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.
Dorothy Adams says
I am seeing tiny (speck size) black bugs when I move the soil around. They run very fast and are killing my plants. Help if you can. Thank you.
Tech Support says
There are many insects that can thrive in plant soil and in general, once they’re nesting in the soil they can cause damage to the native plant growing in the planter. The short list of insects includes fungus flies, mealy bugs and springtails.
Regardless of what they might be, there are several products that can handle this problem quickly and thoroughly. And they’ll be easy to administer. Here’s what you do.
Basically you’ll mix up a watering can with one of these products added to the water. Next, you’ll simply water your plants like normal. When mixed properly, the following products won’t hurt your plants but they will target whatever might be living in your soil and within a day, the problem should be resolved.
Now which one you choose will have something to do with the type of plant you’re treating. So if these are common houseplants which are NOT going to yield any kind of fruit or vegetable, you can use Bifen IT. This material is odorless and you only need to add 1/2 oz of Bifen per gallon of water to create a mixture that’s suitable to handle this infestation.
Use this mixture to water any non-fruit bearing plant you have in the home and within a day or two, the problem will be resolved. And if you apply some more Bifen using this method every 1-2 months, no insects will be able to live in the soil so this is a great way to help prevent future problems.
Bifen IT: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/bifen
But if the plants in question are say tomato vines or some kind of fruit tree like an orange or lemon tree, go with Vegetables Plus Permethrin instead of the Bifen.
Labeled for use on plants that yield edible harvests, Vegetables Plus is odorless but not as concentrated as the Bifen making it a safe alternative for crop yielding plants.
You’ll need to add 2 oz of Vegetables Plus per gallon of water and once applied, it will yield quick results. And like the Bifen, if you add some to your water can every 1-2 months and administer it on a regular basis, you won’t get any insect problems in the future.
Vegetables Plus Perm: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/veg-plus-10-perm