– Aphids can be picked off by hand or you can get rid of them with a spray of equal parts of antiseptic mouthwash and water.
– Don’t like to pick them off? Wrap a wide strip of tape around your hand, sticky side out, and pat the plants. The aphids will stick to the tape. (Don’t forget the undersides of leaves where aphids like to hide.) Remove tape and discard when finished.
– Want to remove aphids from a distance? Brew a strong tea from citrus peels. Cool and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray infested plants. Won’t harm your plant but will burn the aphids.
– Ants raise aphids so to get rid of aphids, you have to get rid of ants. Dousing ant hills with white vinegar a few times should do the trick.
– Boric acid also kills ants. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of boric acid and a cup of sugar in 3 cups of hot (almost but not quite boiling) water. Let it cool and soak cotton balls in the liquid and use as bait. It will poison the colony.
– Keep ants away from humming bird feeders by coating the wire or chain holding it with petroleum jelly. Ants will not cross it.
– Green lacewings and ladybugs eat aphids, spider mites and similar pests. You can buy them as eggs or larvae at garden centers or by mail. If you get adults you’ll have to wait since it is the larvae that eat the pests.