at one point or another all of us will deal with a pest or two, maybe three or a whole fam lol in the beginning, i brought home rescue plants and wouldn’t check them (big no, no!) sadly, this resulted in a couple plants dying due to mealy bugs. i’ve managed to save a couple of plants from thrips. as much as i try to prevent infestations, they still happen and it’s a part of having so many plants at home. read on for tips for preventing infestations and my suggestions on what to do once you’ve found pests.
lessons learned: tips for pest control
🌿 prevention is the best way to control pests – always check for pests before bringing a plant home
☀️ similarly, when bringing houseplants back inside after s/s inspect them & hose them down before placing them inside
🔍 inspect your plants regularly – i like to check out every one of my plants at least once a week so i can catch pests early on
🚿 i try to wash the leaves of some of my plants every few weeks or so to keep them dust free & to prevent infestations
😷 if a plant is infested quarantine it so that the infestation doesn’t spread
😔 persistence is key – continue to check in with infected plants just to be sure that the pests haven’t returned
🌱 if it’s not looking good, it may be time to let go & take a cutting for a fresh start
i’m not an expert & i’m learning as i grow. that being said, there are several methods for treating pests. everyone i speak to has different treatment regiments. personally, i prefer using insecticidal soap versus chemical solutions (side note: check to make sure that your plant isn’t sensitive to insecticidal soap). the downside is that this usually means a few treatments or more until the pests are gone.
my go to when a plant is going downhill fast due to pests is to give it a bath and either repot it or convert it to hydroponics. this makes sure that you’ve gotten rid of all the pests – in the soil, roots, or stem. here’s what i’ve done:
- wait a couple days after the plant has been watered so that it is in a good state
- carefully remove the plant from the pot & gently wash off the soil
- soak it in a mix of water & castile soap. i like using dr. bronner’s organic peppermint soap. fatty acids in the castile soap take care of soft-bodied insects such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips & whiteflies. plus i love the smell of the peppermint one – it’s not harmful & is said to deter pests.
- keep checking over the next couple weeks just to be sure i’ve gotten rid of all of them
- if not, i repeat this process until we’re in the clear
happy debugging!! 🐜🕷🕸