How Can Pests Damage Your Plants?

Closeup shot of an insect on a green leaf damaging it with a blurred background

How can pests damage your plants?

  1. Chewing
  2. Sucking
  3. Gall Formation
  4. Transmitting Diseases

 

Pests can destroy your plants in many ways. Some can bring minor harm that can be neglected, but if an infestation grows, it may decrease the amount of greenery in your garden. If you know what these insects can do, you can take action immediately after seeing the signs. To help you, we listed down the ways how pests can damage your plants. Read on!

 

Chewing

Some pests like to chew on leaves for their meals. That’s why you can see ragged edges or even holes. Some common culprits would be caterpillars, grasshoppers, slugs, snails, and beetles. Although beetles can be helpful insects in your garden.

Caterpillars like to eat the leaves and even flowers. They can eat a whole leaf, only leaving the middle vein. They can get inside greenhouses because of adult butterflies and moths that can fly into openings such as doors. Caterpillars are generally not a problem if there are only a few. Besides, they can grow to butterflies which are beneficial pollinators.

Grasshoppers are also leaf-eaters. They live in semi-arid areas and like to chew on the leaves and stems of grain plants. Having a few in a garden may be good because their excrement can fertilize plants. But in some cases when massive infestations occur, a whole field could be damaged.

If you see slime trails aside from holes and ragged edges, this may be a sign that you have snails and slugs in your garden. They like succulents, and fruits that are near the ground.

 

Sucking

Detail of an aphid infestation, Aphididae, feeding on the sap of

Some pests can suck the life out of your plants if you let them. Some of these are thrips and mites. Because they like to eat the sap from your plants, it may cause some deformation and discoloration in your leaves and flowers. Some signs of damage are wrinkled and curled leaves.

Thrips are pests that are so small that finding them can be difficult. It is easier to find traces of their feeding such specks of excrement. If you get a magnifying glass, you will see silver insects that resemble lobsters. Leaves will also have white streaks and patches.

Another sucking pest similar to thrips is mites. The most popular type is the spider mites who produce webbings in plants. After feeding, they can leave bronze specks on the leaves.

Other examples of these insects are aphids, scales, mealybugs, and whiteflies. If you leave these pests alone, they can cause plants and fruits to have stunted growth.

 

Gall Formation

Pests can also cause damage to plants through abnormal growth or galls. This may be caused by oviposition, infection, or pest feeding which irritates the plant cells. Oviposition is the process of laying eggs on plant tissues which can also cause the death of stems and fruits.

Galls can grow on any part of the plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and even roots. Some will look like warts, lumps, or balls.

Galls cannot technically kill your plants, but they may look unsightly especially on a flowering garden. They can also serve as homes to pests where they lay eggs and develop.

 

Transmitting Diseases

Leaf infectious (leaves disease) in bad environment isolated on

Some pests who feed on your plants can also become carriers of diseases. Some examples would be mosaic viruses that are transmitted by aphids, and yellow-type viruses that leafhoppers bring. Symptoms of mosaic viruses can be similar to what plants look like after a sucking pests feed. These include discolored and deformed leaves and can lead to plant death.

 

Key Takeaway

 If you’re asking how pests damage your plants, we hope that the information in this blog can help you. Insects can harm your garden by chewing, sucking, gall formation, and transmitting diseases. If you see a few caterpillars here and there, you can leave them be as long as the damage is not large. Some insects can be beneficial to your plants after all. But if the infestation is starting to grow, it may be time to take action.

If you’re looking for a pest control service near you, you can contact us here for a free inspection. We are experts in helping both residential and commercial establishments through non-toxic solutions that can be customized to each client.

How to Get Rid of Pests On House Plants

How to Get Rid of Pests On House Plants

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

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.

 

Slime

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.

 

White markings

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.

 

Round holes

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.

 

Deformed leaves

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.

 

Discolored leaves

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.

 

Alcohol

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.

 

Kitchen Ingredients

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.

 

Nicotine

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.

 

Soapy Water

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.

 

Plain Water

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

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.

 

Key Takeaway

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.

If you are interested in hiring a professional pest control service for your home, do not hesitate to contact us. We can inspect your house for free.