Organic Gardening Pest Control

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Tomatoes

organic gardening

Hey there, tomato lovers and aspiring green thumbs! Are pesky aphids turning your juicy tomatoes into a free all-you-can-eat buffet? If they are, then you’ve come to the right place to learn about these annoying little bugs. 

In this guide, I’ll equip you with the knowledge and tools to bid those aphids farewell and restore your tomatoes to their former glory. So grab your gardening gloves and let’s get rid of those aphids on tomatoes!

This post is about aphids on tomatoes.

What are Aphids and How to Identify Them

One of the biggest annoyances in the garden are aphids. They can quickly become an infestation, sucking the life out of your plants.

Before we dive into the battle against these tiny tomato invaders, let’s get acquainted with our enemy. Aphids are minuscule, pear-shaped insects that come in various colors, like green, yellow, black, or even pink. They have a knack for congregating on the tender parts of tomato plants, such as the new leaves and stems.

What are aphids though?!

What are Aphids and What Do They Look Like?

Honestly, aphids gross me out! Aphids are soft-bodied insects that suck nutrients out of the plant. They come in a variety of colors (for example, green, black, white, orange, gray, red) and there are different species of aphids as well. Adults are wingless but most species can develop wings when the population in a given area is too high and there’s a lack of food.

They have a pear-shaped body and are pretty small. I’ve included pictures below so you can see what they look like. You may have already seen them in the garden.

Aphids go through 3 stages of development: egg, nymph, and adult. They reproduce very quickly. When the conditions are optimal, their reproductive timeframe is about 3 weeks, making them one of the fastest reproducing insects out there! Each female can produce between 50 to 100 offspring.

That’s A LOT of babies!

tomato plant pests

The Problem with Aphids

Apart from being a major nuisance, aphids can cause some serious damage to your precious tomato plants. They feast on the sap, which weakens the plant and hampers its growth. Moreover, aphids excrete a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract other pests like ants and lead to the growth of sooty mold, giving your tomatoes a less-than-appetizing appearance.

neem oil for aphids on tomatoes

What to Look Out for with Aphids

Here are a few tips of what else to look out for if you’re unable to easily locate aphids.

  • Check the underside of the leaves of plants twice a week.
    • Many insects lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves on plants. Aphids are one of the insects that does. Inspect your plants. I like to frequently check my plants throughout the week. When I can, I like to check them every day, BUT not everyone has time to do that. 
  • Look for curling leaves on your plants.
    • Some species of aphids can cause leaf curling, and may be an indication of an infestation.
    • Infestations are difficult to get under control which is why it is so important to consistently check.
  • Ants on your plants may be a sign of aphids.
    • Aphids and ants have an interesting relationship. Ants actually “farm” aphids because they produce a honeydew-like substance. They keep predators of aphids away from the aphids in order to protect their food sources.
  • Aphids prefer warm weather, not hot weather.
    • Aphids are most prevalent during warm weather and can be found most often in late spring when it’s between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
black aphids on tomatoes
Neem tree

Getting Rid of Aphids

Now that we understand how to look for these pesky bugs, it’s time to put our gardening gloves on and reclaim our tomatoes! 

Note: There may not be a way to get rid of them permanently. Each season plants need to be checked and if an infestation occurs, they’ll be difficult to manage. Being proactive with plant care will help out tremendously in the long run and save you from any potential loss of plants. Remember, you’ve worked hard to nurture and keep your plants alive. Protect them and keep them healthy!

Here are some easy and effective strategies to send those aphids packing:

1. Blast ‘Em with Water Power.

This is an easy way to get rid of aphids. They really don’t like water. Aphids may be persistent, but they’re not great swimmers. So, grab your trusty garden hose and give those little pests a gentle, yet thorough, shower. The water pressure will knock them off the plants, making it difficult for them to climb back up. Goodbye, aphids!

2. Bring in the Reinforcements – Beneficial Insects.

Nature has its own pest control army. Their natural enemies are ladybugs, lacewings and syrphid fly larvae. These beneficial insects feed on aphids and can be introduced into your garden to keep their population in check. Attract them by planting flowers like marigolds and daisies that they love to visit.

3. Soap ’em Up – DIY Insecticidal Soap Spray

When it comes to dealing with aphids, a simple homemade spray can do wonders. Mix a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with a quart of water, pour it into a spray bottle, and give those aphids a good coating. The soap suffocates them, ensuring they won’t trouble your tomatoes any longer.

4. Embrace the Power of Neem Oil

Neem oil, derived from the neem tree, is a powerful organic solution to combat aphids and other common garden pests. Dilute neem oil according to the instructions on the bottle and spray it on your tomato plants. It not only repels aphids but also disrupts their life cycle, keeping them at bay.

Aphid Prevention: Natural Aphid Control

white aphids on tomatoes

Now that we’ve reclaimed our tomato plants, let’s make sure aphids don’t return for a second helping. Here are a couple of preventive measures to keep these pesky critters away:

1. Encourage Biodiversity

Creating a diverse garden environment attracts beneficial insects that can help control aphids naturally. Plant a variety of flowers, herbs, and vegetables to entice these helpful allies to your garden.

2. Monitor and Act Promptly

Regularly inspect your tomato plants for signs of aphids, such as curled leaves or sticky honeydew. Catching them early allows you to take action swiftly, preventing their population from exploding.

3. Practice Good Hygiene

Aphids can hitch a ride on garden tools or plant debris, so keep your garden clean and tidy. Remove any infested leaves or plants and clean your tools after each use to minimize the risk of spreading aphids.


Congratulations, tomato warriors! Armed with these simple and effective strategies, you’re now equipped to battle and triumph over those pesky aphids on your tomatoes. Remember, gardening is an ongoing adventure, and with a little knowledge and a touch of persistence, your tomatoes will flourish, free from aphid invaders. So keep those green thumbs busy and enjoy your delicious, aphid-free harvest!

This post was all about aphids on tomatoes.

Happy gardening!

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