Want to know how to get rid of root aphids? It’s not easy for sure but read on, watch the video and kill these nasty little bastards dead in their tracks! I cover 2 ways one is organic and one is chemical. Both will work but I prefer the chemical insecticide approach. I believe it is faster and more likely to get rid of root aphids without them coming back.
Root aphids are nasty little critters that can reduce yields or even ruin your harvest. They multiply quickly and are hard to kill and can be very hard to get rid of. Because they are in your roots and grow media you may not ever see them unless you look for them.
If you are seeing stunted plants or what looks like nutrient deficiencies in your leaves it is time to take a closer look inside your pots. Root aphids come in many colors like white, green, black and more. They also can vary in size. Years ago I had very small translucent root aphids that were sometimes called micros.
I beat them and never saw them again for years. Now they have reincarnated as large white aphids. I beat them back then and I will beat them again. I am going to tell you how so stick around.
How To Get Rid Of Root Aphids What To Do
Before you take controls to eliminate your infestation: First make sure you actually have root aphids! You may actually see them when you examine plant roots but some can be very small and you may need a jewelers loupe or even better a USB microscope.
If you have fliers on yellow sticky traps make sure you can tell the difference between fungus gnats and root aphid flyers.
There is a good and very long forum thread here: https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=159960
They do look similar so the best way to know for sure really is to find them on your roots.
ORGANIC ROOT APHID CONTROL
I use chemicals to get rid of root aphids but I realize many growers are organic and dont want to use them. Your job may be harder because it will be harder to eliminate the eggs. The first thing to eliminate them would be a root drench with pyrethrum. It will provide a quick knock down and kill your root aphids but if that is all you do they will definitely be back.
The Pyganic is OMRI certified and naturally derived and the cheaper Bonide product is synthetic and not certified.
Your mainline of defense after knocking them back will be Botanigard. This product is pretty expensive but contains a combination of pyrethrins and Beauveria bassiana which attacks the aphids. Since it has pyrethrins in it you may not need to purchase them separately. It comes as a liquid and a wettable powder. You will have to reapply it more than once to kill the root aphids off probably every 3 to 5 days at first.
may be a good option even for growers who are not organic per se.
There are a lot of various home remedies that organic growers use and claim to work to get rid of root aphids but I would be cautious about trying them. For example a neem oil drench is recommended by some but can actually suffocate your roots. Generally speaking oils and soaps are bad for your roots.
Nematodes are often recommended as another weapon against root aphids for organic growers. Some say it works some say it doesn’t. A big problem is getting live ones. At least one breeder of nematodes when asked said they will not control them.
Some growers report success with which is a derivative of neem oil. I think it will be partially effective if used as a drench but it may damage roots. It may act to repel them if you spray your plants with it.
YELLOW STICKY TRAPS
Using yellow sticky traps is a good idea whether you grow organically or not. If you are using them to trap fungus gnats it is a good idea to check them for root aphid flyers too.
Root aphids damage the roots and cause them to die. Because fungus gnats are attracted to decomposing organic matter it is not uncommon to have both.
If you are seeing stunting, slow growth, smaller than normal leaves or unusual deficiency like symptoms in your leaves the problem may be caused by root aphids and not fungus gnats.
HOW TO GET RID OF ROOT APHIDS – NUKE ‘EM THE CHEMICAL APPROACH
I respect organic growers and in fact I was an organic grower myself many years ago before it was even popular and considered lunatic fringe.
But root aphids are a serious problem and can quickly get out of hand. They breed really fast and many organics are slow acting or dont kill eggs. I want to stop these buggers fast and not have to continue treating them for weeks on end.
Root drenching is stressful to plants so the less I have to do the better. So my approach is to nuke the little bastards. Once and done with insecticides can be less stressful than multiple treatments with neem oil for example.
So my #2 closet received an IMD treatment and I left it recirculating in the res for 5 days. I use Merit 75 WP
Then the plants received a root drench with Orthene 97. I left this in for about 6 hours and then flushed the reservoir.
I could not find IMD as wettable powder so not sure if it is available. It seems to come in pouches now or granules but it will still work although mixing may be different. As with all chemicals make sure to read the label and measure and calibrate so you dont over apply. More is not better and may harm plants.
So now I am seeing positive results. Last grow plants never really rooted into the mat under them. But this time I am seeing healthy white root growth and it is growing into the root mat and spreading out. It feels pretty good to finally get rid of root aphids.