Have you ever had a rose tree in your backyard? They are so beautiful and elegant. These green little buggers called aphids, however, love roses too…
Aphids are small green insects, often found on fruit trees such as lemon trees.
Actually, ants bring aphids to a host plant because aphids produce ants’ favorite food called honeydew by sucking the sap on a host plant and excreting it.
The cycle of the aphids issue
1. A beautiful plant is planted (the host plant).
2. Ants bring aphids to the host plant.
3. Aphids suck the sap out of the plant and excrete a large amount of honeydew.
4. The honeydew turns into ants’ source of food.
5. Ants protect aphids to secure their “food producers” by bringing the aphids’ eggs into the ants’ nest during winter time.
In the coming spring season, ants bring back aphids to the host plant.
… and the cycle continues.
Once I understood the process, I was determined to stop this happening as my rose trees were never getting a chance to bloom beautifully. Let’s get rid of aphids!
Which pesticide did I take on board?
Several sources suggested that a home-made pesticide bottle would kill the ants. As I didn’t want to use chemical sprays on my plants (my two hungry mini schnauzers roam free in the garden) I decided to give it a try.
How does a home-made pesticide bottle work?
An organic way of getting rid of aphids
Get yourself a clean clear plastic bottle, borax powder (you can purchase borax power from any grocery stores in the laundry aisle), sugar, honey and water.
Make a few rectangle-shaped holes horizontally in the bottle (all holes should align vertically from cap to bottom and be 1/2 inches, or 1.27cm, apart), but they should be made about two-thirds from the bottom of the bottle as you will need to shake it.
Pour a teaspoon of borax powder and 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of honey into a bottle, and mix them with about a quarter bottle of lukewarm water and shake it (too much borax powder tends to attract fewer ants).
The ratio of each ingredient should be the same in a larger quantity.
Place a bottle under an infested plant with the holes facing up.
Enjoy catching ants in as short a time as 30 minutes (results may vary depending on your situation).
This home-made pesticide should be well mixed. Eventually, ants are drawn into the solution, or if they ever get out of the bottle, they will take poisoned bait back to their nest and share it with other fellow ants.
In this way, the borax will kill a large number of ants.
I tried this in several spots and killed quite a large number of ants in a day or two!
After seeing my beautiful rose trees fully covered with aphids, it’s such a relief and now I can enjoy its vibrant red color blooming to the fullest!
You may be interested in reading, How to get rid of Brown marmorated stink bugs?
Check out my other article about “Identifying Pest and Disease Problems“, one of 11 Horticulture articles.