The benefits of having indoor plants are almost endless. They clean the air and add gorgeous natural beauty to any room. Keeping plants indoors is a fun and exciting adventure. They do, however, tend to attract unwanted pests. Most pests seek warmth and moisture—and houseplants provide just that. Knowing what to look out for can help you spot an infestation before it destroys your plants. 

Common Pests that Infest Houseplants

1) Ants

These little pests love to find their way indoors to take up residence in unsuspecting houseplants. It's the perfect environment for them. Oftentimes houseplants are kept near sunny windows or on window sills which means ants don't even have to wander far to invade plants in these areas since windows are common entry points. An ant infestation can kill your plants. They gradually build their homes in the soil creating tunnels and laying their eggs. All of this activity will result in an unhealthy plant. If you see any ant activity in or near plants then there's likely already an infestation. 

2) Fungus Gnats 

This tiny flying insect is perhaps the most frustrating to deal with. They seem to appear from nowhere and suddenly there are dozens or more flying around your plants and living in the soil. Like ants, these pests can find their way in through small spaces around windows. Once they get in they seek out organic matter to feed on. The soil in houseplants provides them with a desirable environment, especially if humidity and moisture are high. They’re usually first noticed when the adults are observed flying around near windows. Adult gnats can become a nuisance, but it’s the larval stage that can lead to damaged plant roots.

3) Spider Mites

Spider mites are very destructive and often go unnoticed since their tiny webs are easily mistaken for spider webs. They typically start feeding on the underside of plant leaves. Since they are so tiny they can go undetected until plant damage is noticeable. Light-colored spots on the surface of leaves is a sure sign. Unlike other pests that invade plants and are drawn to moist environments, spider mites like hot, dry conditions so you might see them more in plants near heat vents or in direct sun. 

The best way to avoid losing houseplants to pest infestations is to be on the lookout. Usually the signs are subtle until it's a severe pest problem. When you notice any bugs near or on your plants, it's time to take action. Letting the top layer of soil dry out slightly can help prevent some pests such as gnats and ants. Keeping the area around plants dry and clean can help deter pests but once an infestation has begun pest control is recommended.

Professional pest control is your best option to tackle indoor pest problems. Our experienced technicians will effectively treat the problem areas so your plants can thrive and be pest free. Contact Spence's Pest Control at (804) 794-7738 and let us get those pests under control.