My Houseplant Has Bugs, Now What...

Typically when houseplants begin to dwindle in health, it's due to improper plant care. The most common reasons are too much water, light, or temperature. However, there are instances where plant health begins to dwindle from pest infestation. There are a variety of small insects that think your plants taste like pizza! We're about to walk through some precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent bugs and what to do if your houseplant has bugs.

Prevention

The easiest way to deal with bugs is to not allow them into your home. Taking these precautionary measures will help keep bugs off your houseplants.

  1. Inspect all your new plants. Your beautiful houseplant has just arrived are your excited to bring the new life to your home. However, the majority of bugs piggyback their way into your home from the plant nursery. It's important to examine all the leaves and soil for any little critters. Early detection of bugs gives you a high chance of recovering your plants health.
  2. Isolate your new plants. Before adding your new plants to you current indoor jungle, we recommend isolating them in a separate area of your home for 2 weeks. If your new houseplants have bugs, this will prevent the bugs from spreading to your current plants.
  3. Regular plant inspections. Washing your plants leaves with lukewarm warm every 2-3 weeks discourages bug infestations and enhances your plants appearance. With a wet cloth carefully rub down both sides of your plants while inspecting it for any insects. If you notice your houseplant has bugs, follow the recommendations below on how to get rid of them...
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Saving Your Plant

Unfortunately, the prevention tips couldn't hold off the pesty insects from feasting on your plant. Your houseplants health is dwindling quickly, we need to act fast before its too late. 

Non-Chemical Recovery

  1. Immediately isolate the infested plant from all other houseplants. The last thing you want is for these bugs jumping from plant to plant.
  2. If they're only a few bugs, you can handpick them off and remove any damaged leaves. Keep the plant isolated for the next 2 weeks and inspect it daily for any new bugs. If the plant has fully recovered after 2 weeks, it can rejoin your indoor jungle.
  3. If the plant is swarmed with bugs, spray the plant with insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap is an environmentally friendly soap (it can be made form scratch or purchased at a local store) that is designed to eliminate common houseplant bugs such as mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. 
  4. Apply the spray thoroughly throughout the plant. In order for the insecticidal soap to be effective, it must come in direct contact with the insects. 
  5. Spray your plant every 4-7 days with this soap until all bugs are eliminated.

Chemical Recovery

If the non-chemical recovery method didn't work and the plant is still salvageable, it's time to use something more potent.

  1. Choose the right pesticide. Not all pesticides are designed for bugs found on houseplants. Before using a pesticide, identify the kind of bugs that have infested your plant.
  2. Once you've found the correct pesticide, follow the instructions on the label carefully to recover your houseplant.

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Michelle -- Sitka Collection