Do your houseplants have some unwanted visitors?
It happens! All plants are susceptible, and indoor plants are an easy target for pests. With consistent indoor temperatures, no weather exposure, no wind, no rain, and not a lot of variables, our house plants may face a variety of common pest problems.
Have no fear, with a good eye, lotsa love and consistent tlc, these lil buggers can be managed organically and effectively.
First one on our list is….(drum roll please!) APHIDS
Yes, they make us a bit grumpy too. They are motivated little insects that definitely make a mess and spread like wildfire. By the way, they really love outdoor plants, so this applies to all of your plant babies!
How do you know if you have them?
First things first, your plant may look a bit sad…leaf curl, stunted leaf growth, yellowing of leaves, and death. If this is the case, get your inspector goggles on and start looking for them.
They love to gather in the nooks and crannies of your plants, and on the underside of leaves. They especially like indoor herbs, but they aren’t too discerning. These sesame seed shaped pests come in shades of green, black, red, pink, yellow, gray and brown. Fancy, eh!
They are sap suckers and leave sticky messes wherever they feed, and thus attracting more disease and other pests. Look for signs of sticky droplets beneath the plant, along with dead bodies that have dropped from the plant.
How to get rid of them?
Well, start by taking your plant into the shower or outside, where you can use a hose or showerhead on it. Spray down your plant, carefully, we don’t want to damage your poor plant friend, and make sure you get into every hidden spot on the plant. You will see them washing off! (Thumbs up to that!) Next, we suggest mixing up one teaspoon of dish soap and fill the remainder with water in a 1 quart spray bottle, blast your plants with the soap mixture, and let air dry. Remember, they love hiding underneath the leaves, so really get in there with the mixture. Inspect as you go. Another great way to ensure that they are dead is to smoosh them with your fingers or a soft cloth. Yes, we know, ewwwwww, but it is a sure fire way to make sure that they don’t survive.
Check all of your plants while you are at it. Remember pests are opportunists and they will gladly make their home wherever they have food and a place to reproduce.
Keep an eye out over the next few weeks! We are fans of repeating the above every 2 weeks until we are positive that we conquered the all mighty aphid population!
Good luck! You got this! And remember, healthy plants have greater immunity. That is why we feed our house plants a dose of our All Purpose Organic Fertilizer every month.