Winter is here, and although most houseplants are resting during these winter months, many times the bugs are not! Warmer temperatures indoors can help bug populations explode overnight. So here are a few tips to help keep your indoor plants bug free.
1.) Rinse your plants off on a regular basis. For smaller plants the kitchen sink or utility tub works great. For larger plants, put them in the shower. By rinsing the leaves every 3-4 weeks in luke warm water, you’ll be cleaning off the dust and dislodging any bugs and their eggs from the plant’s leaves. Make sure you rinse tops and bottoms, stems and trunks.
2.) Monitor your plants regularly looking for any insect activity, and react as quickly as possible if they show up.
3.) Insecticidal soaps are safe to use indoors and cover a lot of different insects – but remember, soaps are a contact spray – kills the bug it is sprayed on. So it may take repeated spraying for complete control.
4.) For sucking insects like scale, mites, aphids and whitefly, try using a systemic insecticide which helps control insects from within the plant. You may still need backup sprays of the soaps for complete control.
5.) And for flying pests like whitefly and fungus gnats, one of the best controls is using a sticky stake. These yellow sticky pads are hung within the plant. The adult insects are attracted to the yellow, and stick to the trap. Pretty simple, yet one of the most effective controls for adult whitefly and fungus gnats.
6.) One last note...when watering your houseplants over the winter, a good general rule of thumb is to let the soil dry before watering again. And when you do water, always use luke warm to warm water.