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Healthy Plants, Happy Home.

Can plants be trendy? Of course they can! More recently than ever, homeowners have decided to bring their garden style indoors with the addition of a few house-plants or succulents. It’s true that plants can add life, color, and texture to a room, but what about those creepy crawlies that appear on them?! If you’re counting on those plants to be the centerpiece of your interior, make sure you know about the pests that can be lying underneath and steps towards protection.

The Big 5 of Household Pests

It can be irritating to find a pest on your favorite houseplant, but just like any plant they can be a pest’s best friend. While it may be no fun, we’re here to help identify common houseplant pests and ways to prevent them from ruining your design aspirations!

1. Spider Mites
While these spiders may not be big, they are still a little spooky. Not only can they give you the heebie-jeebies, but they can cause problems for both plants and the homeowner. Signs of damage include tiny spots or color change to the leaves. These guys can be identified by their spiderwebs on the underside or between the leaves. This is the web which allows the spider mites to move along. So be sure to look closely!

2. Aphids
Most commonly encountered by homeowners, these bugs are also small in size. They are tiny and pear-shaped bugs coming in black, green, red, yellow, or brown. They’re rarely spotted alone, and most often found on the undersides of leaves. But beware, they can stunt the plant’s growth! 

3. Whiteflies
These guys have sought shelter in your house for some much need warmth! This common houseplant pest does not do well in winter temperatures, but can reproduce rapidly in the warmth of your home. They are tiny, moth-like insects and will fly away when disturbed. They But it’s not your fault--- whiteflies typically originate from an infested place of purchase. 

4. Scale
What’s that shiny residue you see? Most likely, scale is the culprit. They can be difficult to spot due to their varied appearance, but the majority of them look like little bumps on the plant’s stem or leaf undersides. These guys can be the most difficult to control!

5. Fungus Gnats
It’s no doubt that these are a part of the gnat family for a reason. They can be the most annoying houseplant pest to deal with. These little black flies need water to reproduce, so  infestations are typically a result of overwatering. The good news is, though they may be annoying, they don’t damage your plants. 

How to Keep Those Plants Safe!

Houseplants provide an easy low-maintenance alternative to outdoor gardening which can be ideal for apartment living and busy lifestyles. Overall, taking care of houseplants can be pretty simple. However, if you find yourself battling a few of these common houseplant pests or have concerns, the steps below outline preventative measures to keep your plants healthy!

Step 1: Provide Adequate Lighting
Household plants can be great for an indoor setting, but it still important to ensure that each houseplant is getting the light it requires. Plants that do not receive adequate light can make them more susceptible to insect infestation. 

Step 2: Sterile Soil
Your houseplants are just that — houseplants! Using outdoor soil can introduce unwanted insect larvae into your houseplants. To be safe, use store bought potting mix which still contains all the good bacteria without all the bugs.

Step 3: Clean & Inspect
Cleaning your houseplants regularly can get rid of all the enticing dust and compound that insects feed on. This eliminates the possibility of mites hiding in dusty areas. Inspecting your plants can quickly alert you to early signs of an infestation. Not to mention, this will keep your plants looking healthy and happy!

Step 4: Control Existing Infestations
Despite your attempts to prevent infestations, you may find yourself battling an infestation. Dealing with current infestations in a timely manner prevents further damage to the plant. Sticky traps, pruning, and washing, can all be effective methods of getting rid of those pesky pests! 

Do You Have an Indoor Pest Problem?

We can help!If you find yourself tired of fighting these houseplant pests, contact the team at PestMasters! With 60+ years of experience in the pest control industry, we have the know-how and expertise to give you a solution that works, while keeping your home protected!

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