Chives- Insect Control

Q: My chives are covered with small, dark gray insects. My husband thinks they are aphids. How can I control insects on edible plants?

A: Any herb gardener who grows chives knows to look out for the dark invaders known as onion aphids. Their population explodes in early summer and the creatures suck plant juice from any member of the onion family they can find. Interestingly, I’ve read numerous recommendations to use chives as a repellent for aphids. As you have found, the opposite can be expected. Onion aphids are easy to control with store-bought insecticidal soap or you can regularly blast them off the stems with a water hose.

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