You can easily get rid of aphids from tomato plants by using a variety of methods. One popular method is to simply blast them off with a hose. Another is to mix up a homemade insecticidal soap spray and apply it directly to the affected areas. You can also try using neem oil or another type of organic pesticide.
If the infestation is really bad, you may need to bring in some predators such as ladybugs or green lacewings to help get the population under control.
Knowing The Tomato Plant Affected Aphids.
Aphid is the Hemipteran insect that is mainly working on sucking the cell sap from the tomato succulent shoots, buds, and young leaves and thus it stunts the growth of the tomato plant.
According to Britannica, More than 4,000 species of aphids are present, and over 250 species affect agricultural and vegetable production.
But mostly you will see, green peach aphids (Myzus persicae )on your tomato plants which is are slender bodies, and dark green to yellow in color. In severe conditions, these aphids are the main culprit to the virus disease of your plant.
Some other types are
|Green peach aphid (Myzus persicae)
|Peppers, spinach, tomato, cucurbits, carrot, lettuce, legumes, corn, flowers, flowering plum, and stone fruit.
|Melon (cotton) aphid (Aphis gossypii):
|Cucurbits, carrots, citrus, many flowers, and various woody landscape ornamentals.
|Potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae)
|Potato, spinach, lettuce, tomato, and many others
You may also find white aphids on tomato plants which is also familiar to each gardener to work on various plants. I will show you the way you can go over to protect your plant from the white or black aphids. Let’s know more about aphids-
Knowing The Aphid Infestation On Tomato Plants in Brief
Quotes: Let’s know the Aphid’s Biostructure and natural system, which will help you to know more about it and you can understand the control or preventive measures easily.
Name: Aphids ( Green peach aphids)
Nature of damage:
- Sucking cell sap from the ventral side of leaves
- They feed on tender parts of the leaf and cause leaf curl often.
Aphids Effect Externally.
- can grow densely on young plant tissue
- Causes water stress,
- Severe wilting at the final stage
- Decrease the growth rate of the tomato plant.
Placement on Plant Parts:
- Wingless aphids take place underside of the green leaves
Identifying for IPM (integrated pest management of tomato)
Record the percentage of infested leaves and collect them from one plant in your garden. If it (the leaves percentage by aphids attack) goes over 50% or more, pest management should be done as soon as quickly. [ You can record by observing a single affected plant leaf]
How to identify the tomato plants that are under attack by aphids?
If you’re a gardener, you can easily detect the aphid’s attack on plants by observing the following symptoms-
The first and foremost symptom of an aphid attack is the appearance of small, soft-bodied insects on the undersides of leaves. They are often found in groups and can be of various colors including green, yellow, brown, white, and black.
Another symptom is the curling and deforming of leaves caused by the aphids feeding on the tender parts of the plant. Most often the leaves will look pale and the marginal side will upwards or downwards which partially decreases photosynthesis as it affects fruit production.
The aphids also excrete a sticky substance called honeydew as they feed, and this can fall onto leaves and create a black fungus called sooty mold. If you find these in your garden, you must have to take action otherwise it will be harmful and disastrous.
What Damages Caused By Aphids on Tomato Plants?
As we’ve learned, aphids attack tomato plants by sucking the sap from the leaves and stems. This feeding can cause several problems for the plant including:
- Reduced plant growth
- Yellowing or curling of leaves
- The deformed structure of the leaves
- Stunted plant growth
- Reduced fruit production
Aphids can also transmit viruses from one plant to another as they feed, and this can cause even more damage to the plant. In extreme cases, an aphid infestation can kill a tomato plant.
How to get rid of aphid bugs on tomato plants?
Though aphids aren’t too difficult to control it’s important to take action as soon as you see them on your plants. If not, they will quickly multiply and spread to other plants in your garden.
There are a few different ways to get rid of aphids on tomato plants. Some are natural ways and others are pest management systems. Let’s start with the natural way-
Natural Aphid Management
Most of the gardeners asked how to get rid of aphids on tomato plants naturally, the answer doesn’t depend on one process, because it includes many things that can apply.
However, some of the most effective and advanced methods of treating the aphids naturally are:
1) Hand-picking or Tweezer.
This is the best way to kill aphids on tomato plants if you have a smaller quantity of plants in your garden. Generally, if you have 3-7 medium-sized tomato plants then you can easily follow this method.
For hand-picking, you need to check the aphids every day and remove them with the help of a tweezer or your fingers if you don’t mind getting them on your skin.
This is a cost-effective and totally eco-friendly system for gardeners.
2) Using the Water Splash Thorugh Nozzle.
Using a hose with a nozzle attachment is also one of the best ways to kill aphids on tomato plants. Just aim the water at the affected areas and blast them away.
The water pressure should be enough to remove most of the aphids, but you may need to do this a few times to get rid of all of them.
The limitation is, if you have a large number of plants in your garden then this won’t be possible for you to handle every day.
3) Insecticidal Soap or Homemade Spray.
This is one of the most popular methods to get rid of aphids on tomato plants. Insecticidal soap is a natural way to kill aphids without harming your plants and it’s very easy to make at home.
You can either buy insecticidal soap from a garden center or make your own spray at home.
To make your own insecticidal soap, mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap or Insecticidal Soap with 1 cup of water. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and spritz the aphids on your plants.
Be sure to coat the undersides of the leaves where the aphids are hiding. You will need to reapply this spray every few days until the aphids are gone.
Is Insecticidal Soap Safe for Plants?
Insecticidal soaps are totally safe for the plant since its made with a long chain of fatty acids that won’t affect the plants. The University of Nairobi’s Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection states that insecticidal soap containing potassium salt is highly effective against aphids, whiteflies, scales, and mealybugs.
And the soap is a mixture of the potassium salt of fatty acids (active ingredient). Thus this is safe but if it has a short chain then it will create phototoxicity.
So you can use it without any problem.
4) Neem Oil or Azadirachtin.
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that comes from the neem tree. It’s very effective against aphids and other pests.
As it is organic to use and doesn’t affect other beneficial insects, the gardener can use it without any hesitation.
You can either buy neem oil from a garden center or online, or you can make your own neem oil spray at home.
To make your own neem oil spray, mix 1 tablespoon of neem oil with 2 cups of cool water. Mix it gently and use it directly in the aphid-infested areas. Avoid rainy or hot sunny days to apply this spray.
5) Using Ladybugs or Lacewings.
Ladybugs and lacewings are two of the most popular beneficial insects for a tomato plant. They’re both very effective against aphids and other pests. A single adult ladybug can consume up to 50 aphids each day.
They’re also effective against a variety of insects, such as little ants and moths. They’re voracious aphid eaters that hatch from eggs laid on the ground by other ladybugs.
There are more than 450 species of lady beetles worldwide, and they can be found across the United States.
If you want to attract the ladybug to your tomato garden, the best way is to plant flowers that they like to feed on such as dandelions, fennel, and marigolds.
Finally, if you’re looking for a local agricultural shop, check out the ladybug and spread it on your tomato garden.
6) Yellow Sticky Trap:
The phototaxis insects are attracted to the yellow color, and when the surface is sticky, aphids can be easily trapped.
To make your own yellow sticky trap, cut a yellow plastic sheet into small squares ( 20x25cm or 8×10 inches) and coat them with petroleum jelly or cooking oil.
Hang these traps around the aphid-infested areas of your plants. But for better results, buying a readymade yellow sticky trap will give you more satisfaction.
This tape adopts a special glue that can resist high and low temperatures, is double-sided coated and can be effective for a long time.
7) Diatomaceous Earth:
If you’re looking for an organic way to get rid of aphids, diatomaceous earth is a great option.
It’s made from the fossilized remains of algae and it works by puncturing the exoskeleton of insects, causing them to dehydrate and die.
And the compounds are deadly for aphids without affecting the tomato plants.
Chemical Aphid Management
In severe infestations, you may face difficulties in getting rid of aphids. Then you have to choose some chemical insecticides as a last resort.
This management will affect all sorts of insects and not only aphids. We will discuss the two most effective and easy-to-find insecticides for aphid management.
Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide that kills insects by affecting their nervous system. It works by disrupting the communication between nerves and muscles, causing paralysis and eventually death.
Malathion is effective against a wide range of insects, including aphids, mites, scale insects, whiteflies, and beetles.
This insecticide is available in both liquid and aerosol forms. For best results, apply it in the early morning or evening when the temperature is cool and the wind is calm.
Avoid applying it during hot sunny days as it may cause leaf burn.
Malathion is safe to use around children and pets when used according to the label directions.
Carbaryl is a broad-spectrum insecticide that kills a wide range of pests, including aphids, mites, whiteflies, and beetles.
The chemical composition is very reactive to pests and non-target animals. That’s why it should be used with extreme care.
This insecticide is available in several formulations, including dust or liquid concentrates. It can be applied as a foliar spray.
Is Crop Rotation Helps to Prevent Aphids on Tomato Plant?
Yes, crop rotation can be an effective aphid management strategy.
If you have a history of aphid infestations in your garden, consider planting tomatoes in a different location next season.
This will help to reduce the population of overwintering aphids in your garden.
Aphids are attracted to the same plant species year after year. So, by rotating your crops, you can help to break the cycle of infestation.
What Should You Do If You Have Aphids on Your Tomato Plants?
If you find aphids on your tomato plants, the first thing you should do is identify the amount of infestation of aphids.
This will help you to choose the most effective management strategy.
Once you’ve identified the aphid, you can take steps to get rid of it using one of the methods listed above.
You may need to try several different methods before you find one that works for your particular situation.
Be patient and persistent, and you’ll eventually get rid of the aphids.
Most importantly, don’t use any chemicals unless necessary. Insecticides can kill beneficial insects as well as pests, and they can also be harmful to humans and animals.
I, along with many others, have done extensive work on how to get rid of aphids on tomato plants naturally. Onto, natural management which I showed in the post is the most effective and eco-friendly way to get rid of aphids. I would suggest you go through the whole post and find the management that works best in your case.
If you have any questions or want to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment below.
I am a graduate of Bangladesh Agricultural University, where I delved into various agricultural disciplines, equipping me with a profound understanding of agriculture. Beyond academics, I have hands-on experience in gardening and crop cultivation. My passion is to embrace sustainable farming and horticulture. With a BSc in Agriculture, I am dedicated to promoting environmentally conscious and efficient agrarian practices.
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agriculture (Hons.)
Master of Science. (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security ) (MS)
Bangladesh Agricultural University