Greenfly or Blackfly

Aphids, also known as greenfly and blackfly, are a pest that most gardeners have probably experienced. I have personally had them attack my currant bush outside. And my vegetable garden. I spray the currant bush early in the season with an insecticide soap mixture before any flowers are present because I would rather not put the pollinators at risk. Once the flowers have fallen off and before the fruit has started, it is sprayed again with the same insecticide soap mixture. After the fruit starts, I start using a more natural approach of dish soap, which is fragrance-free and not antibacterial, and a water mixture that I make myself (1 tablespoon of dish soap to 1quart of water). I use a plastic spray bottle and write soap and water with a black sharpie on the outside of the bottle. I have found that the soap and water mixture needs to be sprayed about every other day, spraying the top and bottom of the leaves. Even though this is more time-consuming, this is safer for bees and I don’t have a chemical residue on the fruit and vegetables that I and my family will be consuming. 

With all fruit and vegetables make sure you wash them to get any leftover soap off them before eating. If you choose this method, always spray a small area of your plant to make sure that your plant can tolerate the drying aspect of the soap. What the soap does is dry out the wings of the Aphids so they can’t move as easily to other parts of the plant, or to surrounding plants. Make sure to spray either earlier in the morning or later in the evening. Any water on the leaves can cause a heat scourge. A heat scourge is when the water is magnified by the sun and burns the leaves of the plant. I learned this the hard way. I feel this can be an alternative way to help get rid of those unwanted pests and yet allow you to eat your fruit and vegetables. Remember plants don’t like high heat and sprays.


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