Aphids are a real problem in my garden, as you can see by this infestation on my Kaffir Lime bush.
There are a number of different plants around my garden that seem to get infested every year with Aphids, especially when they’re putting forth tender new growth. It seems to get worse when the weather’s damp. The problem is compounded by the fact that we also seem to have many ants around our place, which is not uncommon in Auckland’s volcanic soil. Apparently the ants 'farm' the Aphids, using them the suck nutrition from the plants, which the ants then harvest.
It’s quite hard staying on top of this, especially as I don’t like using chemical sprays. I spoke to a garden advisor about this who recommended spraying soapy water on the plants. In particular he recommended Sunlight soap which is a common brand used in the typical New Zealand home laundry — so it's not a bathroom soap. It’s very SOAPY soap! You don't need much of this stuff to get a lather going.
So I thought I’d try it. All I needed was a spray bottle. I just filled the bottom of the laundry tub with warm water and washed my hands with the soap, just enough to make the water soapy then filled up my bottle with the soapy water.
I gave everything a good spray with it, then repeated the process again 2 or 3 days later. It seemed to do the trick. I’ll be sure to do it again next time if I see the aphids come back.