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Problematic Insects Are Often Hidden In Tropical Plants That Are Sold During The Winter

December 12th, 2017

Problematic Insects Are Often Hidden In Tropical Plants That Are Sold During The Winter

Winter is obviously not the time of year when people want to venture outdoors. This means that people spend much more time indoors than they normally would. So why not spruce up your home? It does not come as a surprise to learn that houseplants are most commonly purchased during the winter months when people are stuck indoors. Most people would probably never consider the possibility of an insect presence on the houseplants that are sold to consumers during the freezing cold winter season. However, insect pests can easily gain entrance to your home by hitching rides on new houseplants. Sometimes, houseplants that are sold in stores can even contain exotic insects or spiders that can be problematic. These exotic bugs can remain hidden within plants as they travel to America from foreign locations. This is why tropical and exotic looking plants may be hiding an arthropod traveler/s.

It is always a good idea to examine houseplants before purchasing them from a store. The insects that are commonly found on tropical plants sold during the winter season are mealybugs and scale insects. These two insects are closely related and they are easy to miss when purchasing a houseplant. Although mealybugs are often white or grey, they have been known to hide within certain areas of a houseplant, such as the crown of the plant or within leaf-curls. Scale insects, on the other hand, can be easily missed by consumers since these bugs easily blend in with a plant’s features. Both mealybugs and scale insects feed on sap secreted by plants. This feeding leads to unhealthy and stressed plants. The stress caused to plants as a result of the feeding habits of these two insects can eventually lead to the death of the plant. These two bugs also secrete honeydew which stains plant leaves. This honeydew can also attract ants and/or grow mold. Always inspect plants for signs of stress as well as insects and their eggs.

Have you ever discovered insects or spiders in a houseplant? If you have, were the insects or spiders feeding on the plant?

 

 

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