Homemade Organic Aphid Spray Recipe

Updated on May 5, 2019
Nymph and adult aphids suck liquid from plant stems as well as buds, seed pods & leaves.
Nymph and adult aphids suck liquid from plant stems as well as buds, seed pods & leaves. | Source

Although aphids aren't very big (even the largest adults are usually less than a ¼-inch long), they can cause quite a bit of plant damage, particularly if their populations are large.

Deformation, stunting and stippling may all result as aphids suck fluid from leaves and buds. Often, leaves with aphid damage appear curled and discolored.

What organic methods have you used to repel these pests?

See results

Aphids also suck sap from stems—with less damaging results. And they leave behind honeydew as they feed, a clear liquid that often produces black mold.

The majority of aphid species are general feeders; however, they're particularly drawn to new growth, and some prefer specific species of plants.

At some point in the year, most gardens attract aphids. Their populations are usually kept in check by natural predators like lacewings and ladybird beetles. However, if aphid damage becomes severe, intervention may be necessary. Contemporary wisdom advocates an environmentally-friendly approach to aphid control, one that eschews harsh poisons. One option? Organic pesticides such as garlic oil spray.

8 Safe Ways to Control Aphids

  • Spray strong bursts of plain water to dislodge aphids.

  • Grow flowering plants to attract aphid-eating beneficials.

  • Release aphid-eating beneficial insects like ladybird beetles, lacewings & parasitic wasps.

  • Treat aphid-infested plants with homemade garlic spray.

  • Spray plants with insecticidal soap.

  • Scrape aphid eggs and nymphs from leaves, seed pods, and stems, and crush them.

  • Handpick adult aphids and crush them.

  • For severe aphid infestations, neem oil may be applied alternately with insecticidal soap.*

    *Neem oil is a systemic botanical pesticide that sometimes harms parasites that prey on pests like aphids. If you follow a least-harm policy in your garden, use it sparingly.

Organic Spray

When properly combined, garlic cloves, mineral oil, ordinary dishwashing liquid and water create a mild organic pesticide that's effective against aphids. The spray also kills cabbageworms, larval mosquitoes, leafhoppers, squash bugs, whitefly and other garden pests. It can even serve as a mild fungicide and animal repellent.

Reasons to Make Your Own Spray

Because it isn't toxic to humans, homemade organic aphid spray is a good choice for aphid control on vegetable crops, herbs and ornamental plants in and around the home. It's also inexpensive to make—and it can be ready to use in little more than 24 hours.

The Drawbacks of Garlic Oil Spray

The primary environmental drawback of garlic oil spray is that it kills not only aphids, but also other soft-bodied insects, including beneficial ones. Ladybird beetles and other hard-shelled insects, however, are ordinarily unaffected by the spray.

Another drawback? It may cause slight leaf burn.

5 stars from 2 ratings of Organic Aphid Spray
Adult aphids are small & pear-shaped pests with cornicles that extend from their abdomens. They are usually black, green, orange, red, white or yellow. Pictured: Adult butterfly weed aphids.
Adult aphids are small & pear-shaped pests with cornicles that extend from their abdomens. They are usually black, green, orange, red, white or yellow. Pictured: Adult butterfly weed aphids. | Source

How To Make Your Own:


  • 3 oz. garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. mineral oil
  • 1 pint water
  • 1/4 oz. dishwashing liquid


  1. Soak garlic in oil for 24 hours or more.
  2. Meanwhile, combine dishwashing liquid and water.
  3. Add soap mixture to garlic mixture, and stir well.
  4. Strain the mixture and store it in a glass container.

Directions for Use

Add 1-2 Tbsp. of homemade garlic oil concentrate for each pint of water. Then spray affected plants thoroughly.

Because the spray contains oil and soap, it may cause some leaf damage. To ensure that the mixture is not too strong, test it first by spraying a few leaves. Wait 2-3 days for any signs of damage.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • How do you remove a mole problem?

    To reduce your mole problem naturally, try Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring bacteria to control grubs. It's not a quick problem-reducer, but it is safe.

© 2012 Jill Spencer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      2 years ago from United States

      Hi Connie, the only probably with linseed oil is that it might engender mold on the plants, so . . . no, I don't think I would substitute it.

    • profile image

      connie Shishkoff 

      2 years ago

      Does linseed oil work as a "mineral" oil in the natural garlic anti aphid spray?

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi Lee! Your poor broccoli! If I were you, I'd take a picture of the damage and email it to your county extension agent or the university that's connected to Florida's extension service. That's what I did just this past summer when I saw a striped brown stink bug & panicked. (The folks at U. of MD assured me it wasn't a brown marmorated one, thank God.)

      Sounds like you have some sore of caterpillar or, if the holes are small and look like gunshot spray, perhaps flee beetles, which are fond of Brassicas. In future, you could use floating row covers to prevent the attacks, and products with B. t. work on caterpillars, too, at least on the larvae.

      I haven't used any sort of tomato leaf spray. Since we only raise vegetables, fruits and flowers for our personal use, I rarely use anything except bursts of water and my fingers, (I would have scraped off the aphid eggs on the butterfly weed pictured above instead of letting them hatch if I hadn't needed a photo for this hub! : ) )

      Hope your agent can give you some answers. All the best!


    • chefsref profile image

      Lee Raynor 

      7 years ago from Citra Florida

      Hey Jill

      I'll give this a try if aphids come back. Have you any experience with insecticide made with tomato leaves? I tried it last year with mixed results

      My latest problem is something is eating the center leaves on my broccoli. The broccoli is about 4 inches tall and it is only the tender bud in the middle that gets eaten, killing the plant.

      Is there a way to figure out what is doing the damage? I have lots of squirrels. rabbits, crows and cut worms but it is only the broccoli being destroyed

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi grandmapearl! Thanks for sharing the hub. This year we actually had butterfly weed aphids, as you can see the from the top photo. Their eggs are bright orange. I actually allowed them to hatch just to get the pictures! (The butterfly weed has only a little damage, mostly to a few seed pods.) Thanks for reading & commenting. --Jill

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Thanks for sharing this non-toxic recipe with us! I have had problems with aphids in the past, but not so much this year. Probably because of the lacewings. I have bookmarked this, pinned and shared. Voted up, interesting and useful as well. Great advice and very well written!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      @ mecheshier -- Glad you stopped by! Enjoyed your site http://living-green-newsflash.com/ Hope the spray works well for you.

      @carol7777-- Don't you wish HubPages format allowed us to create a "print" layout for recipes? Hopefully, that's in the future. Thanks for sharing the hub, Carol!--Jill

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      I marvel sometimes at how simple we can put together natural solutions instead of relying on toxic products from the store. I am going to save this hub ..or probably write down the ingredients... I am voting this valuable hub up and sharing it.

    • mecheshier profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub. A recipe I will have to try next spring/summer. for we have a lot of aphids where I live. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for useful and awesomely green!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi Rachel! Glad to hear from you. I've never used the spray on potato beetles, so I'm not sure, but I don't think it's strong enough to kill them. I've heard that B.t. works on the larvae, although I've never used it either. (We don't get enough beetles to bother with any sort of intervention beyond mulching & handpicking.) If you do give the garlic oil spray a try on beetles, let me know how it does. (: Later, Jill

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski Nielsen 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      Great hub, Jill! I'm sure this'll come in handy for me eventually. Do you know if the garlic spray will work on potato beetles, too? I usually douse them with diatomaceous earth, but that can get a little pricey after a while.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hey OldRoses. This is the first year we've really had an aphid problem, and I wanted to go organic with the solution. The beneficials just couldn't eat fast enough to take care of them. Hope the recipe works for you too! Thanks for commenting. --Jill

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 

      7 years ago

      Great hub! I've heard of neem oil and insecticidal soap, but not garlic. I love that idea. And I always have garlic in the kitchen to cook with. Thanks for adding a new natural organic solution to my repertoire.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)