While the damage privet aphid causes can be unsightly, plants normally recover and may not be infested every year and so control is often unnecessary.
Aphids have many predaors, including ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and parasitic wasps. Unfortunately, out of doors, damaging aphid infestations often build up before the natural enemies are active in sufficient numbers to achieve control. Pest control products based on natural compounds or with a physical mode of action are less likely to have serious effect on natural predators.
- Organic sprays, such as natural pyrethrum (e.g. Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg, Ecofective Bug Killer), fatty acids (e.g. Solabiol Bug Free, Doff Greenfly & Blackfly Killer) or plant oils (e.g. Vitax Organic Pest & Disease Control, Bug Clear for Fruit and Veg) can give good control of aphids. These pesticides have a very short persistence and so may require reapplication to keep aphid numbers in check. Plant oil and fatty acid products are less likely to affect larger insects such as ladybird adults
- More persistent insecticides include the synthetic pyrethroids lambda-cyhalothrin (e.g. Westland Resolva Pest Killer), deltamethrin (e.g. Provanto Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer) and cypermethrin (e.g. Py Bug Killer)
- The systemic neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid (e.g. Bug Clear Ultra) is also available
- Follow label instructions when using pesticides
- Plants in flower should not be sprayed due the danger to pollinating insects
- Inclusion of a pesticide product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)