What to do about insects, bugs & pests
Whilst the Airgarden is less susceptible to insects, bugs and pests, they can still cause a few issues if left untreated. So what do you need to be looking out for and what are the solutions? There are the most common suspects.
Grasshoppers typically cause their damage during summer months. They will present in the form of chewed leaves and flowers, plants stripped of their foliage and gauged fruit.
Solutions to fix
Homemade Garlic & Chilli Spray
- 8-10 chillies finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed and cut roughly
- 1 Tablespoon soap flakes
- 1 Litre boiling water
- Combine in a glass jar and set aside for 24 hours.
- Strain and pour into a spray bottle.
- Use within 2 weeks
Aphids present as large colonies in tiny insects clustered on young stems, leaves and buds. You may see wilting and distortion of leaves, yellowing and premature death of leaves and young plants, and honeydew on leaves and fruit, with black sooty mould fungus.
Solutions to fixHome made horticultural oil
- 2 cups of vegetable oil + ½ cup of dishwashing detergent. Shake together in a jar, where the mixture will turn a milky colour.
- Add 2 tablespoons of this concentrate to a litre of water and it's ready to spray.
- This controls most insect pests, including scale, aphids, white fly, leaf miner, mealy bug and mites.
Eco-oil is an organic insecticide that kills sap-sucking insects like aphids, mites, scale, whitefly, mealybugs, and citrus leafminer. It also attracts beneficial predatory insects (like lady beetles) to your Airgarden. Made from 100% botanical oils it is safe for use on edibles and ornamentals with no withholding period.
Butterflies & caterpillars
If you notice yellow butterflies flying around your plants - don't be fooled by their pretty wings! They're a sign of nasty caterpillars. You can also spot the eggs they lay. Once hatched, they'll cause nasty leaf holes, starting at the leaf's edge and working inward.
Solutions to fix
- Chop four large onions, two cloves of garlic, and four hot chillies.
- Mix them together and cover with warm, soapy water and leave it to stand overnight.
- Strain off that liquid and add it to five litres of water to create an all-round insecticide.
- Spray all affected plants with Yates
- Once a caterpillar eats treated foliage, it stops eating but may take up to 3-4 days to die and drop from the leaf.
- DO NOT spray when conditions are hot, or when soil is dry and plants are suffering from moisture stress. the best time to apply is in late afternoon.
- Respraying at 5 – 7 day intervals may be needed as more caterpillars hatch or under rainy conditions.
- Add two tablespoons of soap flakes to one litre of water and stir thoroughly until completely dissolved. There is no need to dilute this further, just spray it on as is.
Beneficial plants to repel pests
With 30 growing spots in your Airgarden, there is also plenty of space to add some edible pest repelling plants to protect the more vulnerable favourites you might be trying to grow.
Some plants actually repel or confuse insects with a strong scent, such as sage, oregano, lavender and basil, whist others attract beneficial insects, such as dill and fennel. These plants often have flowers or foliage that attract insects that prey on other pests in the garden.
For a full list of insect-repellant plants click here.