Whether it's a potted houseplant or a bunch of flowers, you may not realize that basically any plant material can harbor insects. Some of these insects will simply die in the vastly different environment of your home's interior, but there are some that could thrive, multiply, and become a real nuisance. Here are four plant insects to watch out for.
Yes, cockroaches are nasty, and yes, they can invade your home through plants. But no, this doesn't mean you can never bring a plant into your house again. Unlike some of the other potential pests riding on a new houseplant, cockroaches are likely to be large enough to see (although they can vary considerably in size based on age), so simply inspect each plant or bouquet thoroughly before letting it in the house.
On the flip side, if you do discover cockroaches in your home, don't immediately blame your flowers; there are plenty of other ways for roaches to get in, such as through the air vents, drains, or a tiny gap by the door. Unfortunately, since roaches don't like to be seen, by the time you catch one out in the open, you probably have lots more where that came from.
A professional pest control company can provide highly effective poisoned bait that targets roaches better than the commonly available poisons you'd find in the grocery store. So you should contact a professional extermination company if you notice any cockroaches in your home.
2. Carpet Beetles
Carpet beetles are sneaky. The adults eat pollen, so they may just be hanging out on that bouquet or beautiful potted plant you've just brought home. But the larvae feed on wool and other natural fibers, meaning that not just your carpets, but your clothes are at risk, too. Carpet beetles can also attack items such as:
- Taxidermy specimens
- Leather shoes
The list could go on, but the basic gist is that these larvae can feed on basically any natural fibers, especially animal fibers. Fortunately, one adult beetle coming in on a bouquet isn't likely to kick off a huge infestation all at once. However, once you've noticed an infestation, it's high time to call for pest control.
Pest control techniques for carpet beetles include heat treatments, chemical treatments, and deep cleaning the entire affected area, plus follow-up home care such as regular DIY inspections and frequent cleaning.
3. Spider Mites
These pesky insects are so tiny that you may not realize they've infected your plants until leaves start dying. The easiest sign to detect is the cobweb-like structures they create. Look closely at the cobweb - if there are tiny moving specks on it rather than one spider, you likely have a spider mite problem.
The reason spider mites are such a problem for houseplants is that by bringing the mites into your home, you've provided an ideal atmosphere and a virtually predator-free zone for them. The mites love the lower light levels and the controlled humidity and temperatures in your home, so they may simply proliferate once they've invisibly hitched a ride into your home.
In some cases, you may simply be able to ditch the affected plant before it infects others. But if you have a large plant collection and you'd prefer not to start over, you may need some hard-hitting professional pest control help.
Like cockroaches, earwigs can thrive either inside your home or outside in the garden. When outside, they eat plants and small insects. When inside, they may forage in the kitchen or munch on your houseplants.
If you find you have a lot of earwigs, you may need to call for pest control. An exterminator can help you develop a plan that integrates not only killing the pests you have, but also involves altering the environment to avoid attracting more earwigs.
These four types of pests can get into your house via your plants, bouquets, or other outdoor items that you bring indoors. Whether you've successfully identified the source of your infestation or not, feel free to give All State Termite & Pest Control a call today to discuss how we can help you treat your infestation and avoid further problems in future.