Pesty Pest Elimination Tips

Being a plant owner already has its many challenges. You have to keep track of watering, making sure there is ample light, adequate temperature, be wary of pets, if you have them, and diagnosing potential problems that will eventually arise from either lack of or too much of all those mentioned before. One thing, that us plant parents may not think about is the real potential of our plants being attacked by pests. Yes, pests. Insects that can destroy our leafy friends we work so hard to keep alive. Which is why we are going to delve into identifying pest and what can you do when it does happen. 

Just as there are many species of plants there is equal number of pests that can infiltrate them. Pests will invade your plant sanctuary through any openings from outside especially during summer, they can hitch a ride on your pet, or from a plant you brought in fresh from the nursery. From spider mites, mealybugs to aphids; the list goes on. Being able to identify them early can negate them from likely spreading to your other plants.

Spider mites are very tiny bugs that form spider webs on the underside of your leaves. You can easily identify them by all the silky threads of the web they build as nests.

Aphids are small, pear shaped insects that like to gather on new growths of your plants and the undersides of your leaves. They like to suck the nutrients from plants which will cause yellowing on your leaves.

Mealybugs are nightmare fuel off the bat. Easily identifiable by their pure white exoskeleton and visible antennae. They also gather in clusters and appear very cotton-like.

While these are just some common examples of pests that can infest your plant collection, the solution is quite more accessible than you think. 

On the chance that these bothersome insects creep into your plants, don’t fret! Your local Fern Plant Shop carries two possible solutions! Insecticidal soap and neem oil. While the difference between them is very miniscule, they both eliminate and suppress pests. Neem Oil is used more as a preventative measure overall in that it can even prevent fungi from forming, but too much Neem Oil can run the risk of harming your plants as well. Insecticide Soap will effectively destroy pests and is on the safer side, but doesn’t have the preventative properties that Neem Oil has. Good news for you is that you can actually combine these for that one two punch effect. Mixing them into a separate spray mist bottle will yield better results than using one then the other. Applying them once a week is a good measure if you currently have an infestation. Applying them every 3 weeks after any signs of pests is a good preventative practice so pests won’t return. Usually, you’ll have to do some minor chemistry when you get these in concentrated form, but they both come in a ready to use spray mix so there is no need for measuring or mixing them with anything else.  

Now you have all the basic tools you need to sustain a large collection of happy growing plants! Keep in mind is that it is good practice to closely inspect your plants every once in a while. You never know if you’ve harbored any stray hitchhikers (pests). If that is the case, feel free to ask any of our friendly Fern Team Members at any of our three locations. We can help you troubleshoot and identify what might be going on with your plants.