You went to sleep the previous night after kissing your happy, healthy plants goodnight. You wake up the next morning to see mysterious white, sticky, waxy things all over your plants. Or the thick, green, ugly blotch-like swarm of nasty plant pests is climbing up and down them! You get horrified to see your green babies thus under attack and begin to panic wondering what just happened and what needs to be done now.
Sounds familiar, right?
Every plant lover has a nightmare – plant pests!
Be it luscious vegetable plants, such as tomato or lemon, or beautiful flower plants such as hibiscus or roses, to spot the various types of plant pests in your garden can be a bit alarming. That is why the correct identification of house plant bugs and the common diseases is crucial, otherwise these bugs can go unnoticed and can destroy your plants right under your nose! It is also vital for any plant owner to know the basics of how to get rid of bugs on indoor plants.
Types Of Plant Pests And Ways To Get Rid Of Them-
Here are a few common types of plant pests to help you identify them with promptness and precision and say good riddance to them-
Have you noticed white, irregular shapes formed on your plant leaves, disfiguring them as if someone doodled on them? Out of all the plant diseases and pests, this one is the most overlooked one, as it appears like harmless little marks and nothing like a real insect.
That’s because it’s not an insect yet, but its larvae. These white marks on your leaves are the larvae of leaf miner which feed on your favorite plants. These typically look like white or greyish irregular lines or blotches on the leaves.
How to get rid of leaf miner –
You can find specific leaf miner pesticides available that gets absorbed into the infected leaves of the plant, killing the larvae. Spray these around the time when the larvae are about to grow into adult insects. Buy some beneficial bugs that feed on leaf miner, such as a wasp called Diglyphs Isaea and release them on your plants. You can purchase these from a reputed nursery.
Have you noticed white insects, resembling more of a moth than a fly, hovering over your plants? These most common plant pests are whiteflies. Whiteflies feed on the leaves causing them to turn all curled up and brown. Identification of plant bugs such as whiteflies is easier. Just look for leaves that seem as if covered with dark, sooty mould.
How to get rid of whiteflies
It is crucial to get rid of white flies immediately as these can spread fast and infest several plants speedily. There are a number of natural insecticide for plants that can help you get rid of whiteflies.
Ever spotted those ugly, waxy white insects on hibiscus plants? That mysterious thing which causes a real mess of the leaves, flowers, stems, and defoliation of the whole plant? Those are the notorious hibiscus plant pests – Mealybugs!
Mealybugs can rapidly spread to all your hibiscus and other neighboring plants and create a mess precisely because it’s tough to spot them early.
Identification of house plant bugs such as Mealybugs occurs only when these get into their adulthood and begin spreading like wildfire with a white, protective waxy substance that somewhat resembles cotton balls. At this stage, it is easy to notice these white insects on hibiscus plants. Mealybugs are commonly found on both sides of the hibiscus leaves, on the flower buds, the flower stem (the peduncle), and possibly anywhere on the plant. If you pay careful attention, sometimes you can even see these tiny bugs in the soil below, crawling up and down the plant.
How to get rid of Mealybugs
The moment you spot this nasty white waxy substance in your plants, you must immediately begin a proper mealybug treatment. Quarantine the plants that have got affected to prevent mealybugs from spreading. Mealybugs have the annoying ability to become immune and hence resistant to most chemicals they might be regularly exposed to. Hence synthetic pesticides don’t work so well in killing these pests as compared to natural insecticides for plants.
The best way to get rid of mealybugs is by using rubbing alcohol on them directly. It may take multiple numbers of applications to kill them. So, keep dabbing these bugs directly with rubbing alcohol daily. You can also use an organic soap to thoroughly wash your plant with soapy water to remove and kill the Mealybugs to a large extent.
If you own tomato or hibiscus plants then you must have come across what appears as thick clusters of tiny bugs growing on the new stubs and stems of the shrubs. Of all plant pests and diseases, aphids are the most common bugs among various types of tomato plant pests.
How to get rid of Aphids
If there’s only a small number of these bugs, it may not be harmful. However, larger infestations ultimately ruin and kill or your plants. If you notice only a small number of infestation, you can simply pinch off that part of the foliage where these common tiny tomato and hibiscus plant pests are located. Be careful not to throw them on the ground to avoid further releasing these stubborn tiny bugs in the soil.Put them in the trash can straight away.
But if the infestation is huge, then use insecticidal soaps to rinse your plants thoroughly. You could also buy friendly bugs such as ladybugs or lacewings that feed on aphids. Natural sprays too are effective to get rid of aphids and all kinds of indoor plant pests.
Looking For Natural Cure – How To Use Neem Oil For Plant Pests?
Not everyone likes to spray their plants with pesticides. The good news is that there are some natural alternatives that actually work. One of the effective ways to naturally get rid of pests like leaf miners and other bodies like fungi and mildews.
Neem oil foliar spray should be used once in a week to prevent your plants from the harms of these pests. Neem oil is a natural insecticide which adversely affects the natural life cycle of the pests, helping in reducing the number of larvae and in turn the later adults who lay more eggs.
But do remember – Neem oil is not an immediate solution to kill pests, rather it works gradually but much effectively if used over a longer period of time.
Also, care should be taken on how much neem oil are you giving to your plants. We recommend saying a big NO to spraying it excessively on plants. To avoid the burning of foliage, evenings or the times when the temperature is not at its extreme is the most suitable for neem application.
Identification of indoor plant bugs can not only save your precious plants but also help you avoid collateral health hazards from these indoor plant pests intruding in your home. Certain basic knowledge and understanding about how to use neem oil for plant pests or the natural insecticide for plants and how to effectively identify and treat common plant diseases and pests are vital if you love to keep and care for plants.