Houseplant Pest Control

Houseplant Pest Control

Winter is the perfect time to tend to your indoor gardening. Even though most houseplants remain dormant, sneaky pests need to be kept at bay. Our homes are warm and dry, the perfect conditions for pests to become active. Some of the worst pest offenders are spider mites, mealy bugs, and fungus gnats. We’ve listed steps to take if your plants are under attack by any of these pesky pests.

spider mites on plant

Spider mites are very tiny spiders usually found on the undersides of leaves. The symptoms will be webbing or yellowing of foliage.

  • Quarantine the infected plant.
  • Place the plant in the sink or shower and thoroughly wash off foliage.
  • Allow the plant to dry before spraying with a pesticide.
  • Spray plant with Bonide brand Mite X Miticide, Eight, Insecticidal Soap or Monterey brand Neem Oil. Follow all label instructions.

 

scale on cactus

Scale is small, raised brown bumps on the undersides of leaves or leaf stems. Insects are under this protection. Symptom will appear as sticky residue dripping on to foliage or table.

  • Quarantine the infected plant.
  • Place the plant in the sink or shower and thoroughly wash off foliage.
  • Allow the plant to dry before spraying with a pesticide.
  • Spray plant with Bonide brand Eight, Insecticidal Soap, or Monterey brand Neem Oil. Follow label instructions.
  • Apply granular pesticide as secondary pest control. Systemic Houseplant Control (Check for availability) and follow label instructions.
mealybugs on dracaena

Mealybugs appear as white, sticky clumps found on the undersides of leaves or on stems. Insects are under this protection.

  • Quarantine the infected plant.
  • Place the plant in the sink or shower and thoroughly wash off foliage
  • Allow the plant to dry before spraying with a pesticide.
  • Spray plant with Bonide brand Eight, Insecticidal Soap, or Monterey brand Neem Oil. Follow label instructions.
  • Apply granular pesticide as secondary pest control. Systemic Houseplant Control (Check for availability) and follow label instructions.
fungus gnats with houseplant

Fungus gnats are small flying insects among your plants.

  • Quarantine the infected plant.
  • Fungus gnats usually appear because the soil is too wet. Make sure the plant is not sitting in water. Adjust the watering schedule.
  • Allow the soil to dry down a bit.
  • Disturb the soil surface to prevent the next generation of gnats from hatching.
  • Use a sticky trap to catch the flying adult gnats
  • Use Summit brand Mosquito Bits as directed on the package.

Follow the steps listed above for pest control and recheck every 7-10 days for pest activity. Respray as indicated on pesticide labels. Monitor the plants as needed as breakouts may still occur. Move your houseplants into as much direct sunlight as is available.

Buy new houseplants

January is the time to take stock of your houseplant collection. Maybe you need a few more plants to bring in more greenery to your home. Visit any Al’s location for a new plant to add to your collection. Our buyer orders new plants every week. Fresh orders are in our stores by Friday of every week. Highlights this month include Alocasia, hanging baskets of Pothos, ferns and succulents and blooming plants like African Violets, Anthuriums, and Kalanchoes.

Mark your calendars

In thinking about the next few months, wait until April to transplant and fertilize your plants. It is better to wait until there are more hours of sunlight. Indoor plants become more actively growing once the days get longer.

Join us at our Houseplant Swap January 28th, 1-3pm, all store locations.

 


3 comments


  • Sandra Woolverton

    My biggest pests are squirrels. I am a condo owner and plant in boxes and pots. They love my primroses. I’ve tried cayenne pepper, Forks, tines up . Any sug


  • Joy Bowden

    What would be chewing on my winter pansies? I had trouble with these same pots of petunias. Some petals have tiny spot wounds as well as chewing of the edges of leaves. I used Capt. Jack before but it didn’t take care of the problem.


  • Nicole Luu

    How do I get rid of squirrels and birds not eating my gardens and flowers pot?. I have tried couple methods seems not to work


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