Getting rid of aphids on pepper plants

How to get rid of aphids on plants

It can be difficult getting rid of aphids on plants in your garden.  Fortunately you can get rid of those aphids with materials you have in your kitchen.

First of all I am a little embarrassed that I let the infestation get this bad before noticing.  I unfortunately set the grow box to have the sunrise at 1:00am and the lights always were off by the time I got home.  Though the cause is not as important as how to get rid of them.

If this plant was outside my local lady bug population would have kept these buggers in check though they seemed to thrive without the vicious predators.  For an outdoor plant a quick high pressure spray of water on the the leaves (as well as underside of leaves) would take care of the problem.  Though this does not kill the aphids, they will starve to death before they make it anywhere to do any more damage.



This has not been my first battle with aphids, so fortunately I had some insecticidal soap on hand.  I sprayed the entire plant from the top and bottom.  I removed the major yellowing leaves and did another quick spray.  Now if you don’t have any insecticidal soap, or just want to save $5 on buying a bottle here are a couple of proven recipes:

Simple Aphid Killer Spray

  • 1 tsp dishwashing soap
  • Fill 32 oz spray bottle with water


Shake and spray liberally on tops and bottom of leaves ensuring aphids are covered completely.


Complex Aphid Killer Spray

  • 1.5 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 gallon water


Pour into spray bottle and spray liberally on tops and bottom of leaves ensuring aphids are covered completely.


Extra Spicy Aphid Killer Spray

  • 3 hot peppers chopped finely
  • 1 quart of water


Mix peppers with water and let seep overnight.  Strain and pour into spray bottle and spray liberally on tops and bottom of leaves ensuring aphids are covered completely.  WARNING:  You care not to get this spray in your eyes.


US Department of Agriculture Mix

  • 2 tsp dishwashing soap
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • Fill 32 oz spray bottle with water


Shake and spray liberally on tops and bottom of leaves every 9-10 days, ensuring aphids are covered completely.

If none of these solutions work, squish those buggers with your fingers being sure to include a sinister laugh while doing it.  Which even if you are squeamish, this is what you will see if you let them have their way.

aphid damage on pepper

45 Responses to “Getting rid of aphids on pepper plants”

  1. Red Icculus Says:

    Sadly, once they get in your room, it is more about control than prevention. Thanks for the great recipes.

  2. Web4Deb Says:

    I've used the USDA's version last year. Worked pretty good.

  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Red, that is very true. Funny how problem appears to be taken care of then out of nowwhere bugs everywhere… I did have one case of defeating aphids indoors. On a peppermint plant, though I did cut it off at soil level and let it come back :)Web4Deb, when my store bought supply runs out think of trying the USDA's as well. But for just a bit of irony almost want to try the pepper recipe so the plant can actually fight back 🙂

  4. Deborah Says:

    Thank you for these "recipes". And I love your blog!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    i'm fed up with aphids!!!! i have 3pots of habanero peppers and every time i see those APHIDS i take my spray bottle and spray them off, but a few days later,THEY'RE BACK UGHHHHH. sooo, yesterday i dug out the one pot of peppers of their original planter and cleaned the plants off, then i planted them in a different planter, the other 2 pots of peppers still have aphids on them. if it keeps the little critters off of that plant, i will do the same with the other two. if not, them i'm sure to use one of the solution sprays. the USDA mix looks to be assuring. thankyou, wish me luck

  6. Says:

    Last year I used a mix of water and Fels-Naptha bar soap. I use a pressure tank so its a really fine mist. Good luck and hope your peppers hang in there!

  7. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Fortunately for me the weather got too warm to keep the plants inside and the next day I say a swarm of ladybugs attacking the aphids. Definately the most effective way of elimiating them.

  8. enemy of asian cycad scale Says:

    the stuff in the link goes a long way and works extremely well.

  9. Kelly Says:

    The aphid problem on my jalapeno peppers grew out of control very quickly. This morning I blasted them with a spray of water, then applied the Ag Spray thoroughly! Will re-blog with results next week!

  10. links for 2010-06-09 • Bare Identity Says:

    […] Getting rid of aphids on pepper plants (tags: gardening aphids) […]

  11. David Querido Says:

    It is meaningless to provide a recipe without indicating the final volume of solution. ‘Fill spray bottle with water'(e.g. as in ‘simple aphid killer’) says nothing. That spray bottle could accommodate anything from 400 ml to 6 or more litres. Same applies to the last recipe. What a pity. The entire article is rendered useless.

  12. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    @David Querido, was using the assumption of 32 oz spray bottle. I have updated the recipes above to state this.

  13. Penny Lang Says:

    Thank you so much, I’ll try these recipes. Has anyone had trouble with wasps on their plants? Last year it was a battle between the wasps and myself. It’s hard to pick peppers while running:)

  14. Karen Says:

    I’ve just purchased another three pack of pepper plants only to find that they have aphids. Since they are still in the 3 pack tray, would it do any good to make sure the dirt is sealed in then hang the plants upside down in a bucket that has a mixture dish soap, veggie oil or any of the other rememdies (like pyola)? Would a ‘dunk’ job work or be a little more effective for these newbies–since you can dunk them in the three pack?


  15. Jeff Says:

    Hmm, I wondered about mixing baking soda with vinegar. I am so far away from chemistry–so do not recall if we just get a salt, water and carbon dioxide and a bit of fizzing action?

    That said, I think I will add the vinegar, vegetable oil and Murphy’s.

  16. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    With the gallon of water the vinegar should be diluted too much to get the classic volcano science experiment reaction. Not sure what exactly this combination is meant to cause…possibly a drying agent while not affecting the pH?

  17. Kim Vigil Says:

    I just used the complex spray for my peppers and It is already showing signs of improvement. Just one question though, How often do I spray my plants? Is it everyday till they are gone or once a week? Thanks so much!

  18. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Kim, I would spray them every few days for a couple of weeks. Then keep an eye on them since they can always make a comeback and do it quickly

  19. helen Says:

    will frogs & beneficial insects also be killed or repelled using the spays for aphids?

  20. helen Says:

    this year has been terrible for my garden, aphids galore, rats, leafcutting ants & mold/fungus from all the moisture/humidity in the air. i took care of the rats, mold & am working on the aphids & ants. thank you for your advice on the sprays.

  21. Amber Says:

    Ha! Thanks for the info….funny and informative 🙂

  22. ANdre Yeepa Says:

    I have had a lot of trouble with my indoor ring of fire peppers. I tried Crysanthymum extract inceticide…seems to nto do a thing. tried soapy water…still nothing..tried individually killing the little critters , but they alway scome back and miss a couple of days and they are all over the plant. Soap spary every day will have to be tried as these little things seem not to care about much.

  23. gardner Says:

    would canola oil work in place of veg oil

  24. admin Says:

    Yes, normally canola oil is sold as “vegetable oil” though not entirely sure why it is called vegetable oil since most “vegetable oils” are created from seeds…

  25. Miranda Says:

    I used the vegetable oil and dish soap combo and my plants perked back up in an hour. I just keep spraying them with the mix. I’ve done it a couple times right after I found the aphids, I will continue to mist my plants as long as I see positive results. Thanks!

  26. Megan Says:

    can I spray the plant if I plan on using the leaves for tea later, or will it make it unsafe to eat or affect the flavour? (For a peppermint plant).

  27. moon Says:

    i like the Complex Aphid Killer Spray…got aphits on my bean plants

  28. Barbara Dumler Says:

    What can be substituted for Murphy Oil?

  29. 4 Natural Recipes To Get Rid Of Aphids On Pepper Plants - Plant Care Today Says:

    […] Getting rid of aphids on pepper plants […]

  30. Vic Says:

    I use the US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MIX and my leave.fell off my pepper plants but it did get rid of the pest.

  31. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Vic, was the plant pretty well infested when you started? Not sure if the case if mix causing the problem or the fact that the plants were already doomed…

  32. Bladlössen som fick sig så dom teg Says:

    […] Bladlössen trivs i bladknopparna överst på plantan och under bladen, så det gäller att också kolla under bladen när man skall göra sig av med sina bladlöss. Som tur är finns det ekologiska sätt att bli av med bladlöss. Jag använder mej nuförtiden av den här plantsprayen (hittad på den här sidan): […]

  33. Taylor Says:

    I also used the US Ag mix and it killed my leaves as well as most of the aphids. I only used this spray for two days however bc I saw a quick decline in my plants. I have read to only use the spray at night and to wipe down the leaves about 10 minutes after spraying and unfortunately I read that after I sprayed so I had done neither. As of now I only see one or two aphids at a time and I just squish them (with a sinister laugh of course). Until they infest worse I am hesitant to spray again.

  34. Elisa Storm Says:

    Small holes in my Japanese Eggplants? Never grew them before, and my tomatoes and peppers seem to be fine…Don’t see ANY bugs, but the leaves of my eggplant look like lace…The eggplants are still growing on the bushes(don’t know how with all the damage) Any body know what this might be, and how to stop it?

  35. Sharon Says:

    HELP!!! I have milkweed that’s covered in aphids. I was told not to use soap if I have any caterpillars. Well, I have lots of caterpillars and way too many aphids. Any suggestions on what I might be able to use that won’t hurt my babies?

  36. Sue Says:

    Sharon, I have the same problem along with beatles. I am afraid to use anything on the plant in fear of hurting the potential Monarch. I go out every day with a squart bottle of water ( 16 oz ) and one drop of Dawn dish soap and spray them along with wiping them off by hand. It is tedious but to worth the effort.

  37. Jenna Says:

    Thanks for the tips. I use neem oil insecticides to destroy severe aphid infestations.

  38. Little green bugs on pea plants Says:

    […] the meantime I have resorted to to using some organic pesticide solution to deter these pests until the weather gets better.  This will not stop the aphids, but hopefully […]

  39. Sandy Briggs Says:

    Thank you for the information ! I’m picking up some lady bugs for my problem!!

  40. Tina Says:

    I’m starting to spray the us agri mix, seems to be the most killer one to me but, all recipes look good. I have high hopes on this. I don’t easily laugh, but last note pretty funny. Thank you.

  41. JP Says:

    We live in Florida and I have never seen some of these bugs before. but these tiny wasp-like bugs lay something in the bell peppers that causes a black mold to grow on the inside of the fruit and stunts the growth of leaf and fruit. Are they maybe carrying a virus or bacteria?

  42. Pinkberry10 Says:

    I live in Miami Beach, Florida too! Got these lil white bugs lately, it’ s lice, wright? 🙁 I try to have an organic garden in my balcony so I was seeking for some home remedy. I have only 5 pepper plants..
    I just spray them w the oil-vinegar-baking soda-and dishwasher soap water mix. The white dots on the leafs turned into black immediately!

    Somewhere I read that I should soak a cigarette overnight in a gallon of water and that helps too ( PH ) if I wash the leafs w that and water sometimes w that.. So my cigarette is soaking haha.. That is tomorrow’s plan.
    I’ll be back in few days and tell u what happened 🙂

  43. James O'Neal Says:

    I have several types of pepper plants, two hab’s two bell’s, and a Poblano. I live in Tampa Fl, so my peppers have already started flowering, but I have found aphids on my 3×2.5 ft hab. My question is can I spray the plant with homemade non-toxic insecticide without hurting my pepper yield, since I am also hand pollinating? Basically if I spray the aphids, will I disrupt the flowering process? I’m grateful for any help at all thank you

  44. louie ribeiro Says:

    I sprayed my bell pepper plants for aphid with the u.s.d.a mix it did kill all the aphid but it also made all the leaves fall off just over now i have charley brown bell pepper plants. I followed the recipe and instructions to the letter. could you give me an explanation. thank you

  45. Kimberley A Medina Says:

    I just sprayed my plants with the dish soap and water mix any need to rinse it off and will it harm the peppers or will they not be affected? First time I have had this issue.

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