Plant Care Tips 04.04.19

Common houseplant pests & how to identify them

The most common pests are aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale, thrips, and whitefly.
Common houseplant pests & how to identify them

Common houseplant pests & how to identify them

The most common pests are aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale, thrips, and whitefly.

1

What causes houseplant pests?

They are are usually attracted by indoor growing conditions like high humidity or a lack of air circulation. Houseplant bugs can also be caused by overwatering, as soggy soil raises the humidity levels around the plant which creates the perfect environment in which houseplant pests thrive.

2

Spider mites

Spider mites can be hard to detect due to their small size. They are usually less than 1mm wide, and cause fine webbing between the leaves. They pierce the leaves of houseplants to get the fluid within, and usually cause leaves to yellow or discolour due to this.

3

Fungas gnats

Fungus gnats usually develop because of decaying plant mater or fungi naturally found in the soil, which makes it very important to always remove decaying leaves from the top of the soil of houseplants. They are easy to detect because they are tiny dark coloured flies that buzz around your houseplants. While the flies themselves are particularly dangerous, and are more of a neusance. The larvae is what causes damage as it feeds on the houseplant roots.

4

Mealybugs

Mealybugs have a white, cottony-like material over them, and they are usually found in groups on the plant where the leaves attach to the stems. Mealybugs feed on the folliage and can cause leaves to stop growing and becoming deformed. Mealybugs also produce honeydew, which can cause your plant to develop sooty mold.

5

Scale

Scale look like small brown lumps on the foliage. There are two types of scale: armoured (hard-scale) or soft scale. Soft scale have a powdery, cotton-like coating, whereas armored scale have a hard-exterior shield. Scale attacks foliage and stems and feeds of the sap. This means that leaf dropping and yellowing are common side-effects. Yellow spots may also occur, as well as wilting and stunted growth.

6

Thrip

Thrip feeds on the sap of indoor plants, and usually creates splotchy patches on the leaves of plants which causes leaves to turn pale.

7

Whitefly

Whitefly are pale in colour and almost translucent. They are covered with a white powdery wax, and are often mistake for tiny white moths or mealybugs. They are more difficult to treat as they fly away when the plant is moved. The leaves will stunt, turn yellow and drop off when your houseplant has whitefly.

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