The soft-bodied, pear-shaped aphids appear harmless but can be a source of annoyance when they infest your garden. You spend a pretty penny to buy the most beautiful-looking, expensive plants.
Perhaps you also devote time out of your busy schedule to water and take care of your garden. What could be worse than knowing an insect is making your efforts go down the drain?
To keep these creatures away, many homeowners wonder if old-school remedies like banana peels work.
Luckily, yes. The pungent smell of banana peels keeps the aphids away from your plants.
See what else you can do to get rid of aphids permanently.
Where Do Aphids Exist?
Thankfully, you’ll rarely spot aphids in your home, unlike moths. Apids tend to exist on soft shoots and lower leaf parts. However, if you love gardening, this might not sound too comforting to you.
While most homeowners appreciate pests that do not invade their property, bug infestation in your garden can concern you if you’re an enthusiastic gardener.
The good news is that a small number of aphids do not harm your plants. However, when the infestation grows, they start affecting your garden gradually.
You may spot stunt plant growth, curling young leaves, and reduced quality of plants and flowers.
Apart from that, they produce honeydew, leading to the decreased photosynthetic activity of plants. As such, you will deal with severe consequences if you won’t take action against them on time.
If you’re new to gardening or pest infestation for that matter, it can be challenging for you to spot aphids. Not all orange or green-looking bugs in your garden are aphids. In fact, they are found in varying colors, from red to yellow and grey to brown.
On top of that, some have wings, and others are wingless. Mind-boggling, right? So, how can you identify aphid infestation in your garden?
Here are a few signs to look out for:
- Observe the two tailpipes, also called cornicles, situated at the end of their abdomens.
- All aphids feature cornicles. Nonetheless, a few tailpipes are less prominent due to their small size.
- Aphids shed their skin as they grow. Observe the garden leaves or honeydew secretions. You’ll likely find their whitish-grey exoskeletons.
- Winged aphids are typically darker in color than wingless aphids – do not mistake them for other insects.
- Immature aphids closely resemble the adults but are usually smaller.
Do Banana Peels Work to Keep Away Aphids?
Before you toss away the next banana peel in your trash can, know it can serve immense benefits for your garden, like helping to eliminate aphids.
Banana peels work excellent to keep away aphids but only if you use them properly. The catch is to chop the peel into fine pieces and place the slices under the plant infested with aphids.
These creatures will get signs within a few days and leave the plant.
You can place the banana peels under several other plants as a preventive measure. This will stop aphids from coming to your garden.
What Else Deters Aphids?
Besides using banana peels, there are other ways to keep aphids away. However, we do not recommend experimenting with methods on your own. Otherwise, you might end up attracting aphids instead of turning them away.
The tips discussed below are tried and true methods. Therefore, it is better to stick to them.
Orange and Lemon Peels
The sweet-smelling orange peels drive the aphids away from your garden. The best part? They even keep mosquitoes away from your plants.
Further, they boost your soil’s quality, providing essential nutrients and minerals to your plants and fruits.
Lemon peels, although less effective, work anyway. Chop the peels into small pieces and keep them under your plants. If you wish to improve the soil quality, bury them under the ground.
Although aphids live on the plants, they do not like all plant types. Here are the ones that keep them away.
- Onions. The pungent smell of onion disrupts the olfactory receptors of aphids and confuses them. You can plant them closer to cabbage, cauliflower, and kale but avoid growing them near beans and peas.
- Rosemary. The strong aroma of rosemary attracts aphid predators. Besides, the rosemary oil released by frequent clipping can also drive them away.
- Garlic. Nothing repels aphids like the strong scent of garlic. You can even grind them, mix them in water, and spray the mixture on plants to keep pests from coming.
- Basil. Another aromatic plant that interrupts the sense of smell of these pests is basil. You can plant it alongside eggplants, tomatoes, and beans.
- Mint oil repels aphids like anything. On a side note, it also attracts beneficial insects.
If growing plants to target aphids seem like a hard row to hoe, you can place aphid predators to get the job done. Yes, this isn’t an option for you if insects – beneficial or harmful – disgust you in the first place.
But introducing helpful creatures is always better than allowing pests that may wreak havoc on your plants.
Common aphid predators include:
- Green Lacewing Larvae
- Parasitic wasps
Man-Made Aphid Repellents
Are you into essential oils? You’ll regret not utilizing them to their maximum advantage. A few, if not all, essential oils are pretty effective in keeping aphids away.
Consider filling a spray bottle and spraying your plants early in the morning. Another quick method involves you applying a few drops on cotton balls and placing them at random places in your garden.
Not sure which oils repel aphids? Here’s the list:
- Peppermint oil
- Rosemary oil
- Neem oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Basil oil
Other temporary solutions to drive aphids away include yellow traps and insecticidal soaps. Because aphids love the yellow color, you can place yellow sticky traps around your garden to trap them.
Besides, try creating a soap and water mix to repel aphids. Add mint or rosemary to make the solution more effective.
Aphids, although small, are super pesky. If you do not control their spread, they can destroy your plants and ruin your garden in no time.
Fortunately, a simple hack like the use of banana peels works to repel them from your fruit and plants. You can also try other methods mentioned above to find your ideal solution.