It’s time to take care of your houseplants! Find out how to get rid of common pests – spider mites and thrips. 

Houseplants – there is a lot of work to do with them!

If you want to have beautiful houseplants at home, you must be ready to constantly work on them. Everyone who has decided to do such breeding knows this. One of the bane of the home plant grower is pests. They are often spider mites and thrips. Check how to deal with them quickly and effectively. 

Thrips – what is it?

Thrips are a real nuisance for any plant grower. These pests suck the sap out of plants! They appreciate warm and dry places. You will recognize them by the delicate webs with which they entwine plants. They are difficult to spot with the naked eye, since the body of the spider mite reaches a length of up to 0.8 mm. They can feed on a variety of specimens – they like to settle on ornamental plants, shrubs and fruit trees. By sucking the sap, they disrupt the assimilation process, so that the plant begins to die. In winter, on the other hand, they are encountered primarily on potted plants, since the climate of a warm apartment is ideal for them. 

How to combat spider mites?

If you notice yellowish discoloration of leaves on your potted plants, there is a high risk that they are infected by spider mites. If the damage is not yet extensive, it is a good idea to put the plant in the bath or shower and spray, then put a plastic bag over the leaves. Leave the pot like this for a few days, which will create a moist microclimate in which the pests will not survive. Other ways to deal with spider mites include bringing their natural enemies – ladybugs or predatory arachnids – to the plant. You can also spray the leaves with a soapy spray, which is a simple and natural method. Some people also appreciate an infusion of field horsetail in the fight against spider mites.

What are thrips? 

They are insects that resemble small-sized black dashes. They feed on sap and plant tissues. They appear mainly on leaves. You can notice their presence by tiny spots or silver coloring on the surface of plants. How is the easiest way to check if our plant is infested by this pest? Place a white piece of paper under it. Shake the plant and observe what appears on the piece of paper – if the characteristic “dashes” appear, then you are dealing with thrips. They are dangerous because they can even lead to the complete destruction of the plant. 

How to control thrips?

To combat thrips, put the plant in a moist room or put a wet towel on the radiator. Another way is to wipe the plant’s leaves with wet wipes at least twice a day. You can also wash the underside of the leaves with soapy water or dab a clove of garlic. Carry out the treatment for two weeks.

main photo: Earl

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Angelina Schultz

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