How to Identify and Get Rid of Common Houseplant Pests
- Author: Kirti Published: 06th Sep, 2022
Despite our scorn, intruders like growing pests and crawling insects are a part of nature and might catch your plant at some point in its life. They are small and experts in hiding, and without proper knowledge, one can overlook them with ease. However, if you know how to identify these pests and insects, you will be able to toss them out of your plant’s life. So, scroll down and dive into the world of plant health for a fruitful green garden -
Scales are insects with delicate bodies that generally feed on plant sap. They commonly develop on the under and topside of the leaves. They are mostly found on ivy, figs and citrus plants. If not treated on time, they can lead to the yellowing of leaves, development of sooty mildew and ant infestation.
Get rid of scales by spraying neem oil or insecticidal soap. You can also dip an earbud in your selected insecticide and manually remove the tough waxy ones. Repeat the process until the scales are completely gone.
Spider mites are small freckle-type infestations commonly found on the leaf axils or veins of Ivies, dracaenas, figs, hibiscus and Schefflera. At first, they are black, but they turn into a white web-type structure with time. These mites can suck up all the leaves' nutrients, resulting in the slow death of leaves.
It's best to catch and remove the imposters at their arrival time because they multiply fast and are hard to get rid of afterwards. To begin with, you can use soapy water to wash the leaves and keep the plant in high humidity. If that does not work, remove the leaves or the plant altogether as these spider mites can ruin your whole garden in no time.
As the name explains, these small insects are white and generally host on the back side of the leaves. At the larva stage, they are more harmful as the bugs stick to the plant and feed on healthy saps to nourish their own bodies. However, it is easy to get rid of them when they are in the adult stage.
Just like the treatment of scales, you can apply neem oil or insecticidal soap to the back side of the leaves to shoo away whiteflies. Continue this process on weekly terms for effective results.
One of the easiest pests to look for, Aphids are small bugs which typically make homes at the top or the budding areas of the plant. Nevertheless, the Aphids have a compact life (2-3 weeks) which allows them to multiply at a faster rate.
Not only they are easy to find, but also simple to get rid of. You can drown the bugs with strong water spray or use neem oil to kill them.
The only difference between mealybugs and scales is their colour. While scales are yellow and brown, mealybugs are waxy white. Mealybugs and scales have the same effect on the plants and do the same type of damage to their health. This pest is commonly found on plants like Coleus, Hoya, Gardenia, Poinsettias, and Jade plants.
To scrape off the mealybugs, use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. For more sturdy plants, vigorously spray the leaves with water. For severe infestations, use insecticidal soap and neem oil at the site of infection until you see the plants clean and shiny again.