Be Sure to Check Your Houseplants

How are your houseplants doing?  If the holidays were a rush and you only had time to water them quickly between travel and activities, then this is a good time to pause and spend some time with them. Unfortunately, when you do you may discover an insect pest infestation. Take some time this week to check plants closely for any signs of an insect infestation. Things to look for include shiny spots or areas on leaves or any leaf discoloration. Pests that cause leaf discoloration include spider mites and thrips. Pests that will leave shiny spots on leaves (but minimal leaf discoloration) are mealybugs and scale insects. 

Mealybugs, aphids and scale insects all produce honeydew. Honeydew will collect on leaves and surfaces below the insect as clear, shiny spots that can be difficult to see. Take the time to examine leaves carefully in the light to catch the reflection off the honeydew spots.

Personally, mealybugs are my nemesis this winter. https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/mealybugs

For information on all the common houseplant insect pests please see our Care and How-to

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Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Yard and Garden, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on January 10, 2023. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.