Aphids are nasty little insect pests that can quite literally suck the life right out of your house plants. They reproduce rapidly and cause lots of damage quickly. Luckily, getting rid of aphids on houseplants is fairly easy, if you know what to look for, and what to do.
Adult aphids may or may not have wings, but they all have antenna. They are extremely small usually 1/12/inch or less. They come in different colors and can be yellow, orange, gray, green, black, or white.
The good news is that that they are not a sturdy insect. They are somewhat fragile and can usually be washed right off the plant.
Helpful Tip: To spot tiny pests on plants, breathe on it. The carbon dioxide in your breath can make pests move out of the way. You can spot the movement of the pest easier than yo can see it if it’s not moving.
The most common way that plants are infected with aphids is through them being present on other plants and gravitating toward new feeding grounds.Aphids can be difficult to spot.
Aphids are most commonly found on the undersides of new leaves, on young leaf tips, or, in blooming houseplants in the flowers or bugs.
When you purchase a new plant and bring it home, it is a good idea to keep it separate from other plants for a week to 10 days. You want to keep them about 10 feet away from any other plants.
You should be able to spot any problems with the plant within that time frame the breeding cycle is 7 to 40 days.
How To Identify Damage Caused By Aphids.
A primary result of damage caused by aphids is the plant dying. No, we’re not trying to be funny, but there it is.
Sometimes you may not know what a plant died from because of aphids infection is in the roots. They are particularly fond of new, young plants.
Unfortunately, the common practice of bringing houseplants outside for the spring and summer also carries with it the risk of exposing them to insects. When they are brought inside in the fall or winter aphids or other insects can hitch a ride inside.
It is a good practice to thoroughly wash all plants before bringing him back inside to reduce the potential risk of hitchhiking pests.
One thing you can be absolutely certain of, where there is one aphids there are many more. Aphids are found in dense colonies and they attack in large numbers.
- When of aphids are feeding on a plant they will often make the leaves shiny by leaving behind sticky residue. Sometimes you can see small dots of this residue on tables or floors near the plants.
- You may notice ants around the plant. This is because that sticky residue that aphids leave is largely composed of sugar, this attracts the ants.
- That sugary residue also becomes a breeding place for molds and fungi.
- The leaves or plants will start turning yellow and curling up. This is because the aphids are literally sucking the nourishment out of the plants.
- The plants can stop growing. This is because the plants are no longer getting nourishment.
Check out this quick video on a novel way to get rid of aphids:
How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Houseplants
Luckily aphids are not difficult to get rid of. The hardest thing to do is to identify that you have the problem in the first place. If you skipped the videos go back and check them out to see how to get rid of aphids in action.
Once you have identified the problem, the first thing to do is simply snip off any flowers or stem tips that are heavily infested. Carefully examine the undersides of leafs, particularly new growth.
We mentioned before that aphids are fairly fragile. They can be washed off with water. You can take the plant into the shower and give it a good rinsing, or, alternatively, you can take it outside and wash it off with a garden hose on a fine spray setting.
Although spraying off the plant with water will get rid of most of the aphids you won’t get them all in one shot. After couple days repeat the process.
If you have a small enough plant or large enough sink, you can claim them by dipping them into soapy water after making sure the pot and the soil are covered in plastic you do not want the soap to get into the soil.
If the mercy of the plant in the sink of soapy water is not practical you can gently wipe the leaves with a warm soapy water. In fact this is the least toxic way to get rid of not only aphids but many other garden passes well.
There are many brands of insecticidal soap on the market. There are few houseplants that are especially sensitive to soapy water. Mix them together in a spray bottle.
Bear in mind that whether you are using in insecticidal soap or homemade dish dish soap dilution you are not only attacking the insects but the plants as well. A great tip is to treat one or two leaves with your soap solution and wait a couple days to see if the plant reacts adversely.
Do not use soap on these plants:
- Palms Crown of thorns
- Jade plants
If you used in insecticidal soap the good news is they have low levels of toxicity and they dissipate very rapidly. The bad news, is that you will have to apply the soap on a regular schedule in order to get the infestation under control. It’s not like one treatment will cure everything.
A good recipe and soap to water ratio is approximately 1 teaspoon of dishwasher liquid to 1 quart of water.
If you prefer a commercial pest control agent our suggestion is that you use a natural one that does not contain synthetic chemicals. There are number of products available on the market that are safe around children and pets and break down into natural components without leaving an impact on the environment or chemical residues.
Another factor you may want to take into consideration is the fact that insecticidal soap and edible plants don’t go to two well together. You don’t want to be eating that stuff. So, if you have edible plants or flowers stay away from the soaps.
Watch this video for a demonstration of using soap and water to control aphids.
While aphids are not particularly difficult to control they might be difficult to spot
When you are treating your plants with simple water showers, insecticidal soap, or a dish soap solution, repeated treatments are necessary to really get them under control.
Also be very careful when bringing plants inside after they have been outside for a while
. Aphids are notorious hitchhikers in their difficult to spot.
We hope you enjoyed – “How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Houseplants”, and picked up some valuable information, tips and tricks.
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