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Gardener shares simple solution to eliminate the pesky aphids destroying your plants: 'I never realized what they were'

"We have the ultimate aphid hunter."

Gardener shares simple solution to eliminate the pesky aphids destroying plants

Photo Credit: @the_garden_is_growing / Instagram

When you have an aphid invasion, sometimes natural predators are your best line of defense instead of traditional pesticides. One Instagrammer shared his solution to fend off pesky aphids and protect his garden.

The scoop

Joshua Meekins (@the_garden_is_growing) posted a popular Instagram Reel explaining his favorite natural technique to fight aphids, insects that feed on plants and suck nutrients from your garden, effectively weakening what you're growing. 

"We have aphids on our snap peas, but I am not freaking out because we have the ultimate aphid hunter," he said. 

While Meekins used to apply an organic insecticidal soap to combat aphids, he now creates a sanctuary for ladybugs that will do all the work.

Ladybug larvae are little black bugs with orange spots or stripes. Their preferred diet before they metamorphose into ladybugs? Aphids. 

A single ladybug larva can consume roughly 400 aphids in three weeks before transforming into a ladybug, at which point it will continue to incorporate aphids into its diet. The aphids in your garden won't stand a chance against these hungry larvae. 

Meekins has made his garden a haven for ladybug larvae, resisting the urge to pull out an insecticide and leaving the aphids to become ladybug lunch. Gardeners can also plant flowers to attract ladybug larvae to their yards, including cosmos, dill, chives, and marigold. 

"Thankfully, over the years I've made my garden a place ladybugs want to call home and in return, they keep the aphids in line," Meekins wrote in the caption. 

How it's helping 

Relying on natural predators like ladybugs or mantises can help you save time and money spent fighting aphids in your garden. Natural solutions instead of chemical pesticides will benefit the environment, too.

It can be frustrating when despite your best efforts, garden pests feed on your garden and destroy your hard work. This natural method requires minimal effort other than creating a haven for ladybugs with their favorite plant and aphid snacks.

If you're trying to decrease your gardening expenses, every dollar counts. Repeatedly buying chemical insecticides can add up, but ladybugs will work tirelessly to target aphids for free. It'll be a mutually beneficial relationship when ladybug larvae can have an aphid feast.

Chemical pesticides can endanger the environment by running off into water sources like streams and ponds. Groundwater contamination can harm aquatic life, crops, livestock, and even humans if polluted water is used or consumed. 

What everyone's saying

Fellow Instagrammers were surprised to learn ladybug larvae are the best natural defense against aphids, thanking Meekins in the comment section. 

One user wrote, "I wondered what those little guys were, and now I know, thanks!"

"So cool to see them in action," another Instagrammer said

"I used to play with ladybug larvae all the time as a kid," a user added. "I never realized what they were."

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