How do you get rid of pests on house plants?
1. Identify the pests
2. Try home remedies
3. Prevention is better than cure
In this time of the pandemic, a lot of people learned to take care of plants. They became an inspiration to some and a serious hobby for others. Seeing a plant slowly grow is a fulfilling experience because they are difficult to take care of. That’s why if you see pests slowly suck the life out of your plant, it can be discouraging. Today we will teach you how to get rid of pests on house plants. Read on!
Identify The Pests
If you see insect bites in your plants, it may be a sign that you have pests. These marks will help you identify what type you have and how you can get rid of them. To help you, we listed below some common identifiers you can see on plant leaves.
If you see slime, what insects can you think of? Slugs and snails. Apart from leaching this mucus behind, they will also chew the leaves. This will lead to plant death. The most common type you will find is the garden snail. They have a brown shell and a gray body.
If you see these, then you may have moth larvae in your garden. These may be a sign that there are moth eggs in your plants that can grow to caterpillars. In this stage, they can feed on your plants for about 2 to 3 weeks before they rest in their cocoon.
Another common sign of caterpillar infestation is punctured holes in your plant leaves. Sawflies are also a possible cause although they can only live for a week. But because they like to feed in groups, your plant will most likely suffer great damage.
Aphids are pear-shaped insects that like to feed on plant sap. The sap is vital to plants because it carries the nutrients to different parts, such as the leaves. With an aphid infestation, these leaves will fall out or get deformed.
If you find scars and discoloration in your house plants, these may be caused by thrips or mites. They like to eat in groups and consume plant sap like aphids. The color change is due to the virus they transmit to the plant.
Thrips are as small as needles. Adults are either yellow, brown, or black. Younger nymphs are lighter. If you try to chase these, they will fly away. On the other hand, mites may produce webs similar to spiders and look like tiny black or red specks.
Try Home Remedies
Natural pesticides and remedies can get rid of these pesky bugs that bother your plants. Just be careful and test it out in a small patch first before spraying on the whole plant.
If you keep a bottle of alcohol, you can mix 1 part to 7 parts water and spray it on plants and pots. This will help repel pests and also bring them out of hiding. It can also kill some bugs on contact.
Bugs hate the scent of garlic while the capsaicin in peppers will also repel them from feeding and laying eggs in your plants. To use these, you can either stick a whole garlic clove in the soil or make a pepper solution. Mix two tablespoons of pepper with 6 drops of dish soap in a gallon of water.
Another thing bugs hate is nicotine juice. That’s why the tobacco plant can withstand pests. You can make this by soaking 1 cup of dried tobacco leaves in a gallon of water. You can leave it longer if you want more a more concentrated spray. Add a spoon of dish soap and you’re done.
To make these, you can mix 5 tablespoons of liquid soap with a gallon of water. This can remove the protective wax from bugs, which will lead to dehydration and death.
If you want to keep it simple, you can also wash the bugs off your plant by using plain water. Just make sure that you apply it gently so you will not break any delicate stems.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
If you want to prevent these plant pests, you may try using nutrient-rich soil. Keeping plants healthy will help them repel and withstand pests. You may want to try adding fertilizers or making compost to supplement enough nutrients to your plants.
Use potting soil that is intended for house plants. Avoid reusing soil as these may have hidden eggs or bugs. When you water your plants, make it a habit to inspect them for bugs. If you do find some, isolate it to minimize the spread to your other plants.
When you first buy a new plant, observe it for a few days before bringing it inside. This tip also goes for transferring outdoor plants indoors.
It’s not easy to take care of plants because different species have different requirements. That’s why seeing your plants grow leaf by leaf is a fulfilling experience. But what if you’re doing all you can, but your plants still die? In this blog post, we showed you how to get rid of pests on house plants. With this, you can prolong the lives of your plants.