How to Control Houseplant Pests

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Your houseplants spend all their time within the comfort of your home, where the temperature, sunlight, and humidity may not be of the best quality. Without optimal conditions, your houseplants become easy prey for unwanted plant pests that maneuver their way into the comfort of your home. Pests don’t have any natural predators indoors, causing their population to multiply drastically in such an optimal environment. Part of learning to control houseplant pests is checking your indoor household plants often for symptoms of insect and pest infestations. Checking your houseplants regularly is the only guaranteed way to catch pests early before they get the chance to damage the beloved plants you’ve worked so hard to nurture.

Figuring out how to remove indoor houseplant pests that have impeded your hard work can be extraordinarily irritating, and it may be quite tricky to exterminate the pest’s problem entirely. Within the contents of this article, not only will you be introduced to the different types of pests, how to spot these creatures, but more importantly, how you can get rid of the most common houseplant pests.

Control the Most Common Houseplant Pests

Control the Most Common Houseplant Pests

Like outdoor plants, houseplants will occasionally come under attack from pests. These pests are quite like the pests you would find outdoors. However, being introduced to a utopia environment, indoor pests benefit from this ecosystem by fully developing and reproducing in near-perfect situations that promote ultimate growth. As a result, houseplant pests can multiply very quickly, so you should be vigilant and predominant in constantly checking your household plants’ livelihood to prevent pests.

If you observe a plant that begins to appear wilted or sickly —take a closer inspection for the chances are an insect is accountable for depleting your plant of its natural nutrients needed to thrive. Infestations may be extremely devastating, and plants that have damage to more than half of their leaves are not likely to recover from such injury. Once again, in order to prevent the loss of any of your household plants, do regular and thorough inspections.

Control Houseplant Pests: Common Varieties

Common Varieties
  • Aphids
  •  Scales
  • White Flies
  •  Fungus Gnats
  • Leaf Miners
  • Mealybugs
  • Thrips

Signs You Need to Control Houseplant Pests

Signs You Need to Control Houseplant Pests

Among your household plants, there will be different signs to indicate if your plants are infected with pests, but there are certain things, in particular, to look for to catch the nuisance before they ruin your plants.

Changes in leaf coloration or texture can signal an insect is the culprit behind the depleting health of your plant. Leaves can become distorted or misshapen, regularly looking cupped or pinched. Leaves can also appear to be speckled or yellowed when pests are present. Some bugs secrete a substance called honeydew, which makes leaves unusually shiny and sticky. Honeydew encourages mold to develop on leaves, growing black marks that turn into deterioration. Despite the obvious signs, your plant is becoming unhealthy, look for bugs lurking below leaves, clustered along with new leaves, or stuck at the base of the leaves where it connects to the stem.

1. Aphids tend to leave your household plants looking misshapen or yellow-tinted.

2. Scales leave tiny clusters of bumps that turn into a mold on the plant.

3. Whiteflies tend to leave larvae on leaves that will eat your plant when hatched.

4. Fungus gnats leave your household plants wilted, stunt the growth, and yellow the leaves.

5. Leaf Miners lay eggs and eat holes through your household plants foliage

6. Mealybugs can leave your plants wilted, stunted growth, as well as your plants covered in honeydew

7. Thrips can leave strips of white or silver on your household plants, and the worse the infestation, the browner in color your plants leaves will become.

How Can You Control Houseplant Pests?

Suppose you’re uncertain of the way to eliminate pests in household plants. The information provided below will help guide you through the different courses of action you can take to rid your plants of the different types of pests while also salvaging your plants.

Aphids

Aphids

Aphids are smooth-bodied and can be easily irradicated. First, start by thoroughly rinsing your plant with whatever water source you have available. This step will wipe out most adult aphids present in your plant. Next, spray the plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil. You will want to repeat spray treatments every couple of days while first treating the plant.

Another option if neem oil doesn’t work for you is to use chemical solutions that kill and prevent pests for several months; however, chemicals can harm the plant more than natural aids, even if unintentionally.

Scales

Scales

To begin, sheer away any damaged branches or stems. Then, carefully scrape off all the visible grownup scales with a fingernail or butterknife. Ensure that you kill off all the scales as possible to prevent regrowth or future eggs from hatching. Finish the process by adding neem oil or insecticidal soap to kill eggs and young scales before developing their outer shells, making them harder to rid. Repeat process promptly to clear all scales.

White Flies

White Flies

An easy way to clear your household plants from whiteflies is to add one tablespoon of dish soap to one gallon of water, mix, insert into a spray bottle, and consistently give your plants thorough sprits. Not only is this mixture nontoxic for humans and pets, but it will also ensure your plant survives and has a chance at recovery.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats

First, cut back to your watering only as needed. Gnats love to harbor in overly saturated soil, so allowing time for the potting mix to dry out is crucial. After the soil dries out, you can purchase gnat traps to place around the plants to catch any excess gnats or larvae that may still be alive. Repeat the process, and eventually, before you will get your plant back to gnat free, thriving conditions

Leaf Miners

Leaf Miners

Pesticides are one of the only sure, tried, and true ways to get rid of leaf miners, but there’s a catch. Make sure that you spray the leaves at the proper time with the appropriate pesticide. Too soon may kill the plant, but too late then the leaf miners have won in overtaking your precious household plant.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs

If you’re able to catch them early, it’s standard procedure to cut the whole stem they’re feeding on to restore the plant. After trimming off any inflamed limbs or branches, spray the entire plant down, first with water, after which with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Continue this process once weekly for a whole month.

Thrips

Thrips

Soap kills thrips on contact and could help you win the war over household plant pests. You can use a pre-blended natural insecticidal soap or make your very own by mixing 1 tsp liquid cleaning soap with 1 liter of water. Consistency is key, so make sure to regularly spray your plants to kill and prevent the spread of thrips to other greenery in the home.

Control Houseplant Pests – The Wrap-up

Whether you’re an avid gardener, full-on green thumb, or just learning the ropes of what it takes to properly take care of your household plants in the healthiest manner, you are sure to come across pests that will turn your radiant garden into a wilted tundra.

Being prepared, educated, and understanding the signs and symptoms of houseplant pests can drastically affect the ability to preserve your garden. With the right mindset and the proper insight, not only can you prevent these pests from becoming a problem, but you can prevent them from ever occurring while, in turn, your household plants can grow lush and full as they are meant to be.

FAQ

If you follow all the guidelines for preventing and killing current pests with no luck, it may be time to call in a professional. Not only might they have a better understanding of the cause of your plant’s ailment, but they also may have alternative means to exterminate the pests that everyday unlicensed citizens may not have access to use.

To begin, whenever introducing new plants into your household, you should keep them separated from your original plants for several weeks while you inspect them to ensure no new pests are being brought indoors from outside. Alongside regular checkups, you can use insecticides or neem oil to help prevent and kill any new or recurring problems.

Neem oil is by far the number one safest all-natural alternative to insecticide or insecticidal soap. Neem oil, otherwise known as vegetable oil, can be taken from many different fruits or vegetables and is one hundred percent safe and non-toxic for humans and plants.

Insecticidal soap is by far the safest insecticide that you can use on your household plants. It is ultimately just a simple concentrated solution of soap and water that aids in preventing and killing pests.

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent pests from interfering with your plants, there are many routes of action you can take towards avoiding or ridding your household plants of any pests they may encounter.

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