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Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Gb

Please can anyone offer ideas other than buying sprays to help get rid of aphids on our runner and french beans. The photos give an idea of the level infestation.

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I've been using the hose to spray them off - you could use dilute washing up liquid in a spray, but I have noticed loads of ladybirds on the plants so as soon as their young hatch they will eat them.

11 Jul, 2010


Some people use a pressure washer with diluted soap or washing-up liquid - or a plastic glove to run your finger and thumb up the stem to 'squish' them if you're not too squeamish!

11 Jul, 2010


Snap, Cammomile! ;-)

11 Jul, 2010


Diluted Washing up liquid certainly does work well, but be careful to use a vegetable based one (such as Ecover) or you risk damaging the plant and/or the soil. Anti-bacterial soaps can be particularly hazardous to plants and soil micro-organisms alike

Predators work well too, particularly in enclosed spaces, plus the main bought-in Biological control species available for Aphids is a Ladybird, which is a completely natural and hardy British species.

There are a few other natural, easily & cheaply made-up plant-based sprays that might be worth trying out. There's an article on Ecocharlie with some spray "recipes" that you might find interesting:

I've not tried Rhubarb spray but garlic & chilli definitely work well. We've used both on caterpillar & sawfly as well as aphids with excellent results....I guess they have a longer lasting, more residual effect than soap (which smothers the aphids) since they presumably make the foliage unpalatable but won't have any effect on edible crops like your beans. I do like the idea of using plants to defend other plants too!

11 Jul, 2010


Thank you very much these are very useful responses.

12 Jul, 2010

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