Mint is a beautiful plant that you can effortlessly grow all year round at home, as it can thrive easily in most environments without requiring strict care.
Unfortunately, there is one factor that may make it difficult to care for a mint at times, which is pest infestations. Due to its nature, mint is prone to be infested by aphids, which can eventually become harmful for your plant if you don’t identify the infestation.
As these pests can be very sneaky and do a sizeable amount of damage before the infestation becomes apparent, identifying the aphid infestation and dealing with it can be especially hard for beginners who have never experienced such a thing.
So, how to identify aphids on mint quickly and easily?
To identify an aphid infestation on your mint, look for the signs we have listed below.
- Clusters of green or black bugs on the leaves, especially on the underside
- Honeydew on the leaves, especially on the underside
- Wilting and shriveled leaves
- Yellowing leaves
- Stunted growth
While other things can also cause some of these symptoms, make sure to check for all the signs as soon as you notice one.
If you have confirmed that you have an aphid infestation on your mint, here are a few methods you can use to remove them.
- Wash the aphids off with water.
- Use neem oil spray or insecticidal soap spray.
- Place sticky traps on the affected plant.
- Pick the aphids off by hand.
As both identifying an aphid infestation and getting rid of it can be tricky at times, we will be talking about both of these subjects in greater detail in the upcoming sections.
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How to Identify Aphids on Mint?
An aphid infestation on your mint can be very frustrating, especially if you haven’t identified the infestation yet.
With your plant showing symptoms of degrading health, anything could be possible, and a pest infestation is definitely not out of the cards until you conduct further research.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the signs and symptoms that an aphid infestation on your mint brings.
Green or Black Bugs on the Leaves
The presence of green or black bugs on the leaves of your mint plant, especially on the underside, is the primary sign of an aphid infestation.
As aphids like to stay on the undersides of the leaves, you may never notice them unless you specifically check the undersides of the leaves now and then.
Aphids are tiny bugs, usually present in the form of colonies, so don’t be surprised if you suddenly see hundreds of bugs on the leaves of your mint plant when you take a peek at the undersides.
Honeydew on Leaves
Aphids leave behind a sticky residue called honeydew as they feed on the sap of your mint plant, which often presents itself in the form of small liquid droplets on the leaves and stems of your mint plant.
Alongside being one of the most apparent signs of aphid infestation, the presence of honeydew can also attract other bugs to your plant and cause the infestation to become even worse.
Wilting and Shriveled Leaves
While wilting and shriveled leaves are a common symptom of many plant issues, it’s a good idea to check for an aphid infestation if you notice this symptom on your mint plant.
Even if you haven’t stumbled upon an aphid infestation, wilting and shriveled leaves often mean that something is wrong with your plant and requires deeper inspection.
Similar to wilting and shriveled leaves, yellowing leaves can also be a sign of an aphid infestation but does not necessarily mean that your mint plant is infested with aphids.
If the leaves of your mint plant are yellowing, it’s a good idea to perform an overall health check on your plant, ensuring that your plant isn’t suffering from common but severe problems such as under or overwatering.
Severe aphid infestations can cause the growth of your mint plant to become stunted due to the aphids sucking away all the nutrients that your plant requires.
While this is a symptom that you are less likely to notice, it’s worth mentioning to leave no stone unturned.
How to Remove Aphids from Mint?
Removing aphids from mint is a simple process that doesn’t need too much effort, assuming that the infestation is not too severe.
Here are a few different ways to remove aphids from your mint.
Washing the Aphids Off
If the aphid infestation isn’t too severe, you can easily knock the aphids off with water to remove them from your plant. As water pressure that is too high can also harm your plant, be careful about it.
While this is one of the simplest ways to remove aphids from your mint plant, you will most likely require a garden area where you can freely blast pressurized water on the leaves.
Picking the Aphids Off
If washing the aphids off isn’t an option, you can also pick the aphids with your hand in the case of a minor aphid infestation to achieve the same effect.
To protect both your and your plant’s health, remember to wear gloves before touching your plant.
Using Insecticidal Soap Spray or Neem Oil Spray
Grab an insecticidal soap spray or a neem oil spray and spray it at the affected areas to kill the aphids and clear the infestation.
If you wish to, you can also make an insecticidal soap spray or a neem oil spray at home with the recipes we have listed below.
- Neem oil spray – Mix a liter of water, a teaspoon of neem oil, and a quarter teaspoon of pure soap in a spray bottle.
- Insecticidal soap spray – Mix 80 ml of oil with 5 ml of pure soap, and combine this mixture with water by using a 24 to 1 ratio until you have enough insecticidal soap for a day. Save the rest of the oil-soap mix for later.
Both of these substances are incredibly effective for killing the aphids and clear the infestation out quickly and effectively, even in severe cases.
As it may take some time for the whole infestation to clear out, make sure to spray the mixture frequently until there are no more signs of aphids.
Using Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are an effortless and pesticide-free way to deal with aphid infestations as they do all the work for you.
These traps usually come in the form of stakes that you can easily stick in the soil, and they attract the pests to their sticky surface to trap them.
As the sticky traps are disposable, you can get rid of them once they trap a considerable amount of aphids and place a new one.
How to Prevent Aphids from Infesting Your Mint Again?
Prevention is the best way to combat an aphid infestation, as it’s much easier to prevent an infestation compared to removing one.
Here are some methods you can use to prevent aphids from infesting your mint again.
- Monitor your mint plant frequently. Frequentlytaking a look at the less visible parts of your mint plant, such as the underside of the leaves, is a good idea to prevent infestations as it allows you to notice things in very early stages.
- Routinely clean your mint plant with water. Keeping your mint plant clean is one of the best ways to deter pests, as pests are usually attracted to dirty areas. To clean your mint plant with water, you can either spray it with a spray bottle or gently wipe the leaves with a piece of moist cloth.
- Apply neem oil regularly on the leaves of your mint. Neem oil is a natural insect repellant, and you can use it for both prevention and removal. By applying neem oil on the leaves of your mint plant once a week, you will reduce the chance of an aphid infestation happening by a large margin.
- Keep new plants away from the rest of your plants for a while. Pest infestations can easily break out as a result of an infested plant, which is why we highly recommend keeping a plant you have just bought away from your healthy plants for a few weeks until all is clear.
Due to its shared symptoms with a wide variety of problems, identifying an aphid infestation on your mint isn’t always the easiest thing, which is one of the main reasons behind infestations getting severe in plants in general.
That being said, an early identification usually allows you to clear the infestation rather quickly, which is why it’s vital to rule the possibility of an aphid infection out by checking for more signs as soon as you notice one of the symptoms on your mint plant.
As pest infestations can happen to any of your plants at any time, we highly recommend keeping insecticidal soap or neem oil at hand at all times to be able to intervene as quickly as possible in such a situation.