Updated at: 12-08-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Aphids are a serious problem for growers of leafy greens, and they should not be regarded lightly. Aphids, despite the fact that they have a plethora of natural predators, can hold their own and quickly infest your plants. They’re disgusting and may do a lot of damage to your plants, especially young ones. What can you do now?

To get rid of aphids on kale, try one of the several natural remedies listed below:

  • Encouragement of natural predators
  • Garlic
  • Clove
  • Neem
  • Leaves from the tomato
  • Peppermint
  • Lantana
  • Plain water

How To Remove Aphids From Kale

Water that has not been tainted

You can use these ideas to keep the aphid population in your garden under control. If you want long-term aphid management, use ladybugs, hoverflies, lacewings, or parasitic wasps in conjunction with the other treatments, because natural predators are the easiest way to keep them in check.

Aphids on Kale » All the Facts on the Pesky Pest

Garlic and Clove Oil Spray

Sulfur in garlic is a major hazard for insects. It’s antibacterial and antifungal, too. A spray can be made out of it rather easily as well. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours with three or four cloves of garlic chopped into it and a few teaspoons of mineral oil. If you don’t have mineral oil on hand, you can substitute clove oil.

Sift out the garlic bits and combine the mixture with 1 cup of water. For the rest of the day, keep an eye on a single leaf to see how it reacts to the liquid. Kale’s delicate leaves can turn yellow and wither if your blend is too potent. If this occurs, dilute it further by adding more water.

Spray away as long as your solution is safe for the plant. Spray under the leaves as well, don’t forget! Aphids prefer to lay their eggs under the leaves, so even if you didn’t see them move, they might have snuck in there. Aphids like to lurk under the leaves and lay their eggs. A second round of invasion is possible if their eggs hatch shortly.

A different spray may be necessary if you are utilizing this strategy in conjunction with encouraging the aphid’s natural predators. Ladybugs aren’t the only pests that garlic kills; aphids are as well. Taking out a few ladybugs in your battle against aphids may seem inconsequential, but consider how many aphids one ladybug consumes each day.

Neem Oil Spray

Let this be your introduction to neem oil, which may sound strange to those who aren’t familiar with gardening. The neem tree, which is indigenous to India, is poisonous to a wide range of insects. Spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, and thrips are all discouraged by it. Neem oil clings to the insects’ bodies and prevents them from feeding or laying eggs, as a result.

Bees, ladybugs, butterflies and other beneficial insects are not affected by this oil spray, making it a better option than others on our list. Your organic garden’s natural ecosystem won’t be harmed by using neem oil. To keep aphids away, you’ll need to apply neem oil to your plants on a regular basis.

Natural aphid predators do not have to be used in conjunction with neem oil if you are prepared and willing to spray your plants several times a day. However, this can be time-consuming and not a great long-term solution, so we don’t recommend it.


Natural aphid predators do not have to be used in conjunction with neem oil if you are prepared and willing to spray your plants several times a day. However, this can be time-consuming and not a great long-term solution, so we don’t recommend it.

If you are willing to spray your plants several times a day, you may be able to get away with using only a neem oil solution rather than natural aphid predators. Although this can be time-consuming, we don’t recommend it as a long-term option.

Consider growing aphid-infested plants that are extremely stinky, such as:

  • Marigolds
  • Fennel
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Catnip
  • Leeks
  • Dill

Ladybugs, a natural predator of aphids, are also attracted to several of these plants, which double as kale protectors. In the following part, we go into greater detail on natural predators. Planting crops like nasturtiums, which are more attractive to aphids than kale but less so to people, may also be an option.

Keeping an eye on the aphid population in your garden is a must if you want to avoid an overabundance of ‘trap plants,’ or you can just crush the aphids as they land on them.

Forceful Water Spray

If you don’t have the time or patience to use a hose to get rid of the aphids, you can use a pesticide. The first few months after planting are critical for kale, so you should only water it. You may put an end to aphids right away by saturating them with a strong spray.

However, maintaining your kale plants free of aphids requires a lot of time and effort. You have to keep an eye on the plants throughout the day and spray them many times until they finally get the message and go. Even though it’s tedious, this is the only option if you’re determined to just use short, strong bursts of water.

The easiest way to rid your kale of aphids and other bugs is to spray it with water, but for most people, this method is too time-consuming and labor-intensive to be worth the effort when you have alternative options.

The drawback of this approach is that, in addition to the time and work required, there are several hiding spots for the minuscule insects. Additionally, you may wind up with a rotting plant and an ant infestation as a result of overwatering your plant. This should only be used as a temporary workaround prior to harvest.

Peppermint Spray

To keep aphids away from your plants, combine a few drops of dish soap with a strong cup of mint tea. However, maintaining your kale plants free of aphids requires a lot of time and effort. You have to keep an eye on the plants throughout the day and spray them many times until they finally get the message and go.

Using a herbal spray in conjunction with natural aphid eaters like hoverflies and lacewings, however, could help you reduce the aphid population to a more tolerable level.

Lantana Spray

Another spray you may use to keep aphids off your kale is lantana water mixed with a few drops of dish detergent. However, maintaining your kale plants free of aphids requires a lot of time and effort. You have to keep an eye on the plants throughout the day and spray them many times until they finally get the message and go.

And that isn’t even taking into account its ability to kill ants and other insects. While it’s tempting to want a bug-free garden, keep in mind that bugs are an important component of the ecosystem of your garden. Kale plants can’t thrive without bugs, so don’t go exterminating them all at once.

Tomato Leaf Spray

Because of the chemical compounds on their leaves, tomatoes are naturally aphid-repellent plants. Even if you don’t plant any tomatoes, you can still use this procedure because tomato leaves aren’t difficult to obtain. Crush some tomato leaves and soak them for 24 hours in water to make this spray.

This gives the tomato leaves enough time to release the alkaloids that kill aphids into the water. You may simply fill a spray bottle with this water and spritz your plants. They’ll be better protected by being thoroughly moist. To get rid of the current swarm of aphids and dissuade future swarms, use the alkaloids.

Dish Soap

Spraying plants with a mixture of water and something else is just like the herbal oil sprays discussed above. In the battle against aphids, a small bit of dish soap mixed with water might make your spray more effective. When they try to fly back and re-grasp a leaf, the soap makes it much more difficult.

Your bubbly attack is likely to kill any aphids that come into contact with your dish soap bubbles. Because soap tastes bad to aphids, they’ll avoid your kale for a little while and won’t be tempted to eat it. Soap will wash away, and they’ll return.

There are some folks that mix soap into their Tomato Leaf Spray when they’re dealing with exceptionally large numbers of mosquitoes. Again, this is only going to work for a short period of time. The aphids will return with a fury the next time your kale is watered, and the smell and taste will wash away. In order to win the war, you’ll have to get some help.

Pruning Your Kale

While aphids prefer to feed on bigger, older plants, this can be a hassle for gardeners to keep track of for fresh sprouts. If you detect any leaves that are completely contaminated and can’t be saved, remove them and throw them in the compost pile right away. The aphids will perish if there is no living plant for them to feed on.

Take Shelter Inside

In the event that all else fails, you can always bring your greens inside. The size, number, and position of your kale plants may affect whether or not this is doable, but it’s worth considering if the aphids are overwhelming and showing no sign of retreat. Defeating a minuscule bug is humiliating, but they outnumber you.

You won’t be stifling kale’s growth by bringing it indoors, as it thrives there. It may be difficult to move a plant, but if you carefully gather all of the roots into a large pot and provide it with the soil, water, and sunlight it requires, kale can grow in your house. It’s also bug-free, so you won’t have to worry about that.

To thrive, kale need a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight each day. A window facing south is preferred by most kale producers. Remember to check the temperature often and move the kale aside if necessary during the summer when it can get rather heated just on the other side of the window.

How to Naturally Kill Insects on Kale | Gardener's Path

Encourage Natural Predators

Let nature take its course, in addition to the other options, to reduce the amount of aphids. There are some powerful natural predators of aphids that may be brought into your garden to assist control their population. Due to their ability to survive cold conditions, aphids are more resilient than their predators.

Aphids are out and about, feeding on your greens, while their foes take a lengthy winter snooze. Predators include the following:

  • Ladybugs
  • Lacewings
  • Wasps that carry parasites
  • Hoverflies


Ladybugs are the most typical treatment for aphid problems, and this is because they work so well.. They are affordable and easy to store before they are released. The disadvantage is that they are very particular about where they want to live. Ladybugs, despite their like for aphids and their ability to eat a lot of them, must be wooed.

If you release ladybugs into your garden during an aphid crisis and they don’t last long enough to make a dent in their population, don’t rush out and buy more. To attract ladybugs to your garden, try planting some of the following ideas. This prevents them from spreading to places other than your kale.

The following plants attract ladybugs:

  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Yarrow
  • Caraway
  • Chives
  • Fennel
  • Mint
  • Statice
  • Cilantro
  • Daisy
  • Flowers of Alyssum
  • Marigold
  • Feverfew
  • Cosmos
  • Dandelions


It’s not simply aphids that Lacewings may help with. Mealybugs and whiteflies, for example, are common prey for these predators. Plan for the future, even if you simply have an aphid problem right now. Insects can help you avoid additional pests in the future, so why not include one?

Lacewings must be purchased at a specific moment in their life cycle if you want them in your garden. When planting kale for the first time, it is better to buy eggs so that the aphid eggs have time to hatch before you require aphid protection. Eggs are also the cheapest and most convenient way to eat greens.

Buying larvae lacewings is a good idea if you already have a big pest problem. Lacewings don’t discriminate, so they’re a good choice if you’re not sure what sort of aphid is invading your garden and want to get rid of it quickly. If you’re trying to eradicate an infestation, don’t purchase adult lacewings because they don’t consume aphids.

Aphid infestations are largely eradicated by the time larvae have been present for two to three weeks, depending on the temperature. A warm, humid climate is ideal for them to thrive. The winter months are the worst time to expose lacewings to the elements, since they will most likely freeze to death.

Parasitic Wasps

Even though they have a poor reputation due to their name and the way they breed, these vile little bugs will do nothing short of completely removing your aphid infestation. Because aphids emit honeydew, parasitic wasps are able to identify the aroma of aphids. Using a needle, they inject their eggs into their prey’s fragile shell, where they hatch.

Prey is ready to be devoured from the inside out when the wasp eggs hatch. A little number of wasps will suffice to keep the aphids at bay. Non-infected aphids will inform their swarm to the presence of wasps so they might escape the dreadful fate in store for them.

Most of the aphids fall to the ground and die as they leave the plant, which is odd. If you find a massive cloud of aphids dead on the ground around your diseased plant, you know your approach succeeded. Wasps, like lacewings, reproduce rapidly and live for two to three weeks on average.

As soon as you release them into your garden, you should observe a significant decrease in the quantity of aphids within ten to fifteen days. While ladybugs are more likely to fly away after being released, parasitic wasps are less likely to do so. Parasitic wasps may remain in the same place for the whole of their life.


This insect, also known as the dronefly, is a powerful weapon in your battle against aphids. In order to fend off their own predators, they have evolved to resemble bees and wasps. However, don’t be deceived. You won’t get stung or bitten by them. They won’t do you any harm, in fact. The aphids are the only thing they care about.

Hoverflies are an essential part of many gardens because they pollinate the flowers. Adult hoverflies don’t consume aphids, so don’t waste your money on them if you have a persistent aphid infestation. Before becoming an adult, each hoverfly larva consumes roughly 400 aphids.

Another benefit of using hoverflies to control aphids is that they are more durable than other natural predators. Aphids that thrive in the autumn chill like these plants because they can tolerate cooler temperatures. You can buy their eggs if you’re merely looking for a preventative measure.

Afterwards, just set the eggs on the leaves that you are concerned about. If you’ve had problems with aphids in the past, you may want to buy hoverfly eggs and place them on your new kale plants to ensure that no aphids will dare infest them.

Washing Kale Covered In Aphids

Aphids’ tendency to adhere to leaves is one of the many reasons they’re so aggravating. Ignoring the fact that you have aphids on your produce doesn’t mean you can simply rinse them off. You’ll need to physically shake the leaves out of your kale in a bowl of cold water for a bit before you can remove them. It’s a good idea to season the water with a pinch of salt or a drop of soap before washing.

The aphid’s grip is weakened because the water’s surface tension is reduced when salt and soap are added to the solution. After putting the kale in a basin of water, salt, or soap and letting it sit for a few minutes, you’ll need to wash it. Once the water is drained, you should be able to completely clean your kale. Just be sure to wash your hands well afterward to remove any soap residue.

Eating Aphids

Wait a second, I know it sounds disgusting. If you’re tempted to skip this section, take a breath and think about it for a while. Disgusting is not the intention. Aphids do not pose a health risk to people. As indicated above, aphids have a solid grip and can’t be readily dislodged, so you probably don’t want to consume them.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to stop the aphid infestation before harvesting your kale, but if you follow the recommendations above, you should be able to get rid of most of the pests. However, it’s possible that it won’t get rid of every last aphid. So, if you’re worried, relax. Nobody is harmed by aphids! To be honest, they’re kind of gross to begin with.

How to Identify Aphids

There are soft-bodied insects known as aphids, which can weaken plants. You should get rid of them as soon as possible because they grow so swiftly. Furthermore, there are numerous generations of aphids per year.


Pear-shaped and with long antennae, aphids are among the most common insects. Light green, white, gray, black, yellow, and pink are just a few examples of the many colors available. Some aphids are covered with a waxy or woolly layer. It doesn’t matter if they’re feeding in small or huge groups.

Some aphid species prefer to feed on a single type of plant, while others prefer to feed on a wide variety of plants. In addition to the green aphids, there are cabbage and turnip aphids, as well. Adults are normally wingless, but if the afflicted plant becomes overcrowded, they can develop wings.

Female aphids give birth to live female nymphs through parthenogenesis. This is more likely to occur in the spring and summer, when there is an abundance of food. It’s not a problem to have large numbers of aphids.

What Aphid Damage Looks Like

Honeydew is a sugary fluid produced by aphids. So, if you notice a syrupy liquid dripping from your kale plants, look for aphids. Black stains on the plant’s leaves may also be caused by the formation of mold.

The plant will eventually die as a result of the black patches on its leaves. Aphids can also cause yellowing, stunted, malformed, or curling leaves. Aphids can also cause galls to form on the leaves or roots of a plant, as well.

Because honeydew is high in sugar, it can attract ants and other insects. The honeydew fluids are harvested by the ants for nourishment. Consequently, if you see an increase in the number of bugs or ants in your garden, it may be because you have aphids.

How to Remove Aphids from Kale

Kale plants can be watered by using a garden hose that has been turned on to its maximum setting. This strategy is highly effective in controlling low populations of aphids or eradicating aphids with soft bodies. After spraying, be sure to look at the bottom and top of the leaves.

There are other options if this one doesn’t work:

Tip #1: Water and non-toxic dish soap

Spray kale plants with a solution made from a few drops of dish soap and water. The aphids will be suffocated and other insects will be repelled by the bitter residue. Aphids won’t return since the leaves will taste terrible to them.

Tip #2: Tomato leaf spray

Tomatoes should be soaked for a day before being used. Spray the spray bottle with the juice from the tomato leaves. Spray the kale with the juice from the leaves. Kale aphids are scared off by the toxic alkaloids in tomato leaves.

Tip #3: Natural predators

In one day, a single ladybug can consume fifty aphids. Ladybugs feed on aphids, therefore create a habitat that encourages their presence. In order to attract ladybugs, you should cultivate daisies, marigolds, dandelions, and cosmos, which are all pollen-rich crops and flowers.

Other plants that attract ladybugs include dill, chives, fennel, yarrow, feverfew, and carrots, to name a few. Ladybugs can be poisoned by garlic sprays, so don’t use them on kale.

Tip #4: Grow kale indoors

Kale can be grown inside to avoid aphid infestations entirely. Kale prefers four hours of direct sunlight each day, although grow lights can be used if that isn’t an option.

Why Should You Grow Your Kale Plants in a Greenhouse?

Growing your plants in a greenhouse can help keep them free of aphids and other pests. The following are a few other reasons why greenhouse gardening is a good idea:

Prevent pests from attacking your plants

As previously stated, greenhouses are incredibly effective in protecting your plants from pests and larger animals. With the addition of insect and animal traps and screens, you may further safeguard your plants. In the event that your greenhouse is infested by pests, it will be easier for you to get rid of them.

Control over the growing environment of your plants

Greenhouses allow you to grow a wide variety of plants regardless of the weather, which is one of the main advantages of greenhouses. You can tailor your greenhouse to the demands of your plants by installing heating and cooling systems, grow lights, fans, irrigation systems, and other equipment. With an understanding of your plants’ needs, you may make adjustments to your greenhouse accordingly.

Protect your plants from bad weather conditions

Even the hardiest plants can be damaged by extreme weather, but with a greenhouse, you can prevent that from happening. In the event of high winds, heavy rain, storms, flooding, or any other calamity, your plants will be protected.

Hopefully, these strategies will help you get rid of aphids from kale. You should keep your garden free of weeds in order to avoid pest infestations.

Killing Aphids and Keeping Them out of the Garden

Pests can be an issue when growing kale, regardless of whether you start with seed or buy a seedling. Preventive pest treatment is just as important as rapid and efficient methods for getting rid of aphids. Unwelcome are these minuscule green pests on your tomato and kale and basil plants.

This is why we urge that you take precautionary actions to control aphid infestations around your yard, whether they are on kale or collard greens.

14 Vegetables That Aphids Love (And How To Keep Them Away) - Pest Pointers

How to Get Rid of Aphids the Easiest Way

It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with aphids on your kale, basil, or other plants; using a garden hose is one of the simplest ways to get rid of them.

If you’ve noticed any aphid activity on your plants but the situation hasn’t gotten out of hand, this is the best way to deal with it.

Blasting Away Kale Aphids

  • a hose for the garden
  • Wet cloth

Make use of an adjustable garden sprayer and set it to its most powerful setting. Spray the kale leaves with water to flush off the aphids.

Turn off the water and look for stubborn bugs on the tops and bottoms of the leaves. Wipe away stubborn bugs with paper toweling.

How to Kill Aphids on Kale with Tomato Plants

How often do you have Neem oil and insecticides on hand in your garden pest arsenal, and how often do you use them?

Here’s how you use tomato leaves to control aphids on kale. In order to combat aphids, tomato plants produce a variety of harmful alkaloids that can be used on other plants as well.

Tomato Leaf Aphid Killer

  • leaves of tomato
  • chopping block
  • Knife with a good edge
  • Bowl
  • Strainer
  • Container
  • a mist wand

Chopping tomato leaves into little pieces and placing them in a dish of water overnight will help them soften. Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and add the soaking leaves. Top and bottom spray the stems and leaves with tomato leaf juice.

Home Remedy for Aphids on Kale

Make a simple soapy solution instead of using an insecticide to get rid of the problem. This home treatment for aphids on kale is an inexpensive and fast approach to get rid of aphids.

Soapy Water Aphid Sprayer

  • Water
  • Soak the dishes with dish soap.
  • a mist wand

Use dish soap and water in a bottle to kill aphids on plants, such as peppers. Shake the bottle gently to mix the ingredients. Leaves and stems should be sprayed with soapy water on both sides.

Insects can’t breathe because of the soap, which also has an unpleasant taste that drives them away from the foliage. Use the container as needed by writing the contents on it.

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Kale with Natural Predators

Aphids on kale can be eliminated without the use of toxic pesticides by exploiting the predatory character of other insects to kill them. If you want to get rid of spider mites, Japanese Beetles, and aphids without harming your plants, this is an excellent option.

Aphid Control

  • The lady beetles
  • Wasps that carry parasites
  • Lacewings

Make sure your garden is protected against an infestation of aphids by adding predator insects. They may eat up to 50 aphids each day, making them great at eradicating aphids.

Complimentary plants can help entice these pests to your yard. Some garden centers and online distributors sell these insects for agricultural use.

Using Nature to Control Aphids

Insect-repelling plants can be grown together in a strategy known as “companion planting,” which involves planting two or more plants with a common objective. Plants like this one attract aphid predators and aphids avoid them, therefore they’re a good thing.

Aphid Repellent Plants

  • Marigolds
  • Alyssum is a delicate flower with a delicate flavor.
  • Calendula
  • Catnip
  • Chives
  • Fennel

Avoid aphids in your food garden by selecting the right companion plants. Plant marigold, catnip, chives, fennel, and calendula around your gardens to ward off aphids and attract beneficial insects, rather than nasturtiums and mustard (Brassica), which aphids adore.

Weeds like wormwood and pennyroyal are good options if you want to keep flies away. If left unchecked, these plants may quickly wipe out an entire garden of cabbageworms, aphids, and other garden pests.

As a result, if you don’t fix the problem right away, you risk losing your plants. Aphids can be controlled by introducing beneficial insects and by companion planting, as well as by using natural pesticides to eradicate the aphids.

In Conclusion

If you’ve noticed aphids trying to spoil your kale’s party, don’t let your guard down. You don’t have to resort to using harsh pesticides to keep your plants healthy. They may harm plants that are particularly vulnerable. You may get rid of aphids in your yard using any of the methods outlined above.