The covid-19 global pandemic forced many homeowners to upgrade their indoor spaces. A good percentage of homeowners opted to incorporate indoor growing in their homes.
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Unlike outdoor plants, indoor plants are easy to maintain and less susceptible to bugs. Even so, this does not mean that indoor plants are resistant to pests and diseases.
So, do indoor plants attract bugs?
Well, yes. Bugs get attracted to indoor plants. The majority of houseplants do not receive maximum aeration due to their indoor location. As a result, they tend to attract pests. Also, indoor plants surrounded by very humid conditions attract bugs.
Some common bugs that attack indoor plants include thrips, gnats, aphids, scales, and spider mites.
Therefore, if you have indoor plants, ensure you take good care of them. Doing this entails watering the plants, pruning, and constantly looking out for any diseased plants.
Monitoring your plants from time to time enables you to spot bugs and get rid of them quickly. This way, you’ll minimize plant damage.
Why do indoor plants attract bugs?
The growing conditions of indoor plants are undoubtedly different from those of outdoor plants. Planting indoors means less ventilation and high humidity. Such conditions tend to attract bugs.
High Humidity: Bugs love humid areas. They have a small surface area; hence their bodies need to stay moist. Otherwise, they would get dehydrated and die.
So, generally, bugs look for places with humid conditions. Thus, bugs get attracted to indoor plants.
Causes of high humidity
At times, it can be challenging to know whether your indoor space has high humidity. Below are some of the conditions that lead to high humidity.
Familiarizing yourself with these causes will help you understand how to keep your indoor plants in good shape.
- Climatic conditions: Coastal regions naturally experience humid conditions. This is because they are close to large water bodies; hence, they experience high precipitation levels. If you live in such areas, your indoor space is likely to be more humid. Consequently, bugs get easily attracted to your indoor plants. Some of the places that experience high humidity are Arizona and Southern Florida.
- Overwatering: When you overwater your indoor plants, you increase the humidity around the area surrounding the houseplant. Wet soil increases the levels of humidity. So, be careful about the water content you use on your indoor plants. Conduct thorough research on the requirements of your plant. This way, you’ll be able to know the right amount of water to use on the plant. Overwatering your indoor plant can attract bugs.
- Standing water: If there is standing water around your indoor plants, you attract bugs. Water your indoor plants according to their requirements. Failure to do so would make the soil soggy and, afterward, attract bugs. Also, before watering your indoor plants, find out whether the soil is moist. You can do this by dipping your finger into the soil. If the soil is damp, don’t water the soil.
Inadequate air circulation
Your indoor plants need to receive maximum aeration. The air movement around your plant will lower the humidity levels and safeguard your plants from pests and diseases. When your indoor plants receive proper ventilation, the soil dries up quickly. In turn, this prevents the growth of fungi and the accumulation of bugs.
Increasing air circulation requires you to leave enough space between the plants. Growing your indoor plants too close to each other inhibits maximum airflow around the area.
Typically, your plants should not touch each other. Additionally, keep your windows and doors open to facilitate the movement of air around your area.
Which bugs attract indoor plants?
There is a broad spectrum of bugs that get attracted to indoor plants. However, the number of indoor plant bugs is way less than that of outdoor plants.
Remember, outdoor plants are more vulnerable to pests and diseases. In this article, we look at the most common bugs that attract indoor plants.
- Aphids: These bugs are one of the most common insects found on houseplants. Aphids have a small surface area and tend to stick themselves to houseplants. They damage the leaves of indoor plants; hence they affect the growth of the plant. The worst thing about aphids is that they reproduce quickly. Thus, they can affect the entire plant within a short period.
- Spider Mites: Another common bug found in indoor plants is the spider mite. This insect is very tiny; thus, it can be hard to spot them on the plant. Also, they tend to hide on the sides of the plant and come in a wide array of colors. Spider mites suck a specific fluid found on the plant’s leaves. Therefore, they cause a yellowing or discoloration effect on the leaves. You can detect a spider mite through its fine webbing. However, you have to do a thorough inspection to conclude that you have spider mites on your plants. Like aphids, spider mites reproduce quickly. If you are not careful, you could end up losing all your indoor plants through spider mites.
- Fungus Gnats: Fungus gnats not only infest your plants but also cling to the surfaces of your house. So, these bugs can be annoying. The immature larvae of fungus gnats grow on soil and tend to feed on the roots. They create wounds on the roots of the plants. Luckily, you can easily detect these pests. They appear as small, dark flies. They like to buzz around your indoor plants, so get rid of them right away if you see one.
- Mealybugs: Unlike most bugs, it is pretty simple to detect mealybugs. These insects appear white or bright pink. They have very soft bodies that resemble a cotton-like fabric. This outer covering safeguards them from getting dry in humid areas. Mealybugs infest your indoor plants in groups and love hiding in corners. They love attaching themselves to the joint of the leaves and stems. Mealybugs are detrimental to your plant’s growth. They feed on foliage; thus, they hinder the development of the plant. Moreover, these insects produce honeydew that can lead to sooty mold.
- Scale: One of the most common indoor plant bugs is scale. Scale insects tend to attach themselves to the leaves of plants. There are two major types of scale insects; armored and soft scale. Typically, soft scale is more common. These insects appear as tiny brown lumps. They feed on sap located on the stems and branches of the plant. You can always identify scale insects whenever you notice a leaf drop and stunted growth on the plant. Yellowing of leaves can also be a sign of scale insect infestation.
- Thrips: Thrips are common pests that attack indoor plants. They are tiny and feed on sap. They cause damage to the plant that appears as leaf patches. Thrips also make leaves appear pale. The worst thing about this insect is that it transfers harmful viruses to the plant. Thus, they can kill the plant. Use the right pesticides to get rid of these pests.
- Whitefly: This pest resembles tiny white moths. The whitefly is very tiny and has a pale look due to its translucent nature. They produce honeydew that destroys the plant. Additionally, the whitefly feeds on sap. So, you can identify the white sap through stunted growth, discolored leaves, and a reduction in leaf number.
Houseplant and bugs
From this article, it is clear to see that indoor plants attract bugs. Indoor plants receive less aeration since they are located indoors. Consequently, they tend to attract bugs. Also, indoor plants growing in humid areas serve as an attraction point for bugs.
Some of the bugs you can find on your indoor plants include aphids, whitefly, scale, and thrips. Nevertheless, note that indoor plants are more resistant to bugs compared to outdoor plants. Keep monitoring your indoor plants to ensure they are in good shape.