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Little white bugs killing my houseplants!
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beautyisfoundwithin · 24/06/2022 17:03

In recent months I've had several houseplants completely infested with tiny little white insects, I've tried getting rid of them with a spray but they just keep coming back. They are killing off the plants and leaving a sticky mess all over the windows and windowsills. I've already had to give up on a few plants and throw them away but I really don't want to lose any more 😩 Does anyone have any advice on how I can get rid of them for good please? Photos attached.

Little white bugs killing my houseplants! Little white bugs killing my houseplants!
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gingersplodgecat · 24/06/2022 18:08

They are whitefly. Try treating them, leaving it a couple of days and then give the plant a shower with a watering can or gentle hose to get the gunge off.

Depending on what sort of plant, they might be ok stood outside in the shade for the rest of the summer. Whitefly tend to be worse indoors or in a greenhouse for some reason.

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MereDintofPandiculation · 24/06/2022 20:35

Not whitefly. If you expand the photos, you can see clearly that the ones in the second picture are aphids/greenfly.

The ones in the first photo are actually discarded skins of the aphids. As an aphid grows, it casts off its skin which is now too small for it, and expands into the larger skin that it has grown underneath. picture here

You’ll not get rid of them for good, they’re amazingly prolific and give birth to live young ready to start chomping immediately. (Actually not chomping, they insert a tube into the plant and the sugary sap just oozes up the tube into the aphid). So even missing one or two means you are back to infestation levels. And that's not mentioning the winged individuals that arrive ready to recolonise. So you’ll have to stay vigilant.

Start by washing them off under a tap. Hold the pot with your hand over it so you don’t lose too much soil, and put the plant under a fast running tap. Then spray with water with a dash of washing up liquid - this will suffocate the rest (they breathe through their skin which they can’t do if it’s wet).

Then just inspect the plants every few days. The aphids will gather near the soft tips, and are easily squished by running finger and thumb up the tip. They’re mainly sugar and water so it’s not that revolting..

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MereDintofPandiculation · 24/06/2022 20:36

You can put the plants outside near the bird feeder, but slugs may be a worse problem

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beautyisfoundwithin · 24/06/2022 21:17

Thank you so much @MereDintofPandiculation! I could tell whatever was in the two pictures was different but I thought it was unlikely to be two completely different insects attacking my plants so assumed it must be somehow the same infestation! Really useful advice, I'll give it a go and hope it works 🤞🏻

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kumquattish · 25/06/2022 07:34

Also try neem oil. I only recently heard about it, and it seems effective for my indoor plants! You mix with water and spray.

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beautyisfoundwithin · 01/07/2022 20:03

Thanks @kumquattish!

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Notanotherwindow · 01/07/2022 20:07

Try and gather some ladybirds and put on them. They'll eat the little fuckers.

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Random789 · 01/07/2022 20:15

In addition to all the good suggestions already made, it's important to just make sure you are giving the plants what they need in general. Plants are way more vulnerable to infestation when they are stressed. Make sure they have enough water, adequate feed, and the right amount of light. At this time of year there is a real danger of houseplants cooking on harshly sunlit hot windowsills, which makes them less able to fight off pests.

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MereDintofPandiculation · 02/07/2022 10:09

Notanotherwindow · 01/07/2022 20:07

Try and gather some ladybirds and put on them. They'll eat the little fuckers.

But don’t apply neem oil if you have ladybirds/larvae. It’ll kill them as well

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