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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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George Zapo

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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