In general, the damage does not kill the plant. Scales are unusual insects in appearance. While plants are isolated, carefully examine them for signs of pests or damage on a regular basis of about once a week. Only a few pesticides are labeled for use indoors on houseplants. However, it is very important to always read and follow the label directions on each product. Imidacloprid plant spikes put into the soil are also effective.
The damage that they cause is similar to that caused by aphids. Insecticidal soaps are most effective against soft bodied insects and related pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, immature scales (crawlers), thrips, whiteflies and spider mites. For houseplants that are taken outdoors, spray with insecticidal soap, neem oil extract, pyrethrins, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, cyfluthrin, or permethrin to control aphids. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. Sooty mold fungi may grow on the honeydew, producing unsightly dark splotches on the plant’s surfaces. Large plants can be hosed down gently, or upper and lower surfaces of leaves can be wiped with a soft, wet cloth.
Spider Mites: Mites are not insects but are more closely related to spiders. Their color varies according to species with gray, brown, and green being common, as are mottled and striped colors. for Aphids, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program, Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, scale crawlers, whiteflies, Espoma Earth-tone 3-in-1 Disease Control RTU, Aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, scale (adults & crawlers), whiteflies, Rosemary Oil, Clove Oil, & Cottonseed Oil. There are several precautions that you can take which will decrease the chances of having to deal with a pest infestation of your houseplants. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas.
Always try less toxic alternative sprays first for the control of insect pests and diseases.
You may want to treat your plant outdoors and then bring it inside after the pesticide has dried completely. They are weak flyers and are attracted to light. An armored scale secretes a waxy covering that is not an integral part of its body. A heavily infested plant may lose leaves as a result of the feeding of larvae on its roots. Leaves may drop early. See footnote on Table 1 about spraying houseplants outdoors. Others look like waxy, colored masses. If houseplants are outside and beetles return and feed on foliage, spray with neem oil extract, acetamiprid, imidacloprid, cyfluthrin or permethrin to control them for one to two weeks. In large numbers, they can be a nuisance. Follow label directions for safe use. Control: The plant container can be gently removed to inspect for pillbugs, millipedes and slugs, which simply can be scraped away. US National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs Archive, USDA ARS, Bugwood.org. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products.
When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars can be quite small, but grow with each molt (process of shedding the skin). This is one easy way to get rid of the insects but a little bit demanding.
Pill bug (Armadillidium vulgare). This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named.
Scale insects can be divided into two groups: armored scales and soft scales. Mix insecticide at the same rate as for spraying, and pour solution through soil in container.
Control: With minor infestations, handpicking, spraying with water or wiping the insects with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol may be practical. Example of an armored scale adult. Imidacloprid plant spikes put into the soil will also control mealybugs.
Leafminers: Leafminers are the larvae (immature worm-like stage) of a large number of different insects. Control: Remove and destroy the beetles. With a heavy infestation, it may be necessary to discard the plant. Follow label directions for safe use. See Table 1 for examples of brands and products. They are usually found on stems and the undersides of leaves, but may be found on upper surfaces as well. If non-chemical control methods have failed, and the plant is valuable, a stronger pesticide may be necessary. Fungus Gnats: Adult fungus gnats are delicate in appearance and about 1/8-inch long. Not only this is a great fertilizer, but it will also kill & repel many soil … Often they can be seen running across or flying near the soil surface under a houseplant.
See footnote on Table 1 about spraying houseplants outdoors.
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