- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
I've been hearing people say the aphids are really bad this year. While we can't confirm whether that is true, I know my roses are covered! There are many ways aphids can be controlled in the garden and landscape. Naturally occurring insects such as lady beetles, syrphid flies, and lacewings all eat aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Depending on proper plant care, you can prune off heavily infested plant parts on certain plants.
One of my favorite methods of controlling aphids is to hose them off my roses with water. You can buy a special nozzle for the job, but it's not necessary. Just adjust your regular spray nozzle to the desired spray and force and blast your sturdy plants with water. The strong blast will damage the aphid's body and kill them or at least knock them off the plant. You will likely need to do this every couple of days but you should achieve aphid population control enough to minimize plant damage.
Below is the before and after of my hosing efforts from this past weekend. Be sure to also watch the UC IPM video on hosing off aphids. For more aphid management tips, visit the Pest Notes: Aphids on the UC IPM website.