Four Common Houseplant Pests

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Cozy corner at homeYou may be thinking that because your plants are inside your house, it is already safe from these nefarious creatures called pests. However, house plants have their own share of suffering as their contemporaries in the garden.

Who are these houseplant pests?

Clemson University Home and Garden Information Center says several pests feed on houseplants and they usually enter the home through newly purchased plants or through plants that you displayed outside during the summer. Don’t be complacent about these pests because they can kill your houseplants and make them look terrible. Here are some of the most common houseplant pests:

  1. Mealybugs

This pest has a friendly name, which is ironic because it is not friendly to your houseplants at all. Mealy bugs are often identified only when they have reached adulthood because that’s the time they produce a cottony covering on their body. These pests pierce leaves and stems to suck the sap from plants.  But that’s not all the damage mealybugs do to your plant, they also excrete a sugar-rich substance called honeydew, which invites other pests to come such as the dangerous sooty mold and red ants.

  1. Aphids

Like mealybugs, aphids can also infest your houseplant and also ingest plant sap by piercing leaves and stems, causing stunted growth to your beloved house plants. They also produce honeydew, which also attracts ants and sooty molds. The difference between aphids and mealybugs is that they are bigger and they come in different colors—green, yellow, white, black and sometimes even colorless.

  1. Spider mites

Who says that evil can’t come in minute packages? Meet spider mites, one of the most serious enemies of your houseplants. They don’t only cause stunted growth, they also stop the growth of the plants by killing them.  Spider mites are very small. You can hardly see them with your naked eye, but they cause serious damage to plants if left alone. If the underside of the leaves have yellow pinprick discoloration, you may have spider mites. To verify, get a white sheet of paper and place it under the leaf with discoloration, give the leaf a slight tap and look for small moving critters on the paper. If you see these minute critters, then you have spider mites.

  1. Thrips

Thrips use their rasping mouthparts to scrape the leaves and flower to feed on the sap that’s released. They cause irregular, silver colored streaks or splotches on the leaves and distort the flower of your poor houseplant.  You may find it hard to see thrips because they are so small. However, if you see little thread-looking things on the leaves, that’s a good indication that the thrips are there to make your houseplant suffer. Adult thrips are usually dark in color while the young ones vary in color ranging from white, yellow, and orange.

Caring for Your Houseplants

Even though they are inside your home, your houseplants are not totally safe from pests like mealybugs or aphids. It is important to check your plants at least once a week for signs of infestation.  You can then ask your friendly pest control company for any recommendations on how to take care of these pest problems. A trusted pest control company in Springfield Missouri is Antman. 417-880-2687.

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