6 Tips On How To Protect Houseplants From Pests

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A plant is a living organism that requires care and maintenance for growth. All plant lovers put a lot of effort into caring for their plants. So when a plant starts to dry or die, it can often leave a person confused and heartbroken. 

There are many ways that you can adopt to protect your plants. Hiring pest control services is one way to prevent a major pest infestation in your house.

However, with regular care and maintenance of your plants, you can protect them from bugs while ensuring that your home does not have a pest problem.

4 Common Houseplant Pests

Many pests can be problematic for a plant’s growth. These are as follows:

  • Spider mites: These are quite common in indoor plants. They feed on the leaf and are yellow-green in appearance. They also tend to form webbing on the plant.
  • Scales: These feed on the plant sap, which leads to the leaf turning yellow. Any sign of yellowing leaves should indicate the presence of scales.
  • Slugs: These are present on outdoor plants. The best way to prevent them from eating a plant is to remove them by hand. Birds prey upon slugs, so keeping the plant outdoors may help get rid of the slug problem.
  • Fungus gnats: These pests are small insects with wings. These eat decaying roots and fungus in the soil. If your plant is dying, then these pests will be a problem for you. 
How to identify common houseplant pests — HOMESTEAD BROOKLYN

How To Treat A Houseplant Properly

1. Check plants for disease

Healthy plants live a longer life and face fewer bug and pest problems. Make sure that the plant is healthy and free from disease before you buy it. Check the leaves, the upper and the bottom layer for any signs of spots, insects, holes, etc. Also, check the soil for any sign of fungal growth. Examine the pot, including the edges and the bottom. When adding fertilizer or changing the container, keep an eye out for pests and bugs. If you notice any eggs or webs, clean them gently with a cotton swab. 

2. Grow plants in good condition

Plants have a few basic requirements: light and humidity. However, overwatering and exposing plants to too much sunlight is harmful. Each plant has different needs. Make sure that you know how much water each plant requires and then water them accordingly. Keep the plants in a proper light. If you have natural sunlight, try to place the plant in it but avoid overexposure. If you don’t have sunlight, then you should substitute it with artificial lighting. Moreover, water the soil and not the leaves.

Proper drainage is also key. Otherwise, it can lead to fungal growth and pest problems, which slowly kill the plant. 

3. Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps the plant in a good condition. Remove old leaves and branches from the plant. Also, dust the leaves a couple of times a year. You can also clean the leaves with a damp cloth or warm water. Dust attracts spiders and other bugs, which can lead to a pest problem if left unchecked.

10 Low-Maintenance Houseplants You Only Have To Water Once A Month |  Prevention

4. Use a pesticide and fertilizer.

Use a pesticide to treat a pest problem. Make sure that you use one for indoor plants. Read the product label before using it to ensure that it will not harm the plant. Likewise, if your plant has a fungal problem, you should treat it with an appropriate fungicide. 

To prevent a pest problem, you should also use fertilizer regularly. The fertilizer provides essential nutrients for plant growth and ensures that the plant stays healthy.

5. Isolate the plant

When you buy a new plant, isolate it from the rest to prevent the other plants from pest infestation and disease. You should ideally keep the plant separate for about two weeks, after which you can place the plants together. Likewise, if a plant has a disease or a pest problem, take the plant to another place to avoid the spread of pests.

6. Home remedies

Several home remedies prevent bugs and other pests from attacking your houseplants. Here are a few:

  • Use dill to kill spider mites. Spider mites cause the leaf to lose its color. A blown-out spider mite infestation eventually kills the plant. Cut the leaves off the plant that is under the attack of spider mites.
  • Neem oil prevents the growth of fungus in plants. It is a natural compound that is safe for use indoors. It is not toxic, which means you can use it on your plants, even in a household with pets and children. Pour two tablespoons of neem oil into two cups of water, and spray the solution onto the plant. Neem oil is readily available in the market.
  • Essential oils work wonderfully in removing pests. Peppermint and spearmint essential oils prevent bugs, including spider mites. It also saves the plant from fungus gnats.
  • You can also make a homemade pesticide using mild detergent and water. Spray the solution onto the leaves, including the bottom of the leaves. You don’t have to purchase a commercially available pesticide.