Bringing home a house plant is like adopting a puppy, we become responsible for their well-being. Eventually, we run across difficult situations like when a pest invades the privacy of our humble abode. This guide will show us who those pesky plant bugs are, and how to protect our new baby from the invader.
Plant Bugs 1: Spider Mites
Yeah, it gives us the chills too! These are tiny creatures that reproduce at lightning speed. They form webs that can be found on the underside of bamboo palm plant leaves.
The easiest way to recognize an infestation of these plant bugs is to use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrape off any inhabitants onto a piece of white paper. The paper will provide a drastic contrast to the tiny dark spider mites.
To eradicate these bad boys, make sure that your bamboo is in a well-circulated area with plenty of sunlight and humidity. The mites strive in dry climates, by keeping the soil damp, the conditions will not be as favorable for reproduction.
Remove any heavily infested leaves by clipping them and immediately put in a sealed container.
The most effective way to remove any remaining spider mites is with a stream of water. Don’t use excessive pressure, as that might damage the bamboo plant.
A regular spray down and brushing with a soft-bristled brush will quickly eliminate any mites that may be inhabiting the bamboo.
Plant Bugs 2: Scale
This annoying creature has its own hide-out in a waxy shell! They are hard, round, and immobile discs on the leaves of beloved house plants.
Scale suck the vital nutrients out of leaves, all while huddled up in their own private bomb shelter. There can be hundreds of these things in each shelter, proving to be one of the most tedious pests to eradicate.
To remove them, take a cotton ball or toothpick to scrape the waxy shell off. Then gently apply a small dab of rubbing alcohol to the creatures beneath to suffocate them. After, simply wipe away with a damp cloth.
For more details on these military-grade plant bugs, check out this blog post.
Plant Bugs 3: Mealybugs
Like it’s fellow friend Scale, Mealybugs have a protective layer. These bad boys have a cotton-like texture and seem way less intimidating than the waxy bomb shelter of Scale.
But don’t let that fool you! Mealybugs are vicious under all that soft coating. They like to make their homes at the intersections of leaves. Once there, they reproduce like wildfire and before long, your bamboo plant is dropping yellowish leaves at an alarming rate.
It’s best to use tweezers or your fingers to pop them off, and use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to swipe over the section of the leaf afterwards.
If there’s still a concern, it’s perfectly safe to use a strong stream of water to knock off any remaining pests. Repeat as needed, and check regularly for any returning warriors.
Plant Bugs 4: Thrips
These bugs are nearly invisible to the naked eye. With that being said, it’s easier to recognize their droppings, as they are larger black dots on the leaves.
It’s also recommended to use the paper method, as mentioned with the Spider Mites above. Thrips themselves can come with or without wings so just one treatment will not be sufficient.
To rid your plant after the paper method, use a mild soap insecticide. You can find one at your local plant nursery, or even one of the bigger retail chains. You will probably need to re-treat several times, especially if the infestation is severe.
Plant Bugs 5: White Flies
White Flies are tiny, flying gnats that swarm around your house plant. While different physically, White Flies can be treated in the same way as Thrips.
The most effective treatment is spraying the leaves down with a strong stream of water, then treating with a mild soap insecticide. These Flies can also navigate around the treatment area, so multiple treatments may be necessary.
Protecting your bamboo plant is easy, even if it seems like there’s a ton of plant bugs looking at the leaves as a succulent dinner party.
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