Pests are nagging and destructive. Have you ever placed a beautiful plant in your house, loved and cared for it, only to see it succumb in the hands of aphids or spider mites? You might have wondered how you could get rid of them. Houseplants are more prone to pest infestation than outdoor plants because the interior habitat is predator-free and environmentally conducive for pests. Though this is not to say you take your plants out. Just pay a little more attention to them. Outlined below are eight techniques you can employ to eliminate these plant-invading nuisances.
Wipe the Houseplant
Wiping is your first defense in pest control. This technique works for pests that inhabit on leaves or the stem of a plant, for example, mealybugs and spider mites. You can wipe them off with a damp cloth, with your hands, or with an alcohol-rubbed cotton swab.
Scrape The Pest Off
Scraping works for pests that form hard nests on the leaves or stem of the plants, for example, scales. You can scrape these pests off with your hands or with a chisel-shaped object. Be careful not to damage the plant. Deploy another technique if the infestation is populous, or else you might take an entire day scrapping.
Cut and Discard
You can cut with shears or scissors if the pest infestation is at a particular portion on a plant. This “cutting the arm to save the body” technique will help prevent further infestation. However, if the invasion is on the entire plant, do not be afraid to discard it to save the rest.
Spray Fresh Or Soapy Water
You can spray or run cold water on the plants to wash off the pests with their excrements. Spraying works for pests that harbor on the plant. It might not work for the ones that fly because they will creep their way back once you are gone. If the pests persist, use soapy water, instead of fresh. Afterward, rinse the plant with clean water. It would be advisable to isolate the infested plant before spraying. You can take it outdoor or to your kitchen sink.
Use Neem Oil or Horticultural Oil
Neem oil and horticultural oil are suitable treatments for most common pests, whether aphids, mealy bugs, whiteflies or fungus gnats. Mix 0.5 to 2% neem or horticultural oil, with a liter of water to create a solution. Spray the solution on the houseplant while shaking your bottle frequently so that the oil does not settle. The oil emulsion will coat the pest’s breathing holes which will suffocate them. The emulsion will as prevent the maturation of larvae, and inhibit mating of the pests.
Use A Hydrogen Peroxide Drench
A Hydrogen peroxide drench kills pests that dwell or lay eggs in the soil, for instance, fungus gnats and parasitic nematodes. Dilute 1% hydrogen peroxide with 99% water to create the drench then pour it around the soil to cleanse it. Aside from killing pests, hydrogen peroxide can as well prevent the roots from rotting.
Change The Soil
If the pests have luxuriously set camp in your soil, you should change it. This method will, however, work in conjunction with other pest control techniques. Gently pull the plant by its roots, wash off the remaining dirt, sterilize your pot or dish, then erect the houseplant in a new bunch of soil.
Deploy Predatory Bugs
Using bugs to fight pests seems like going against the grain. It might feel like you are creating a new infestation. Predatory bugs like lacewings and ladybugs, prey on pests. They hunt for them the same way a lion does a gazelle. These beneficial bugs have no interest in eating the plant. They usually die off once they exhaust their hunt.
Whichever technique you choose, do it consistently until you eliminate all the pests. Please consult a pest specialist before using a pesticide, as they might damage your houseplants. You can employ an integrated pest management program (IPM) if the infestation is too big to eradicate. This cost-effective program will oversee the total eradication and control of pests. Excel Pest Services abides by IPM, and they have a team trained at eliminating all kinds of pests, insects, and rodents.