How To Get Rid of Aphids: 5 Ways To Kill All Types of Aphids (Control, Prevent)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | November 24, 2023

Man looking at giant aphids on a fence wonders how to get rid of aphids and how to kill aphids naturally, as well as what do aphids look like and wondering how to identify aphids on plant parts.

If you’re a gardener, or even a novice who loves plants, you may have asked yourself where can I learn how to get rid of aphids?

These pesky bugs can wreak havoc on beautiful flowers both indoors and out.

Never fret any time Aphids wedge an attack on your garden; always remember there’s always a way out. In fact, there are many ways to kill aphids without resorting to chemicals.

This complete guide explains some answers to the question, how to get rid of aphids, as well as how to recognize aphids and how to both control and prevent them from harming your plants.

Common Ways To Kill Aphids

An effective method to control and prevent Aphids would be to introduce Ladybugs.

Ladybugs feast on aphids, making this natural pest solution a winner. Of course, many people wonder do ladybugs bite, and while they can bite, bites are typical from Asian lady beetles.

You can also create a formulation of natural pesticide from Neem oil and spray it on the infested leaves; it works magic in controlling and preventing Aphids. There is also a homemade remedy for these irritating insects, and it works super well.

A simple homemade soap solution can choke Aphids before you know it. Simply dilute one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent in one quart of water. Spray or wipe the solution on the leaves of the plant.

An insect-killer spray may be an option for consideration because of its efficacy in eliminating Aphids.

Again, using aluminum foil around bases will help control and prevent Aphids.

Aphid Control: How To Kill Aphids With Chemicals and Without

Below are the 5 ways to kill Aphids with chemicals.

#1 Insecticidal Soaps and Oils

Killing Aphids with chemicals is effective.11 However, insecticidal soaps and oils are the least toxic.

They work effectively by forming an outer layer over Aphids leading to suffocation. While such chemicals are often harmful and can disrupt the photosynthesis process in plants in the event of drought, it is recommended to apply them when temperatures are below 90°F.

Photo of a red flower with aphids on its petals.

(Image: Zsuzsa25)

Nevertheless, though insecticidal soaps and oils may threaten the survival of fish, they are less toxic to humans, pets, and wildlife. This section is somewhat explicit and keeps reading to learn how to employ soap, water, and oil to eliminate Aphids.

#2 Kill Aphids Using Pyrethrin Insecticides

Insecticides that contain the active ingredient pyrethrin are effective chemical control against Aphids. Apart from killing Aphids instantly, pyrethrin can be detrimental to natural predators.

They’re equally dangerous to bees, especially when they come in contact. You may prefer dosing plants at night when bees have reclined into their hives.

#3 How To Get Rid of Aphids With Azadirachtin

With this botanical chemical, you can get rid of Aphids in their large numbers, including larvae. And yet, when blended with bacteria or fungi, it kills plant lice, especially when it comes into contact.

#4 Systemic Insecticides

If oils and soaps aren’t effective, you can attempt systemic insecticide to save infested ornamentals in your backyard.

Systemic insecticides have imidacloprid, an active compound that kills not just Aphids but may also eliminate pollinators and predators.

So, be extremely cautious. To avoid hurting other insects, spray the roots and not the leaves.

Also, dilute imidacloprid in water and apply it to the tree base.

Dinotefuran is another effective chemical against Aphids. The problem with this active compound is that it may cause moderate harm to humans and animals.

It also kills sea animals and bees. Extra caution is required, and reading instructions meticulously can help avoid harmful effects.

#5 Get Rid of Aphids Using Malathion

When battling with en-mass Aphid infestations, you need a chemical such as malathion that is robust in all aspects. Malathion is rather effective in comparison to soaps and oils.

However, Malathion may be dangerous to the ecosystem because it kills Bees and Ladybugs. Overapplication or recurrent use can lead to Aphid resistance;12 thus, caution is required when dealing with a large population.

How To Identify Aphids on Plant Parts

Establishing whether or not Aphids have invaded your garden can be an intricate affair unless you have the spine of steel to pursue it.

However, there are a few tricks and tips that you can try in order to determine if these persistent pests have made their presence known.1

To begin, it is important to underscore that Aphids are small insects and may appear green or black. Additionally, they tend to gather and feed together on leaves and stems, much like teenagers at a buffet.

Close-up photo of a white flower with aphids on its petals.

(Image: rumpel20)

For garden enthusiasts, the presence of Aphids is a pestilence that fills them with dread.

The reason is it spells doom for their plants. Aphids are notorious plant feeders; they suck the sap from plants leading to stunted or deformed growth.

Of course, identifying Aphid infestations on your crops can be a huge challenge unless you’re aware of what specific symptoms to look out for in your garden or plants.

Furthermore, you can check out for baggy leaves or even sticky deposits. Either of these symptoms should send a strong message to your brain that you’re dealing with Aphids.

You can also employ the power of a magnifying glass, but when scanning their morphology, look at the unique and distinctive pear-like body with two ducts; one secretes sticky-like dew and the other for respiration.

What Are Aphids, And How Does Aphid Damage Look Like?

What are Aphids, and how detrimental can they get? This is a question on the lips of many people.

Well, Aphids are tiny insects that invade plants to extract sap. When they get hooked on the plant, they drain the essential content, affecting its growth pattern.

In addition, the brutality of Aphids gets noticeable and the damage is escalated and as demonstrated by leaves turning yellow.2

As Aphids drain chlorophyll from your crops, they also leave the same plants with lethal infection. In addition, as the contagion reoccurs, irreversible injury on plants is often the outcome.

In this respect, ensure to check your garden or backyard time after time just in case you have these tiny and rapacious guests.

Now, you won’t be able to salvage your ornamental plants unless you have a systematic and effective early warning system. You can also cut out diseased sections to halt the contagion from spreading to other healthy areas.

What do you think makes Aphids such a threat? Once you notice an incursion of Aphids on your farm, you should be prepared to lose your crop, work around the clock; to cut and burn rotten branches.

Moreover, you should prepare for spatial reach of the Aphid infestation thanks to their fertility which guarantees their survival to compensate for the Aphids you kill.3

But despite their snail pace, their negative effect on food security is equally devastating if untamed.

And since nature has its own sustainable way to self-regulate, don’t allow this bothersome insects chance, utilize smoke trees instead.

With these simple tips you can make a Smoke Tree formulation. To begin with, grind leaves and bark to powder prior to boiling them for half an hour.

Now, spray the affected areas and this is how to get rid of Aphids before you know it.

Close-up photo of aphids as they crawl on a stem.

(Image: Catkin21)

This is the only way to ensure the healthiest state of your plants. Again, taking stern measures the natural way is the surest way to assist your plants to grow and flourish optimally.

But always remember, the earlier the better.

Not only does early detection play an instrumental role in halting the Aphid reproductive cycle, but also in mitigating any negative effects on the plants.

In this respect, identifying signs of Aphid damage should be a top priority. Honeydew can attract a myriad of insects, and ants, for that matter.

When you don’t eliminate honeydew, it becomes a smoky fungus mold.2

In fact, the smoky fungus changes leaves from green into dirty black, which attracts more pests to enhance the infestation.

What Do Aphids Look Like? (How To Identify Aphids)

Let’s delve deep and wide into unraveling what Aphids look like and how you can identify them. When you take a closer look at the Aphids, physically speaking, you’ll grasp a hint of their voracious feeding habits.

When you consider size, it becomes apparent how diminutive these insects can get.

Aphids have 6 fragile kinds of legs with 2 whiskers extending from their face. At most, Aphids measure 10mm or thereabout.

Another characteristic synonymous with Aphids lies in their ability to secrete sugary dew, which is also a delicacy to other insects and birds.

Whenever you notice ants moving up and down a tree or birds hovering around, chances are Aphids have taken control. Another impeccable attribute to factor in is that not all Aphids can fly.

So, while you notice that the majority can spread their wings and fly, others won’t have the wings to fly.

However, both can deal a serious blow to your garden and taking precautions is better than no action.

Where Do Aphids Come From?

Aphids are small insects that feed on plant sap. They can be found all over the world and come from a variety of places.

Some species of Aphids are native to certain regions, while others have been introduced to new areas.

Do Aphids Fly?

Of course, yes. Aphids possess the ability to fly, and they can fly for long distances too.

Aphids can deploy their wings and escape from predators.

However, not all aphids have the capability to fly.

How To Get Rid of Aphids Naturally

Are you sick and tired of an incursion from Aphids? You may want to consider natural ways of how to get rid of Aphids off your farm.

While Aphids often take cover beneath the leaves, you may never realize it except with routine inspection.

To start with, getting rid of Aphids naturally has many benefits. Natural homemade soap kills Aphids and does not hurt lady beetles.4

Macro view of an aphid as it infects a plant.

(Image: Andrey Tikhonovskiy22)

Also, get rid of Aphids the natural way using neem oil.

Neem oil is effective, especially because it prevents Aphids from eating and reproducing by disrupting their hormonal structure. Again, you may opt to reinforce your control mechanism by introducing lacewings, which are known to devour Aphids like crazy.

Ultimately, prune and burn infected branches to ash and help keep Aphids away.

Thus far, getting rid of Aphids naturally would be somewhat effective but also environmentally friendly. Companion plants, watering approaches, and organic manure are also effective ways to eliminate Aphids.

How To Get Rid of Aphids Permanently (how to get rid of aphids on trees)

  • You can bet on neem oil to get rid of Aphids permanently. Neem oil works like magic.5
    These natural pesticides will help you keep Aphids at bay
  • Pluck stray Aphids from affected plants and squeeze them between your fingers. However, use a damp fabric if you’re dealing with a colony of Aphids
  • You can also use a high torrent water horse to dislodge Aphids from underneath the leaves.2 Nonetheless, caution is required to avoid damaging plants.6
    This would require that you adjust the pressure
  • Also, try an assortment of oils, including Peppermint, Rosemary, Clove, Cedar, and Orange. With this concocted home solution, you can keep Aphids away and secure your plants
  • Use insecticidal soap to suffocate Aphids. Insecticidal soap works in a similar way as neem oil. With these 5 ways, you can kill all types of Aphids

How To Get Rid of Aphids on Indoor Plants

While Aphids can be messy in the garden, they also ravage indoor plants like Money Tree. Worse than damaging plants, Aphids that intrude indoors are often a sign of irritation.

So, to avoid such embarrassment and inconveniencing visitors, you must think of how to get rid of Aphids as quickly as you can and this will ensure your indoor plants do not become a center of attraction for these insects.

Unless otherwise, the same approach used to kill Aphids in the garden may also apply in the house except for chemical insecticides. Please don’t use chemicals indoors; you should avoid them by all means probable.

Instead, please get rid of Aphids physically; with the help of a wipe, you can wash them off.

Start with identifying areas of interest, particular sections of a plant where Aphids have thronged in their numbers. Then wipe them off with the help of a damp cloth.

While it is not recommended to introduce natural predators to your indoor plants, neem oil would be effective in getting rid of Aphids.

You can also eliminate Aphids by improving air circulation around your plants as you eliminate dead matter. Ideally, proper ventilation lowers the likelihood of pests from camping on indoor plants.7

While Dracaena fragrans, Pink Princess Philodendron, Money Trees and other decorative plants can build strong resistance against pests and their contagion does not make you stand pat or afford you the luxury to sit back. There’s no room for leisure because Aphids can check in when you hardly anticipate.

Generally, Money Tree care is a replica of the care for managing other ornamentals. Scouting your garden continuously will almost certainly bear fruits because it helps to mitigate the spread and kills Aphids before they become a nuisance.

Photo of the Nettle plant showing its stem full of aphids.

(Image: Inn23)

Money Trees are plants that don’t need sun exposure. Also, this makes them low maintenance plants.

However, since Aphids tend to shy away from direct sunlight, they prefer such environments for cover, and yet keeping your ornamentals watered serves as the surest ticket to getting rid of them.8

Although you cannot have companion plants indoors, you can shred mint and garlic into the pot holding the money tree.9 Water these plants with a solvent that’s blended in garlic and turmeric can also help keep pest invasion on edge.

The scent of garlic and mint is lethal against Aphids and other pests.4 They can’t stand it.

Use alcohol to get rid of Aphids.

Grain Alcohol works magic in controlling Aphids. To concoct an insecticidal alcohol formulation, mix 70% of alcohol and water, respectively.

Alternatively, mix alcohol with a soapy emulsion for a somewhat effective outcome.2

A point to consider is not to spray this formulation all at once on a plant. Instead, spray as you wipe the infested regions.

The beauty of alcohol control mechanism is that it kills Aphids it comes in contact with.

For the optimum effect, spray in the morning and evening when the sun is not concentrated. Also, ensure you monitor plants for negative outcomes before you proceed.

How To Get Rid of Aphids on Trees

Any gardener will tell you how they love their orchard; however, an incursion of bugs like Aphids has been a cause for alarm owing to the havoc trails. So, how do you eliminate Aphids on trees within your compound?

Eliminating Aphids off trees is not as complex as it gets.

Taking prompt action remains critical to halt these tiny insects from advancing their destruction. You deploy many ways to curb this menace, from introducing Ladybugs to physical removal to using neem soap.

Unlike indoor plants, you may use a strong blast on outside trees.

Again, contrary to indoor plants, which do not require the use of predators such as ladybugs, trees within the compound would be a great meal for such. You can also spray these plants using insecticidal soap or pest control chemicals to kill Aphids.10

Although washing is also recommended, it looks laborious but is worth trying.

Ultimately, seeking professional help cannot be overstated, especially for the right pesticide and the accurate ratio. In the end, besides all these approaches, one has the prerogative to monitor their plants to preempt any future attack.

What Do Aphid Eggs Look Like?

Aphid eggs come in two distinct shapes, either oval or chisel-shaped, and they are secured onto a surface using threads or supports. Aphid eggs appear partly yellow and partly green when fresh.

For survival, Aphids have a defense framework that ensures their eggs remain intact from external attack.

Their eggs have a wax covering, which repulses predators. Again, the wax covering makes Aphid eggs appear grayish.

Aphids lay their eggs on the back side of leaves, on buds, and next to budding branches. And knowing this is an easy route of how to get rid of Aphids.

Close-up photo of Orleander aphids as they take over a plant.

(Image: Scot Nelson24)

It requires a significant hustle to locate Aphid eggs. Since they conceal their eggs in tiny spaces, you need to look out for their food chain or tiny crevices to find them.

During the end of the season, Aphids often gather on thick branches. Numerous eggs get laid towards fall or spring, when a season comes to a close.

Implicitly, being time conscious is paramount. As the season progresses, age catches up with the larger population of Aphids.

So, their only role is to lay eggs profusely to help enhance the next generation. And this is why, you need to remain on toes to counter this egg laying trend to suppress their evolution model.

How To Prevent Aphids and Aphid Eggs From Hatching

Impede the hatching process: To prevent Aphids with ease, then frustrate their hatching cycle.

Kill Aphid eggs before they hatch using latent horticultural oil.

Use predator insects to reduce their population: Eliminate Aphids by utilizing insects like Ladybugs or Parasitic Wasps or even Lacewings or a combination of them all.

But success to this end, starts with making the environment friendly to these predator insects.

However, creating a friendly garden to these insects includes planting flowers, Shrubbery, and installing a water source will attract them.

Companion planting: Another way to prevent or keep Aphids away is through companion plants such as catnip which repels them.

However, you can also plant Mustard and Nasturtium next to plants you don’t want to be destroyed, such as Tomatoes, so that they can trap Aphids instead.

Also, planting garlic and chives would help to repel Aphids when planted next to Lettuce, Peas, and Rose bushes.

Kill Aphid eggs, and that’s another effective way to curb them from creating more havoc and destruction is to kill Aphids’ eggs too. This prevents Aphid eggs from hatching.

Ensuring they do not hatch would stifle their capacity to balloon.

The same approach used to kill Aphids works when killing their eggs. Other effective methodologies include pruning and burning infested branches, washing off Aphids with soap or neem oil, and using biological control methods and insecticides.

This article has widely mentioned the natural way of combating Aphids which revolves around using ladybugs, birds, or even caterpillars.

Destroying eggs before they begin to hatch in early spring will also mean you’re wreaking havoc on existing generations by cutting their numbers. You can also destroy Aphids with a powerful torrent of water.2

And technically, this is how to get rid of Aphids.

What Different Types of Aphids Exist?

About 4,000 Aphid species exist, yet roughly 250 infest our gardens. Below are three Aphid types with their scientific names nested in the table below.

Black Aphids

Black Aphids measure 0.125 inches and use their mouths to extract sap leaving leaves yellow. Black Aphids inhibit Viburnum Plants, Chamomile, Celery, Poppies, and Beans.18

Black Aphids can reproduce without requiring a female. Instead, they produce goblins that are pregnant already.

Close-up photo of black aphids along with a black ant.

(Image: Jacky Barrit26)

They adapt fast, making their production somewhat high.

Black Aphids have highly contagious viruses that make leaves curl. They secrete sugar-like dew, a sought after delicacy by birds and ants.

The sugar, like dew, develops molds that abstract sunlight, which then causes plants to perish.

Close-up photo of white aphids on a stem.

(Image: ACES | Janet Guynn27)

White Aphids

White Aphids are synonymous with destroying new-growth plants.14 They have minute and delicate bodies.

They have a pointed mouth for sucking green matter from plants. Although they invade outdoor and indoor plants, you can easily confuse White Aphids for snow.

Their ability to reproduce makes them lethal in cutting back productivity in plants.16 Check for deformation on flowers and curling leaves and intervene immediately.13

And like Black Aphids, White Aphids carry contagious bacteria that may be harmful to your garden plants, such as Tomatoes and Berries.

Pollen created by flowers helps Aphids expand their reach and spread pathogens on a wider surface area.

Red Aphids

Red Aphids exist on several species, including campion, Chrysanthemum, and Plum thistle.17

Like other types, Red Aphids devour plants voraciously, leaving them decaying to extinction.

Photo of red aphids infecting a young plant.

(Image: Rickard Holgersson28)

The sugary dew activates molds to grow around the infested sites. Since molds obstruct light from reaching leaves, it causes decay.

Moreover, the honeydew attracts ants that destroy beneficial bugs for controlling Aphids. Red aphids also transmit plant-to-plant viruses.17

For example, Rose Aphids transmit the Rose Mosaic Virus,19 whereas Chrysanthemum Aphids transmit the Chrysanthemum Vein Mottle Virus.

They also reproduce rapidly, leaving the garden prone to infestations. Thus, the activities of Red Aphids should be prevented by using neem oil or insecticidal soap spray.

Let’s look at the different Aphid species, family and description.

Aphid SpeciesFamilyDescription
1. Green Peach AphidMyzus persicaeThe species has a thin and green structure, and protracted whiskers. The abdomen has black spots.
While it has a penchant for various plants, it also carries an array of diseases
2. Woolly Apple AphidEriosoma lanigerumIts body is covered in a white coating. It has a higher affinity for Apple Trees, damages fruits and leaves in the same measure
3. Soybean AphidAphis glycinesIt preys on Soybeans. Its body looks white yellow to emerald to mimic its environment
4. Rose AphidMacrosiphum rosaeThe species preys on Roses and other decorative plants. It transmits a vector or contagion.
It appears pink or green in color
5. Black Bean AphidAphis fabaeThis species has a dark color and preys on several plants such as Beans and Peas. It can be lethal during cooler climatic conditions
6. Potato AphidMacrosiphum euphorbiaeThe species has an affinity for potato crops. The body appears greenish/yellowish in color with overstretched whiskers
7. Cotton AphidAphis gossypiiThe species has a liking for Cotton Plants and an incursion can bring down the total yield. Has protruded whiskers with a yellow and greenish body
8. Bean AphidAphis fabaeThe species has a liking for Cotton Plants and an incursion can bring down the total yield. Has protruded whiskers with a yellow and greenish body
9. Oleander AphidAphis neriiBright yellow in color with long legs
10. Ash Leaf Curl AphidProciphilus speciesPear shaped with white waxy body
Black Bean aphids on a green stem.

(Image: Rob Hille30)

Aphid SpeciesFamilyDescription
11. Crapemyrtle
Sarucallis kahawaluokalaniSmall in size with pale yellowish green and black abdomen
12. Giant conifer AphidCinara speciesLarge in size with long legs, they are also purple or black and feature gray and white bodies
13. Hackberry Woolly AphidShivaphis celtiThey have a cottony or wooly appearance due to the white waxy substance that covers their entire body that serves as a defense mechanism against predators and adverse climatic conditions
14. Tuliptree AphidIllinoia liriodendraThey grow up to 1.8 inches featuring translucent wings, greenish abdomen and red-pale brown head
15. Mealy Plum AphidHyalopterus pruniWhitish green or pale green with dark-green stripes on their back. The body is covered by whitish mealy wax
16. Leaf Curl Plum AphidBrachycaudus helichrysiThese Aphids are shiny with varied colors from brownish green to yellowish brown
17. Melon (Cotton) AphidAphis gossypiiTiny bodies with colors ranging from yellow to dark green
18. Hawthorn AphidDysaphis crataegiGreen or yellow pests that cause damage on Hawthorn Trees and transmit plant viruses
19. Live Oak AphidTuberculatus quercicolaGreenish or yellowish in color and feed on live Oak Trees
20. Apple AphidAphis pomiGreen or yellow pests commonly found on Apple Trees
White aphids on a leaf of a cabbage.

(Image: Scot Nelson29)

Aphid SpeciesFamilyDescription
21. Cabbage AphidBrevicoryne brassicaeHave a green/yellow appearance, and are found on cruciferous plants. They transmit several pathogens that lead to poor yield
22. Milkweed AphidAphis neriiGreen/yellow in color, with black strips and have a penchant for Milkweed Plants
23. Pea AphidAcyrthosiphon pisumYellow or pale green found on Legumes
24. Turnip AphidLipaphis erysimiGreen or yellow and prey on Turnips and cruciferous plants

Beneficial Bugs For Aphid Control

There are several beneficial insects with hazardous substances to control Aphids from the garden. Hoverflies, Ladybugs, and Green Lacewings are useful bugs for destroying these nasty pests.2

  • Ladybugs: Primarily, these bugs have a huge appetite for eating roughly 5000 or 50-60 Aphids daily in their lifetime.1
    Thus, Ladybugs can present natural means of getting rid of Aphids. They are also a better option for chemicals11
  • Green Lacewings: Just like Ladybugs, these bugs work best in winter, spring, and summer. They intuitively know how to get rid of Aphids
  • Aphidius colemani: This bug is native to North America and has the ability to devour Aphids
  • Aphidoletes aphidimyza: They feed on Aphids in their larvae state15

You can use alcohol to control Aphids or introduce Ladybugs. You can also use neem oil or any other homemade formulations to spray infested plant parts.

Understanding how to get rid of aphids can help ensure that your plants, both indoors and out, stay healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Get Rid of Aphids

Do Aphids Bite?

If you’re wondering whether Aphids can bite, then you may have heard some rumors suggesting they do. Although Aphids don’t have mouths designed explicitly for biting, they use their needle-like mouthparts to pierce and suck on the sap within plants.

Do Aphids Infest Indoor Plants?

It is indeed possible for Aphids to infest Money Trees and other indoor plants. They have a particular affinity for new soft growth and young leaves, which exposes indoor plants to attacks after a dormant period or when first planted.


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