|Succulents on window ledge|
You could have a plant for several years and never notice any pests on it, only to notice one day that it's completely infested with spider mites or mealy bugs, which seem to have appeared from nowhere.
But where do they come from?
One obvious place that pests can get onto your houseplants is from putting your plants outside in the summer.
But this isn't the only way that houseplants can become infested. Even if all of your houseplants stay inside year round, they can still have pest problems.
So where do they come from?
There are several ways houseplant pests can get into your house and onto your houseplants...
Fruits and Vegetables: This summer, I harvested some peppers from the garden and there were still a few leaves attached to the stems. After I brought them into the house, I noticed there were aphids on the leaves. I immediately killed them, hopefully I got them all and they won't show up on my nearby houseplants.
Earlier this spring, I noticed mealy bugs on the bottom of a bunch of bananas I bought at the grocery store. The bananas were sitting on the counter for a few days, I hope none of them left the bananas before I discovered them! Now I check all of the bananas before I bring home.
Doors and Windows: Houseplant pests, like soil gnats and spider mites can easily come through the screens of open windows in the summer.
Potting Soil: Some houseplant pests lay their eggs in potting soil.
|Bags of potting soil|
To keep your potting soil pest free, store it in an air tight container.
Pests can't live long without oxygen.
New Plants: Another common source of houseplant pests is bringing a new plant home. No matter where you find your plant, be sure to closely inspect it before you purchase it. Keep all new plants in isolation for a few weeks before allowing them close to your other plants.
Cut Flowers: Cut flowers is another possible carrier of pests. I bring cut flowers in from the garden throughout the summer, and have noticed aphids on them before.
Other Bugs: It sounds crazy, but bugs like ants are known to bring sap sucking pests like aphids and mealy bugs to a plant. The ants like to harvest the sweet dew that is created when these pests feast on your plants. Yuck! Make sure to keep an eye out for ants in your house.
Unfortunately these tiny pests are everywhere. So next time you wonder "how did this plant get bugs?" Think of all the ways this could have happened.