Having houseplants can make for a wonderful experience when you first walk in the door. Not only do your houseplants make your house look better, they also make it healthier by produce fresh air and getting rid of the excess carbon dioxide in your house. This is nothing to sneeze at either since the air in our house is much worse for us then the air we breath outside.
That being said there is a downside to having house plants. The downside is being the house plants bugs but if handled properly, having houseplants can really be a wonderful thing.
Insects are unavoidable if your plants are not properly taken care of and even if they are well taken care of house plants bugs can turn up through no fault of your own.
A lot of the house plants bugs are brought into your house when you buy plants that are already infected without your knowledge. You should always carefully check your new plants for bugs before you put them by any of your other plants. When your able to keep your new plants in quarantine to avoid the infestation of your older plants.
The other reason for house plants bugs is if you are not taking care of your plants properly. While some of the house plant bugs are not harmful to your plants at all other will slowly kill your houseplants by using the nutrients that your plant need to survive. That and if you are like me, having thousands of soil knats in my house is something I simply will not stand for.
Here are some common house plants bugs to be on the lookout for:
Soil Knats – You know your plant has soil knats when you water your plant and the dirt starts to move and you have little bugs flying all over your house.
Aphids – You can detect aphids by looking for small spots on the surface of the parts of the plant.
Mealy Bugs – They look like small cottony like cysts.
Scales - Scales are hard to find because they live on the root of the plants.
Spider Mites – You can find these by looking for their little webs.
So know that you know what the houseplants bugs are how do you get rid of them?
1. For many of the larger bugs you can simply handpick them off. Using a portable vacuum cleaner is advisable for getting rid of white flies.
2. Syringing House Plants. Use a jet of water to knock the bugs off of the plants.
3. Make small changes in the watering of your plants. Soil that is to moist is a breeding ground for many bug and desert dry soil is perfect for spiders.
4. Use traps – Those sticky yellow traps work great for catching houseplant bugs.
5. Getting rid of sick and highly infested plants before they have a chance to infest the rest of your plants.
6. This is specific to soil knats. Soil knats multiply by the thousands everyday because they only have a life span of 24-48 hours. They also love moist dirt. The first time I got soil knats I got this great idea to try to drown them out by watering the plants heavy. Bad move! They loved it. I tried everything I could think of to get rid of those buggers. What finally worked was sticking a basil plant next to the infected plants.
I have no idea! All I know is that the soil knats disappeared completely within 3 days and what is more, I love to cook with fresh herbs so I like having my basil plants.
No matter what kind of house plants bugs you get with a little bit a work and determination you can get rid of them and still have wonderful healthy houseplants.