Houseplants and their uninvited friends
Indoor growing conditions, such as high humidity or a lack of air movement, generally attract uninvited house guests. Overwatering can also create living conditions for houseplant pest, as damp soil enhances humidity levels surrounding the plant, creating the ideal setting for houseplant pests to thrive.
Mealybugs have a white, cottony-like appearance, and they are usually found in clusters on the stem where the leaves. Mealybugs feed on the folliage of your plant and can cause leaves to stop growing or becoming deformed.
Whilst in the wild decomposing plant matter or fungi naturally found in the soil, help fertilise plants. In indoor conditions, they promote Fungus gnats which makes it very important to always remove decaying leaves from the top of the soil of houseplants. We have all seen the tiny dark coloured flies that buzz around your houseplants. While the flies themselves are more annoying than dangerous. The larvae are what causes damage as it feeds on the houseplant roots.
Because of their small size, spider mites can be difficult to detect. They usually have a width of less than 1mm and generate tiny webbing between the leaves. They penetrate the leaves of houseplants to extract the fluid inside, which causes the leaves to yellow or discolour.
Scale appears as little brown lumps. Armoured (hard-scale) and soft-scale scales are the two forms of scale. Soft scales have a powdery, cotton-like layer, whereas armoured scales have a hard shield on the outside. Scale feeds on the sap and attacks the leaves and stems. As a result, leaf drop and yellowing are also common adverse effects. Yellow patches, wilting, and stunted development are all possibilities.
Thrips are little, straw-coloured insects with thin feathered wings that are a frequent houseplant pest. They're so little that they're difficult to notice with the naked eye, but they're sometimes easier to spot as an animated line travelling across the leaf's veins when disturbed. Blotchy reddish-brown discolouration can also indicate the presence of a thrips infestation. They can reproduce asexually, and because there are no natural predators in indoor environments, they can rapidly multiply and inflict severe damage. Thrips are one of the most difficult bugs to control among common houseplant pests.