Do you ever feel like you’re not alone in your home? It might be because you have some unexpected guests: houseplant pests! Don't worry, these tiny insects are harmless and usually just stick to their favorite plants. But if they're starting to bug you (pun intended!), it's time to learn more about them.
Let’s take a look at the little critters that may be living in our homes and explore their habits so we can keep them in check - no exterminator required!
Types of insects that may be found in houseplant pots
Poor plant care can result in various types of pests on your houseplants. Dust buildup on plants is a frequent cause of pests, alongside overwatering and bringing in an infested plant from the nursery.
Four of the most commonly observed pests are:
These are not true flies but small, white insects that often appear in groups and flutter around when disturbed. Whiteflies feed on the plant sap, which can cause yellowing of leaves and leaf drop. These pests can reproduce quickly, so it’s important to take action immediately.
These are tiny, pear-shaped insects that come in a variety of colors, including yellow and green. Aphids feed on the sap from young leaves and stems, which can cause stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, leaf distortion and honeydew secretions.
These are very tiny, red or yellow-colored mites that can be seen with a magnifying glass. Spider mites feed on the underside of leaves, causing discoloration and leaf drop. These pests are especially hard to get rid of because they reproduce at a rapid rate.
These are commonly found on palms and English ivy plants that are not well taken care of. So make sure to give your houseplants plenty of TLC!
Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on the sap of plants. They often appear in cottony masses at the base of stems and leaves. Mealybugs can cause discoloration and stunted growth, so it’s important to take action as soon as you spot them.
All of these pets love to feed on your plants' sap. And, although it may sound disturbing, houseplant bugs are actually harmless to both humans and animals. Additionally, they typically do not move to other houseplants or your bed easily. They tend to stay in their current pot where they can live rent-free.
How to Prevent Houseplant Pests
Here are some simple ways to prevent housing pests on your plant:
- Don't overwater and keep excess moisture out of the soil
- Ensure adequate air flow in the house
- Give your plant the right amount of light
- Pick an appropriate sized pot for your plant
- Check up on them every couple days
Just a little care and attention can go a long way for your plants.
Most Common Plants that Are Susceptible to Pests
Keeping your plants healthy and thriving is not rocket science, but for some plants, it can be a challenge. Whether you are the proud owner of a sturdy succulent or delicate fern, there are a few houseplants that tend to attract these pests more easily than others.
Here are a few of the most common houseplants that tend to attract pests:
- English Ivy
Pests on houseplants are normal and can easily be managed. Poor plant care such as overwatering or bringing in an infested plant from the nursery can lead to pests like small whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs on your plants.
Fortunately, these critters are harmless and typically don't move beyond their current pot, just keep that in mind. By giving your houseplant regular TLC with adequate air flow, light exposure, water levels and appropriate sized pots you will help keep them healthy and prevent any pesky visitors from taking up residence!
If you have any questions about pests found on your plants, you can always contact us. Happy planting!