Houseplants Pests, Identification and Control

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No matter how much we may try to avoid pests, houseplants may sometimes get infested by pests. The key thing is to be on the look out for any pest infestation and to carry out control measures immediately they are noticed.

If controlled on time, pests are unlikely to cause any serious damage to houseplants.

However, if they are left untreated, they can spread very fast and cause serious damage or even loss of houseplants.

Regularly inspect your houseplants for signs of pests and treat them immediately.

Common Houseplants Pests, Identification and Control.

Mealy Bugs

Houseplant Pest, Mealy Bugs

These are white, soft-bodied, cottony-looking, sap-sucking insects. Large clusters occur on stems and under the leaves of many houseplants. A serious attack can lead to wilting, yellowing and leaf fall.

They also excrete large amounts of honeydew which is a fertile ground for black sooty mold. Learn more and how to control mealy bugs from your houseplants.

Aphids

Houseplant Pests, Aphids

Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects also commonly called Plant Lice. They are sap-sucking insects which are usually green but may be black, grey or orange.

All plants with soft tissues can be attacked by aphids; the shoot tips and flower buds are the most often attacked. Learn more and how to control aphids from your houseplants.

Red Spider Mites

Houseplants Pest, Red Spider Mite

These are minute sap-sucking insects which infest the underside of leaves of almost all houseplants growing in hot and dry conditions.

They cause yellow blotches on the upper surface of the leaves and the leaves fall prematurely. Learn more and how to control red spider mites from your houseplants.

Scale Insects

Houseplants Pests, Scales

These are small, brown discs attached to the underside of leaves and on the stem. They are covered with an outer waxy shell which protect them from chemical penetration.

A heavy infestation may cause yellowing of leaves and produce a sticky honeydew which is a fertile ground for black sooty mold. Learn more and how to control scale insects from your houseplants.

Fungus Gnat

houseplant Pest, Fungus gnat

Fungus gnats are a major problem in houseplants. The small, black, flying adult is harmless. The problem is that it lays eggs in the soil which hatch into tiny, black-headed maggots which are harmful.

These maggots normally feed on organic matter but they can devour young roots. The gnats are troublesome in over-damp conditions. Learn more and how to control fungus gnats from your houseplants.

Whiteflies

Houseplants Pests, Whitefly

These are tiny, white moth-like insects which occur in clusters on the underside of leaves. They are common in Begonia, Fuchsia, Impatiens and Pelargonium.

They are sap-sucking insects, which secrete a honeydew sticky substance which attracts a sooty black mold. Learn more and how to control whiteflies from your houseplants.

Thrips

Houseplants Pests, Thrips

Thrips are tiny black insects which fly or jump from leaf to leaf, causing tell-tale silvery streaks.

The worst damage is on flowers which become spotted and distorted. Learn more and how to control thrips from your houseplants.

Cyclamen Mites

Houseplants Pests, Cyclamen Mites

Cyclamen Mites are minute mites, looking like a film of dust on the underside of leaves. The pests will flourish in humid conditions.

Infested houseplants are stunted, have curled leaf edges, twisted stems and withered flower buds. Learn more and how to control cyclamen mites from your houseplants.

Nematodes

Houseplants Pests, Eelworm

Nematodes also called eelworms are microscopic soil-living worms whose presence is marked by plant collapse for no apparent reason.

A look at the roots shows swellings (knots) which interfere with absorption of water and nutrients. Learn more and how to control nematodes from your houseplants.

Vine Weevil

Houseplants Pest, Vine Weevil

The adult bettles of the vine weevil attack the leaves but it is the creamy-white grubs (larvae) which causes the real damage.

They live in the soil where they rapidly devour roots, bulbs and tubers. Learn more and how to control vine weevil from your houseplants.

Earwig

Houseplants Pests, Earwigs

Earwig is a dark-brown pest with a pincer-like tail. It hides during the day and feeds at night on the leaves and the flower buds. Learn more and how to control earwig from your houseplants.

Caterpillars

Houseplants Pests, Caterpillar

Many types of caterpillars can infest houseplants but rarely do they attack plants that are grown indoors.

The caterpillars vary in color from green, red, brown or black.Learn more and how to control caterpillars from your houseplants.

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