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14 Ways To Avoid And Deal With Indoor Plant Pests

14 Ways To Avoid And Deal With Indoor Plant Pests

Indoor plant pests can multiply rapidly and infest plant life throughout the course of a year. A plant and its soil harbors common garden pests, like spider mites, aphids, ants, whiteflies, pill and mealy bugs, to name just a few.

Most indoor plant pests can be easily controlled with early detection and a quick response. However, not all plants can be saved.

Spots of mold, yellowing foliage, wilting and holes in the leaves of indoor plants are all signs of a weak plant. Plants that are healthy and strong can withstand infestations from indoor plant pests better than weaker and more feeble ones.

It’s best to dispose of a diseased plant if it is not expensive and rare. Another healthier specimen can be obtained at a later date.

Ways to Deal with Indoor Plant Pests

If indoor plant pests are affecting your houseplants, a wide range of biological pesticides, such as insecticidal soap, can be used around the home without harming its other inhabitants.

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1. Use only appropriate pesticides. Carefully read product labels in order to be sure a pesticide is suited for the problem being treated, as well as ensuring the product is not harmful to the plant.

2. Use organic pesticides. A variety of efficient organic insecticides and miticides are available, including rubbing alcohol, pyrethrine, insecticidal soap, rotenone and diatomaceous earth.

Additionally, powdered sulfur is a good organic fungicide.

3. Wash plants with mild, soapy water and rinse the leaves with warm water to get rid of indoor plant pests.

4. Remove egg sacs, cocoons, or webs found on plants with a cotton swab dipped with isopropyl alcohol.

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Ways to Avoid Indoor Plant Pests

A more natural way to prevent or remove indoor plant pests is to use other plants that contain certain properties to repel harmful insects.

Selecting plants that control insect pests not only saves time and money, but it is a more environmentally friendly way to prevent and control an indoor plant pest infestation.

1. Know the specific needs for each plant, in order to improve growing.  Most indoor plants prefer to be closer to light sources and brighter areas.

Some plants benefit from a supply of artificial lighting.

2. Regularly apply the appropriate amount of fertilizer to plants throughout the growing season.

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3. Use only pasteurized potting mixes and carefully isolate new plants after purchasing, as it helps in avoiding most indoor plant pests and disease problems.

4. Improve the air circulation around houseplants.

5. Repel mosquitoes, flies and thrips with basil. Planting basil alongside tomato plants helps in fending off indoor plant pests and, in most cases, helps in growing larger, tastier tomatoes.

6. Deter aphids, carrot root flies, Japanese beetles, moths, snails and maggots with garlic plants.

7. Place lavender around plants, herbs, and vegetables in order to repel fleas and moths.

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8. Plant or place pots of scented marigolds around plants to work as an insect repellant. Mexican marigolds offend wild rabbits and a multitude of destructive insects.

French marigolds kill bad nematodes and repel whiteflies. Note: Marigolds do attract spider mites and snails.

9. Ward off spider mites and aphids with dill.

10. Repel a large variety of indoor plant pests with catnip. Catnip helps to deter ants, weevils, aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles and squash bugs.

A satchel of dried catnip helps in deterring ants that invade the home, as well. Catnip called Six Hills Giant is a good plant with sky blue blooms.

Severely infested foliage and flowers should be removed and periodic treatments of washing a plant with insecticidal soap helps in preventing and removing indoor plant pests.

Featured photo credit: House Plants Winter/Howlerbrand via howlerband.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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