Aphids are small, pear shaped insects which are very commonly found. These insects prefer younger and tender shoots. Due to the aphids feasting on the shoots, leaves become distorted and the plants weak. Though the plants may not die, it may not bloom either.
You do not need to use chemical fertilizers to ward these aphids off. However, a concentrate of dish washing liquid and vodka can help get rid of these pests. You can use 20 ml of dish washing liquid as well as the same amount of vodka in one liter of water and spray the plants with this solution. People have found insecticidal soap (potassium salt soap) also to be effective. One can also use diluted washing liquid, where just one teaspoon of liquid soap is added to a couple of liters of water.
You must check your garden regularly to check for signs of these pests. When aphids are spotted, one could wear gloves and remove them with the hands. You should also cut out the leaves which have been infested with aphids. Whatever aphids are still remaining, one can spray any of the above solutions directly on them and also on the remaining plants. This spraying should be done every week.
Since aphids breathe through their skin, such liquids clog their skin and they are unable to breathe, leading to their death. Research also points out that their brain cannot detect any pain and hence, such treatments will not cause them any pain.
You can use the above methods without feeling too guilty and also maintain aphid free plants.
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