I just finished reading your pages on whiteflies. I need help, how can I tell that is what is on my plants. All these look like are little tinny nits. I have my plants indoors at work. I first saw them on a poinsettia that I have had for over a year, and it is still nice and green, and very leafy. Then I brought in a Plumaria plant due to the cold weather and thought the lighting at work would help it. Then for Thanksgiving I got a Croton. I want to take my plants home but I don’t want these things in my apartment. How do I know if they are whitefly or some of the other bugs I have been reading about. Please help me.
There are many species of insect pests which can live on potted plants. The list is long and since these insects can be so small, trying to photograph them can be tough unless you have special equipment. The good news is you shouldn’t fret too much over the exact species. Think about it; what you’re really concerned about here is the overall health of your plants, correct?
If in fact you’re mostly concerned about the welfare of your plants, I suggest taking a pro active approach regardless of what insect is involved. Today’s products for plant pest control are so advanced most can handle a wide range of insects. In fact, we have some organic sprays which are easy to use, will control most any insect and are all approved for organic gardening. Two that work well are the 3 IN 1 CONCENCENTRATE and the MULTI PURPOSE INSECT KILLER. Both of these are concentrated and can be mixed up in small amounts as needed. Many of our customers will get a small QUART SPRAYER, mix up 16-32 oz of spray and treat as needed.
A good routine is to treat the plant lightly at least 1-2 a month; more if needed and you are finding live pests. It’s also a good idea to the treat the soil of all your plants. This can be done by misting over it for 10-20 seconds per plant. In most cases it won’t be necessary to saturate the soil because when you water your plants, the treatment will permeate and percolate down as the water filters down and carries it along. This type of treating won’t bother the plants and in fact they will be all the more healthy and happy as a result.
Here are direct links to the products mentioned above. If you start treating the infected plants as described, I’m sure you’ll be able to knock out whatever you see right now whether they’re white flies, mealybugs, aphids, scale or any of the other common pests common to the plants you’re growing.