rid of aphids on tomatoes? Then use a home remedy from our list. They are harmless to humans and animals, do not damage plants and guarantee a rich harvest. By the way, if you notice flying aphids, then also check the neighboring plants for signs of infestation.