House Plant Pests and Diseases
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Houseplants, despite their coddled indoor lifestyle, can suffer from insect invasion or disease. Each time you water, check for the signs of pests or disease by looking closely at the underside of leaves and leaf nodes. A compromised houseplant will look weak, leggy or pale and may show signs of damage. Some plant pests are very small; a magnifying glass may help you spot and identify the marauders.
Mealybugs suck, literally. These small, soft-bodied insects suck sap from your plants and cause leaves to fall. Look for a white, cottony substance at the leaf node. Apply alcohol with a cotton swab.
Spider mites cause small wounds to the cell wall of plants. Eventually, the plant suffers a decline in vitality. In severe cases, webbing will be visible. Increase humidity to control spider mites. Badly infected plants may have to destroyed.
About this Author
Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on eHow.com, GardenGuides.com and VetInfo.com.