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Here’s What’s Eating Your Indoor Plants – How to I.D. and Remove Pests

While pest problems are much more likely to affect outdoor plants, even indoor plants can fall victim to an infestation from time to time. Houseplant pests can be hard to identify and even more challenging to eradicate. Here’s how to spot and remove several of the most common household pests.

Aphids/Greenfly/Blackfly

Aphids eat sap from new, soft plant growth. They usually hide from sight under leaves. Their green color creates additional camouflage, but they can also be black or gray, and what starts as a small colony can quickly reproduce.

Aphid activity can infect plants with diseases or viruses, causing distorted growth. You can often get an aphid problem under control by spraying the plant with a mixture of warm water and a small amount of liquid soap. Target the aphids themselves, then wait five minutes to wash off the soapy mixture. You may need to repeat this treatment every few weeks if the problem continues.

Centipedes/Millipedes

While centipedes or millipedes in the garden can be beneficial, they can be disturbing to see when they make their way indoors. While they rarely do damage to plants, it’s important to get an infestation under control as soon as you spot one. It’s best to re-pot any affected plants, and you may need to dunk the root ball of the plant in a soap and water solution to drown or kill the insects with the soap.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs damage plants by sucking sap. They’re furry, white, and cluster together, often looking like a clump of cotton wool. If left untreated, they can cause the leaves of plants to yellow and eventually fall off. You can follow the aphid treatment technique described above to take care of mealybugs, too. For severe infestations, use products that contain natural fatty acids or ones that include a surfactant.

Red Spider Mites

The red spider mite is one of the worst indoor plant pests you can come across. While the damage they cause to plants isn’t the worst, they’re tricky to get rid of when an infestation occurs. These arachnids feed on liquids inside plant leaves, and it’s easy to determine you’ve got an infestation on your hands once you spot webs on your plants.

There are several treatment methods for red spider mites. You can give your plant a shower each week to wash off the webbing. If you’re dealing with a severe infestation, with multiple plants affected, you could purchase Phytosieulus persimilis—predatory mites that feed on red spider mites. They quickly outnumber them and efficiently remove the red spider mite colony.

Get Rid of Indoor Pests Today, the Eco-Friendly Way

Having pests in your home can damage your house plants, not to mention create an uncomfortable living environment for your family. When you need to get rid of unwanted pests fast and in an eco-friendly way, turn to the pest control experts of Evergreen Lawn and Pest Control of Orlando. Call us today at (407) 565-9250 for your free consultation.

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