Identify and treat houseplant pests

Identify and treat houseplant pests

Identify and treat houseplant pests, Houseplant pests are a serious threat. If you recognize them in time, they can be treated quickly and the danger is averted. But how do you recognize pests in houseplants? And how are they treated? We explain which pests commonly occur on indoor plants and how you can get rid of them. You will also learn how to protect your indoor plants from pest infestation.

This is how you protect and treat your indoor plants in the event of pest infestation

In addition to serious care errors, diseases and pests are among the greatest dangers in houseplants. Various types of lice in particular can make life difficult for plants. Weakened plants often fall victim to pests. In many cases, simple preventive measures can therefore be used to avoid pests on indoor plants.

If you recognize diseases and pests in indoor plants in good time, you can often solve the problem with simple means. You should use pesticides as sparingly as possible.

Houseplant pests

If your plant is sedentary, the leaves are wilting or part of the plant is dying, pests can be the cause. The most common pests in indoor plants are various types of lice or mites . You can spot some of these pests with the naked eye, while others are difficult to spot. Sometimes, however, there are clear indications that certain pests are at work. You should watch out for the following pests and symptoms:

Identify and treat houseplant pests
1. Aphids – the most common pests on indoor plants

Aphids are the most common pests on indoor plants. Like other lice, aphids pierce plants and suck plant sap. Compared to other pests, aphids are easy to see with the naked eye. You can therefore usually recognize an infestation at an early stage. on the leaves or around your plant splashes of sugar juice , you should examine the plant more closely. Aphids excrete the sugary components of the plant sap.

With a light aphid infestation, you do not have to resort to pesticides. In any case, it makes sense to spray the plant with a strong jet of water . In this way, many aphids are simply rinsed off. Protect the root ball. As a further remedy, you can prepare a solution of 30 ml each of spirit and soft soap in one liter of water. This sprays your plant completely. You repeat this treatment again after a few days.

2. Scale insects

If you discover splashes of sugar juice on your houseplant, scale insects can also be the cause. Scale insects also suck plant sap. However, they are smaller than aphids and are hidden under a hard shield. They are well camouflaged and often only discovered at second glance.

You can also rinse off scale insects with water. However, you have to rub them by hand. Be careful not to damage the plant. If in doubt, you should therefore resort to pesticides for aphids. You can find out more about this below.

3. Mealybugs/Mealybugs

White pests on houseplants are often mealybugs—another type of louse. They are also often referred to as mealybugs. They also excrete sugar juice. The appearance of these lice is striking. They are encased in a layer of wax that resembles a cotton swab. You should fight mealybugs or mealybugs with pesticides. Here, too, a strong shower helps as a first measure against the acute infestation.

meallybugs

In order to permanently eliminate the pests on indoor plants, you should definitely change the potting soil. The lice lay their eggs in the ground. Therefore, take your plant out of the pot, remove the soil completely and rinse the roots thoroughly with water. You can then repot your houseplant in fresh potting soil.

4. Spider mites

Spider mites are very small and often difficult to see with the naked eye. They are only 0.5 to 1 millimeter in size. Like aphids, spider mites suck plant juices. A clear symptom are fine webs between the individual parts of the plant. However, only one species of mite forms these webs. Other signs of spider mites can be mottled yellow or shiny silver leaves .

Spider mites need a climate that is as dry and warm as possible. Therefore, they appear very often in winter. The air in the room is then particularly dry thanks to the heating. As a countermeasure, you should therefore as high as possible ensure that the humidity in your plant You do it like this:

  • Rinse the plant thoroughly.
  • Place a clear plastic bag over the wet plant.
  • Leave the plant in a warm place for 3 to 4 days.

The bag looks like a greenhouse. The humidity in the air rises sharply and the mites die off. If this treatment is not sufficient, you should use a suitable pesticide.

Treat houseplant pests with pesticides

Pests on indoor plants can often be successfully treated with simple means. This is especially true if you spot the infestation early and only a few pests have infested the plant. If the pests have already spread further or if the populations are particularly resistant, sometimes only pesticides can help. You should note a few things.

Systemic pesticides

pesticides help against most of the sucking pests on indoor systemic . The plant absorbs these substances and passes them on to the pests with the plant juices. Systemic protective agents are often offered in combination with fertilizer in the form of fertilizer sticks . You simply stick these sticks into the potting soil. However, it requires a sure instinct. If you place the sticks too close to the root ball, the concentrated fertilizer can damage the roots. If you place them further out in the pot, the concentration of the pesticide may be too low to combat the pests.

Alternatively, there are systemic pesticides that plants can absorb through the leaves. These remedies are available as sprays.

Oil-based pesticides and contact poison

You should be particularly careful when using oil-based pesticides . These funds are absolutely non-toxic . But they can not only kill the pests, but also harm the plant. These agents work in that they form a thin film on the plant and the pests. This will suffocate the pests. However, these agents can also seal the surface of your plant’s leaves. The leaves then die off as well. You should therefore use oil preparations very specifically and if possible only on the trunk and branches .

In addition to these agents, there are also pesticides that work with contact poison. These drugs are often dangerous to humans as well. You should therefore be particularly careful when using it.

Basically, when it comes to pesticides, you should choose agents that actually work against the pests that occur. Contact poisons are ineffective against scale insects, for example. In addition, you should always use them exactly according to the instructions for use. With any type of spray, make sure that you only use it outdoors and never inhale it .

Prevention instead of treatment – avoiding pests on indoor plants

You won’t be able to completely avoid pests on houseplants. However, there are various measures you can take to reduce the risks:

  • Pests attack weak plants more easily than healthy, resilient ones. Be sure to meet your plant’s needs for light, water, and fertilizer as best as possible.
  • When fertilizing, pay attention to the correct dosage and composition of the fertilizer . Too much nitrogen causes plants to grow too fast. The cell structure suffers as a result and pests have an easy time of it.
  • Make sure you have a good indoor climate in winter. To avoid an infestation with spider mites, you can place endangered plants on a large saucer that is always filled with water. This increases the humidity around the plant.
  • With new plants, it often makes sense to put them in a separate place. Again and again it happens that you catch uninvited guests with a new plant. At worst, they will spread to your other plants.
  • If you discover pests on indoor plants, you should also isolate them as a matter of principle. In this way you can prevent further spread.

 

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