House Plant Pests

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM.

Although primarily an outdoor pest, whiteflies occasionally are found on

house plants.  These pests which resemble tiny moths, are about one-sixteenth of an inch long as you’d expect, they’re white.  You can usually tell if you have a whitefly problem by gently shaking suspected plants.  If the pests are present, they’ll swarm around the plants for a few seconds.  They also can be found on the undersides of leaves.  Like the other critters we’ve described whiteflies injure plant by sucking out juices.  They cause the most damage while feeding in their immature stage, when they look like tiny green to whitish fish scales.

Other house plant pests include fungus gnat maggots, psocids (soe-dids),

and springtails.  These soil-borne pests cause little or no damage.  However, large populations may become a nuisance.  Fungus gnat maggots are white, worm-like, and reach a length of about one-quarter of an inch at maturity.  Psocids generally are a six tenth of an inch or less in length.  They’re grayish in color, and may or may not have wings.  Spring tail range in size from microscopic to as much as a fifth of an inch long.  They’re usually white, and they jump when disturbed. 

Bugs often invade out homes on new plants.  It pays to give such introductions a close inspection, before placing them near established plant residents.

For more information on house plant pests contact the Gulf County Extension Service @ 639-3200 or visit our website  or www.  and see Publication  ENY 476 , ENY 317 & ENY 320.

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