Ah, the houseplant. Where would we be without it? Giving us a beautiful leafy environment, fresh flowers, a relaxing backdrop, and even oxygen, having plants in our homes is an important part of improving our quality of life. You know who also loves houseplants? Pests. Not only are pets unpleasant to think about, but they can harm and even kill your plants. Here are some ways to spot houseplant pests before they do any harm.

APHIDS

While you can usually spot the arrival of aphids on houseplants while they’re still relatively harmless, they can multiply quickly, forming thick clusters under leaves, on flower buds, or on the newly grown tips. Usually they are green, but aphids can also be orange, yellow, brown, or even black. As they feed on the sap, they can cause yellow, misshapen leaves, and a generally unhealthy appearance. Once spotted, they need to be eradicated immediately. Usually, spraying the plant with water will be enough to dislodge them, although insecticidal soap is effective as well.

MITES

Extremely small and very hard to spot, mites are actually more closely related to spiders than they are to insects. In fact, they’re so small, usually the first sign of their presence will be noticed in the white webbing you’ll find wrapped around stems and leaves. Another way to tell if a plant has mites is if you notice the leaves are sickly and mottled. If you notice this or small bits of silky web hanging from the leaves, spray the plant up and down. This will dislodge the mites while destroying their webs.

SCALES

Scales are parasites that you first might notice as brown or white bumps on stems, or gathering near the surface and undersides of leaves. Feeding on plant sap, they’ll leave a stick residue commonly known as “honeydew”. This honeydew can lead to mold growth which can harm the plant, and result in poor indoor air quality. If you spot the formation of scales, they can be simply rubbed off in their early stages. If you’ve done this already, and they won’t go away, it’s recommended that you spray the plant with insecticidal soap.

WHITEFLIES

Powdery white in appearance — and resembling tiny moths — whiteflies can infest a plant, stunting its growth, and turning the leaves yellow. If you don’t notice the whiteflies on the plant itself, one way to know if a plant is infested is if the plant is disturbed, you’ll see a white cloud as the whiteflies flutter about before resettling on the plant. Spraying with water will kill or dislodge the whiteflies, and if that doesn’t work, then spraying with insecticidal soap should rid you of the problem.

Simply keeping track of your plants’ health should be enough to keep them safe from pests. If, however, the problem is particularly severe — or persists over time — and you require pest control in Middletown, NY, call Garrie Pest Control at (800) 339-0351. We’ve been helping families eliminate their pests since 1972, and offer comprehensive pest control solutions designed to keep your home free from unwanted houseguests. Give us a call today!