The larvae generally feed on decaying organic material or fungi growing in the soil. Andrew Derksen, University of Florida, Spraying insecticides outdoors prevents over-spray from contacting furniture, drapes or carpet. Spray the plant thoroughly with insecticidal soap, especially the lower leaf surfaces. For houseplants that are taken outdoors, spray with insecticidal soap, neem oil extract, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, cyfluthrin or permethrin to control whiteflies. One species feeds on the roots. Control: Spray sturdy plants forcefully with water, including the undersides of leaves, to dislodge mites and break up their webs. Butterflies and moths lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves of plants that have been outdoors. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. Stressed plants tend to be more susceptible to pests. If spraying is required, always spray late in the evening to reduce the direct impact on pollinating insects. Do not allow water to stand in the saucer beneath houseplant containers, and invert saucers beneath plants outside, so as to not collect rainwater. For more information, contact the Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. For example, sprays with insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, neem oil extract, spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t. As always, before purchasing and using any pesticide, be sure to read all label directions and precautions, and then follow them carefully. Large plants can be hosed down gently, or upper and lower surfaces of leaves can be wiped with a soft, wet cloth. If the plant is severely damaged and is not a valuable one, the best and simplest solution may be to discard the plant and its soil and start with a new plant. Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia, Imidacloprid plant spikes put into the soil will also control whiteflies. Imidacloprid plant spikes put into the soil are also effective. Several insects and other pests feed on houseplants. When dealing with tiny white bugs in soil, there may be a time to completely remove all soil in the pot or planter and replace with a new one. For houseplants that are outdoors, spray with insecticidal soap, neem oil extract or an insecticide containing sulfur. 3. Control: Remove and destroy the beetles. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. Spider mites with webbing. Imidacloprid plant spikes put into the soil will also control mealybugs. The first step in control is to isolate any plant suspected of being infested with a pest. However, for houseplants outdoors, sprays with products containing neem oil extract or canola oil help control adult scale insects by smothering. Control: Rinse leaves with water. Typically, a pesticide label will include both a list of plants for which the pesticide is recommended as well as a list of plants that are known to be sensitive to the pesticide. Avoid potentially harmful, chemical insecticides by using an organic method of insect control. Stressed plants tend to be mor… You realize you have bugs in the soil of your houseplants when you water the plants and it causes the bugs to come to the surface of the soil. Control: For plants that can tolerate it (i.e. Often they can be seen running across or flying near the soil surface under a houseplant. Insecticidal soaps are most effective against soft bodied insects and related pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, immature scales (crawlers), thrips, whiteflies and spider mites. Follow label directions for safe use. Neem oil extract or botanical oil sprays may also reduce plant damage by repelling many insect pests. You may want to treat your plant outdoors and then bring it inside after the pesticide has dried completely. While plants are isolated, carefully examine them for signs of pests or damage on a regular basis of about once a week. Scales feed by sucking plant sap. Isolate new plants from plants already in the home for six weeks to ensure that any pest brought in will be less likely to spread. Control: The plant container can be gently removed to inspect for pillbugs, millipedes and slugs, which simply can be scraped away. Pill bug (Armadillidium vulgare). Sweetpotato whitefly. Before using a pesticide indoors, be sure that the label specifies that use. For plants with flower buds infested with thrips, the insecticide must have systemic activity, such as spinosad, acetamiprid or imidacloprid, in order to control the hidden thrips. Springtail. Their color varies according to species with gray, brown, and green being common, as are mottled and striped colors. If the roots are infested, take a cutting and start a new plant. An armored scale secretes a waxy covering that is not an integral part of its body. They are typically found on leaves and between flower petals. Two-spotted spider mite adult. Provide a plant with the growing conditions that it needs so that it is more likely to grow vigorously. Scale insects may need to be scraped off with a fingernail. Leaves may drop early. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe off insects such as aphids and mealybugs. However, it is very important to always read and follow the label directions on each product. Caterpillars: Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. In most cases the treatment will have to be repeated multiple times. In general, a single pesticide will not kill all kinds of pests. Control: Wash the plant. It is often necessary to spray once a week for several weeks to control mites. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Not only this is a great fertilizer, but it will also kill & repel many soil … They are weak flyers and are attracted to light. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. Their crawlers are susceptible to many insecticides, such as insecticidal soap, neem oil extract, canola oil, pyrethrins, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, cyfluthrin or permethrin. Both adults and nymphs (immature stage) feed by scraping surface cells to suck plant sap. Others look like waxy, colored masses. For houseplants that are outdoors, spray with neem oil extract, pyrethrins, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, cyfluthrin or permethrin to control mealybugs. Pay particular attention to the undersides of leaves where pests are most often found. Some have waxy filaments that extend beyond their bodies. Always try less toxic alternative sprays first for the control of insect pests and diseases. Spider Mites: Mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders. When plants that are infested with whiteflies are disturbed, the whiteflies flutter around for a while before settling again. The immature stage is scale-like and does not move. Table 1. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. It is especially a problem when overwatering occurs. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. Adults may or may not have wings. Follow label directions for safe use. Allow pots to thoroughly drain and dry before bringing indoors. Nymphs look like adults only smaller. Both the adults and their immature forms feed by sucking plant sap. There are methods to rid your plants of these soil bugs that do not require you to re-pot the plant in new soil. They are usually found on stems and the undersides of leaves, but may be found on upper surfaces as well. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. They are very small about 1/10 to 1/16 -inch long. Dry conditions will kill the larvae. There are several precautions that you can take which will decrease the chances of having to deal with a pest infestation of your houseplants. Avoid the use of spray pesticides (both insecticides and fungicides), as well as soil-applied, systemic insecticides unless absolutely necessary. Leafminer damage appears as a winding, discolored trail or an irregular blotch within the leaf. Spray plants with an insecticidal soap. Small plants can be inverted and swished in a bucket of tepid (lukewarm) water.

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