Can I put aphids in the compost? | How to deal with aphid infested plants

Aphid and plants that are covered in them can be added to compost without any issue. Hot composting is the best way to get rid of them quickly. Chopping the plant pieces smaller and then mixing them through the compost bin will help soil bacteria to deal with the plant matter and the aphids.

Place compost bins in corner out of the way to keep the aphids away from delicate plants.

Aphids are small green and can attack a range of plants including vegetables.

Putting aphid infested plants in the compost

Aphid infested plants can be added to the compost bin without in problems if you follow these easy steps. Aphids exist in and around our yards and are a common pest insect.

Place your compost out of the way

Moving your compost bin to a corner out of the way, away from delicate plants like roses that can get re-infested with aphids. Adding aphid covered plants to your compost bin is fine but if you have the bin very close to your plants, they are going to have a short trip to get another feed.

Placing aphids in compost bins in the corner of the yard, near a back shed or out of the way will be no problem. Aphids exist naturally in our environment so there is no need to go to huge measures to eliminate them from a few plants.

Place them in a compost bin out of the way and let the natural soil bacteria take care of them.

Ladybugs can come to devour aphids if you avoid using pesticides.

Close the lid

Closing the lid of your compost bin after adding aphids is a great idea to limit their escape. Aphids are tiny so will find their way out if they really want to but make the job harder by closing them in.

Adding aphids to a worm farm works well too. Add the plant material, cover with straw mulch and then add the worm blanket on top. Close the worm farm lid and you will have a great way of naturally getting rid of aphids.

Mix the plant material through the compost bin

When adding plant material that is covered in aphids, it is best to chop it up and dig it through the compost bin thoroughly with a garden fork. This will help it to break down quickly and heat up with the  activity of the microbes breaking down the plant material.

Use hot composting

To get rid of aphids quickly add them to a hot compost system. This will exist of a 4x4x4 feet compost material pile or bin which is packed in to provide enough material to heat up and break down quickly.

The balance of green to brown material should be around 1/3 to 2/3. For more on making hot compost check out my guide here: Why does a compost heap get hot? + the secret ingredient.

Hot composting will get rid of aphids as it heats up and the plant and insect material will be digested by soil bacteria.

Remove dying plants quickly

Once annual plants have finished for the season remove them quickly before they become infested with a huge population of aphids. Winter vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower as well as summer tomatoes can be pulled out when the have finished growing heads, fruit or the leaves turn yellow.

Aphids will quickly attack plants that are no longer thriving. Broccoli, tomato or lettuce that is finished for the season can even send out chemical signals that can be detected by the insects.

Before the aphid population gets out of hand, remove the plant even if it has a few aphids on it and put it in your compost. Mix the plants through the compost and close the compost bin lid. Soil bacteria will start to eat the plant matter and any aphid eggs on the plant stems and leaves.

Chop the plant material up with your spade before adding to help it to break down even quicker. The smaller the pieces, the quicker it will turn into compost.

Send out a decoy

Another great way to keep aphids off of your plant and to easily transfer them to your compost is to plant a decoy. Nasturtiums are loved by aphids so placing them in an area out of the way, or even right next to your compost bin can keep aphids fed without them destroying your vegetable patch.

Aphids do travel in and out of our garden throughout the year so keep them off of your favorite plants by planting nasturtiums to feed them but also to allow you to see when they might be around and get rid of them quickly.

Nasturtiums will attract aphids away from your vegetables.

Let the ladybugs do their job

Ladybugs are the natural enemy of aphids and they will move in to deal with the aphids in your yard if you avoid using pesticides and herbicides. Ladybugs will get rid of an aphid population in no time so allow a day or two before taking massive action to treat aphids.

Aphids had attacked the new growth on a Star Jasmine and within a day 2 ladybugs had moved in and taken care of the population sitting on the new growth tips. The next day both parties had disappeared form my garden and my star jasmine was left to get on and grow.

Aphids are a tiny green insect that are usually sitting on the new growth tips and can suck the sap from your plant. While it might seem like you need to act quickly to get rid of them. Allowing ladybugs to come and feast is a great natural way to get rid of them with no effort.

Can I put aphids in the compost? | Summary

Aphids can be placed in the compost and to be dealt with naturally by the break down process that occurs in your bin. Aphid infected plants can also be added to your worm farm and the plant material will be broken down in the same way. Without food the aphids can’t survive so let your worm farm or compost take care of them and their food.