‘Six common houseplant bugs’ that could ‘stagger’ growth – methods to ‘kill’ on contact
Pests can appear on different houseplants and can be difficult to get rid of. When it comes to banishing the problem, experts have shared natural methods for houseplant owners to try and get rid of it. This is because some chemicals often used to target the problem can be toxic to human health and houseplants can become immune to them over time.
Essential Living experts say, “Before you can get rid of houseplant pests effectively, you need to know who you’re dealing with.
“There are six common houseplant insects, and they all look unique and cause different types of damage.”
Experts continued: “Mealybugs, often mistaken for fungus or mold on houseplants, look like white powdery cotton on houseplants and tend to cluster on the stems and joints of plants. leaves, or along leaf veins.
“Damage usually includes stunted or distorted new growth on your plant.”
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They noted, “They easily go unnoticed until the houseplant is fully infested, as you will start to see big, juicy little insects clustering on new shoots and flower buds ranging in different colors, including including green, brown, blue, orange, red or black. .
“Aphids can cause sticky residue and stunted, distorted plant growth.”
The scales can be almost impossible to spot and tend to look like brown, tan or gray bumps on the surface of the leaves.
According to experts: “Mealybugs don’t seem to move at all, but luckily they come off easily with a gentle scratching.
The pests, like most other sap-eaters, secrete a sweet honeydew that drops onto the leaves under infestation, so it is important to check the leaves carefully.
Essential Living experts explained: “Thrips are the most common pests, but again, they are not easy to notice.
“They look like little black insects with skinny bodies and pointy tails and luckily don’t have wings so they are unable to fly and stalk.
“Eventually, damaged plants will turn brown, and leaves and flower buds may begin to drop.”
How to eliminate pests
Although a pest infestation can seem daunting, there are different methods to try and banish the problem without harming the plant.
First, it’s best to isolate the infested plant to prevent it from spreading to any other houseplants. It has also been advised to monitor nearby plants for three to four weeks to see if they show signs of infestation.
Experts added: “Now wash the infested plant with insecticidal soap, or you can use a mild liquid soap, as soap can kill houseplant insects on contact.
“Some contain degreasers and detergents that harm sensitive plants, so be careful with the type you choose. Try lightly dabbing the soap on your plant before washing it thoroughly to check that it won’t cause any damage.
Alcohol can also be used to kill remaining living insects, but long-term control includes trapping or sucking up flying insects to bring them under control.