aphid infestation in house

Are Aphids on Houseplants Harmful – And What’s Attracting Them?

Do you have aphids on houseplants?

The time we spend outdoors is memorable. The nature experience that we get is incomparable to any material things we can buy. The human life cycle doesn’t last very long, so you might as well enjoy every stage by exploring the outdoors.

The sun that touches our skin, wind blowing in our faces, watching leaves on trees dance, and the excitement we feel when we see flower buds that will eventually turn to a beautiful living thing.

It’s understandable that going outside can be a struggle for some of us, especially if you work and take care of your family at the same time. But there’s a way to bring the outdoor experience at home, by decorating your home with indoor plants.

Most stores sell a large variety of plants, if you have time you can visit and pick which indoor house plant suits you. This will give your home the outdoor experience that you want to share with your family. Waking up to the fresh aroma infused in our home and watching your indoor plants thrive each day is heartwarming.

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Benefits of Indoor Plants

The pleasure we get from having indoor plants in our home has its downside too, we have to be ready for pest control, even if we have healthy plants it’s best to be aware of better ways on how to solve it, go through different options and be prepared. In this article, we will discover aphids on houseplants, that involves aphid control, and how to get rid of aphids including the important things that can be helpful in the future.

Natural predators and other indoor plant pests can be one of the most common problems whether it’s outdoor plants or an indoor garden. They are known as sap sucking insects, one of the garden pests that we should watch out for is aphid infestation.

Other than aphids on houseplants, tiny bugs like spider mites, other household pests, and soft bodied insects are also what we need to look out for. This crawling insect is smaller than aphids, which might be more tricky to see.

There are a lot of options to get rid of aphids, killing aphids is the only way to help the infested plant to recover. But before we go there we need to understand what kind of bug we are dealing with. Let’s explain this tiny pest even further.

What are Aphids?

aphid control indoors

aphids on houseplants belonged to aphidoidea family, that can be found either outdoor or indoor garden. They are attracted to mustard and nasturtium or any young plants that have tender leaves and stems.

They are both outdoor and an indoor garden intruders are attracted to delicate foliage and feed on the plant sap out of the leaves, roots of plants or even its stem. The juice that they suck out of the plant produces more sugar rather than protein.

There are thousands of aphid species in different colors, but you can see them mostly as light green colored insects. You can easily discover aphids on houseplants if you look closely and check your plant leaves.

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Their body has a waxy, woolly coating, if you observe them you’ll notice that aphids on houseplants release a sticky substance called honeydew that attracts pests like ants that will eventually turn into sooty molds, a fungal disease on leaves.

Few aphids on houseplants won’t cause severe damage to your plant but a large aphid population will definitely cause extensive damage to your plant.

Where Do Aphids Come From?

black aphids in house

An ordinary day in your garden, doing your daily routine of watering your plants in the morning while admiring their beauty. As you stare, you realize there’s bugs crawling on your plants. It’s frustrating to see that your growing plant is starting to get weak because of aphid infestation. But where do these crawling bugs come from?

From A Winged Aphid 

There’s a possibility that the aphid found a chance to fly and jump to the next plant they can reach. Not all aphids on houseplants have wings and some of them don’t need to fly, since they are small bugs they can be easily blown by the wind to reach its next host. We can observe our plants everyday so we can catch them right away even before they start spreading viruses into our plants and increase their population.

From Your Garden Stores

We enjoy going around the stores to just look at the wide variety of plants, and eventually shop for new plants to take with us to join our other plants at home. It’s not surprising if we focus on which plant is best for our home decoration, we forget to investigate that there might be a tiny bug crawling in your newly purchased plant. Most Aphids can be transferred from garden stores, that can be carried from outside to your plants at home.

We understand that they are too small, and sometimes we can’t really see it right away. To avoid them from traveling to your plants you can observe your newly purchased plant and quarantine it from your other healthy plants. Then you can safely bring it inside if you don’t see any trace of a pest.

From Your Pets 

Our pets need to go out daily, and we can’t stop them from sniffing around the area that is covered by plants. Dogs love playing around plants and laying down the grass, so it’s not surprising if an aphid finds an opportunity to join your dog for a ride when you get back home.

We can inspect our dog thoroughly before they enter our home, but you should be aware that not only our dogs can carry these crawling bugs but also yourself. It can be helpful if you check your body before entering into your home.

The Relationship Between Ants and Aphids

aphids on ferns

We have people in our life that stick with us no matter what, they are always there for us and protect us if someone is trying to mess things up. Would you believe if I tell you that the relationship between an aphid and an ant is similar to this? It’s fascinating how nature finds a way to survive and help each other successfully to achieve their goal.

These two insects have a great partnership that we didn’t know about, ants are protecting aphids from predators by carrying them to the food source and defending them from predators, they are capable of destroying the eggs of any predator that wants to harm aphids.

The main reason why ants will protect aphids no matter what, is because aphids provide them food, the sticky substance that is produced by aphids called honeydew are the ants favorite snack.

How Do Aphids Damage Plants?

aphid spray for indoor plants

People who love gardening and indoor house plants would understand how heartbreaking it is to see infested plants. Most indoor plant pests come out of nowhere and can damage an entire plant if you are not careful.

The real question is how do aphids damage our plants? We might think that we did our best looking after our plants but it’s normal that sometimes

They suck all the nutrients from the plant until it turns yellow and eventually die

The infected plant will eventually become deformed as they continuously suck the nutrients out of it, if your plant is not healthy enough to fight and they already generates eggs and form a colony, chances are your plant can’t make it that can cause curl to the leaves and your plants will be covered by honeydew coming from aphids.

Prevention is the most effective way to fight aphid infestation, we can get rid of aphids through several ways that we will go through later. Aphids will keep coming back and destroy every plant you have if we don’t consider the nutrition our plants have. Unhealthy plants are more vulnerable to pests, and disease. To avoid this from happening, here are tips on how to make your plant grow stronger and healthier.

Light Conditions

The sunlight duration of a plant is really important, too much and too little of it can be harmful to our plants, make sure we did our research before buying plants to check if we have enough light to where you are planning to place your plant.

Good Quality Soil

Every plant has their own preferences when it comes to the type of soil we choose, not only for the plant but we also need to consider the kind of environment such as the level of humidity, and temperature, because this will determine the moisture capability of your soil. Most plants hate to be soaked in wet soil for too long, while some plants are up for it. Aeration is also another thing to consider to give the perfect amount of air supply underground.

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Nutrients

Plants get nutrients from the fertilizer we give them, different plants might differ to others. We have to do research which fertilizer works best for your plants. You can also choose the soil with more nutrients to help your plant develop healthy.

Watering Condition

Just like sunlight, plants have different preferences on how often they need watering. Most indoor plants don’t need much water, otherwise it will turn saggy and eventually die. You should also consider the temperature of your home, if it’s warm inside, you will probably need to water them more often and less when it’s rainy season or cold weather.

Container

Choosing pots with good drainage abilities, too much water accumulation will cause your root to rot. Another thing to consider is the size of your pot. If your plant is a fast growing kind and wants it to grow bigger, then choosing a bigger pot is great. Sometimes, you don’t even have to buy a bigger pot, just changing to a new nutritious potting mix will suffice.

Increase humidity – photosynthesis exists because of the humidity, it’s true that some crops need a different level of humidity. We should be aware of how much humidity we need for our plants to grow. Don’t worry about humidity adjustments, because you can easily manipulate the humidity level inside your home. You can also purchase a humidity meter to get accurate measurements.

How to Treat Aphids on Houseplants?

aphids in my house

Before we even start to discuss the treatments we can perform to help your plants to recover, we have to make sure that you place infected plants far from your other plants. It is important to distance them from the healthy plants that will recover, to avoid the aphids infecting them too.

If you are having trouble, and have no idea what to do with the aphids on your plants? You’re not the only one. But don’t worry, the treatments are easy and affordable.

We can avoid making things worse by catching it early, you can do this by inspecting your plant daily. But here are several ways you can also do it if your plant is already infested.

Rub Them Off 

Once you see crawling bugs in your plant, don’t wait too long and do something about it before it’s too late. Aphids have a tiny and soft body, it’s easy to squish them with your finger. Just make sure you are wearing gloves to protect your hand.

Sprinkle With Water 

Since they are tiny insects, little water pressure can take them out. You can use the right amount of pressure to wash away the aphids from your plant. If you don’t have the pressure hose, a spray bottle can also remove the aphids in.

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  • FOR ORGANIC GARDENING: Can be used up to day of harvest – OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) Listed.
  • INSECTICIDE/FUNGICIDE/MITICIDE: Three garden products in one!
  • READY-TO-USE SPRAY: Spray for complete coverage of all plant tissue.
Insecticidal Soap

After washing out all the aphids you see, you can sprinkle an insecticidal soap to make sure that they won’t come back. This will help kill the remaining aphids that stayed after you wash them off.

Organic Oil 

Organic oil is mostly use to control pests such as neem oil and it is known that it works better at handling adult aphids and other garden pests. Horticultural oil works better against small pests like fungus gnats, whiteflies, or any winged pests.

Beneficial Insects

Not all bugs are harmful to our plants.

There are also beneficial insects that might actually help us to get rid of aphids. These include lady beetles, hoverflies, mantis, geocoris, thrips, earwigs, green lacewing, nabidae, larvae, leafhopper, and other insects.

Healthy Plants 

If your plants are healthy, they can fight a small count of aphids that feeds them. They can possibly survive compared to an unhealthy plant.

Thats only if you make the mistake of letting the infestatioin spread. Aphids grows rapidly and will definitely harm your plant even if it’s a strong plant.

Yellow Sticky Traps 

Looking for an easy tool to get rid of aphids? Sticky traps might be your best option. Sticky traps are easy to use and can get rid of aphids fast.

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Birds 

Chirping birds in the morning is therapeutic to most people. Other than their calming sound they can help you with your aphids problem just having them around.

If you decide to create bird houses, feed them everyday. Your garden will be surrounded by birds in no time. It will be impossible for aphids to grow their population with these cute little creatures around.

Aphids on Houseplants: Pest Repelling Plant To Get Rid Of Aphids

aphids on houselpants

Fresh herbs will also get rid of aphids by surrounding your garden with fragrant plants. Not only are herbs tasty but it will help control aphids on houseplants from visiting your garden.

Plants have their natural way of controlling aphids, it’s amazing how nature works. If you are up for natural prevention, herb gardening is for you. Aphids avoid plants with strong aromas.

Here are some pest repelling plants that you might want to consider including in your garden:

mint, chives, dill, cilantro, basil.

If you’re not into herbs, thats okay. Adding beautiful flowers around your garden is another option. You can visit the garden store near you and look for the the type of flower that has strong aroma. This includes marigold, nasturtium, lavender, petunia, and allium.

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