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How To Treat Common Pests On Houseplants

Plant Care

If you love your plants, I am sure that bugs bug you. We never like to see pests on our plant babies, but it happens from time to time. It is just a part of being a plant parent.

Some of the most common houseplant pests are: fungus gnats, soft scale, aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs. While there are a variety of different pests, the treatment for all of them is similar, just follow these easy steps:

1. Quarantine - I know that word makes us cringe at this point, but when one of your plants has a pest, separate it from your other plants. Now you can treat the plant with an issue and it is less likely to spread to your other plants.

2. Remove Bad Leaves - Regular removal of damaged leaves is important for good plant health. Old leaves make a nice home for pest and disease issues and steal nutrients and energy away from new leaves. If your infected plant has a few leaves that have a large number of bugs, remove those leaves in addition to any damaged leaves to make treating the plant a little easier.

3. Clean Leaves - Since houseplants aren't typically that large, clean any active insects that you see away with a slightly damp rag.

4. Spray Plants - Our go-to treatment is Neem Oil. To treat, spray a neem mixture on the tops and bottoms of leaves just until they are lightly coated and spray a little on top of the soil as well. Treat weekly to twice weekly, depending on how bad the infestation is. If you need something a little stronger than neem, try Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew.

5. Proper Watering - Especially if you are dealing with fungus gnats, make sure that you are allowing the roots to dry out in between watering. A favorite place for the adult flies to lay their eggs is in damp soil.

Remember that while pests bug us, they are a part of nature. They are just looking for a nice home and some food. We just don't want their home to be our indoor plants. It's just time for a little encouragement for those bugs to find another place to call home.

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