houseplant pests

3 Most Common Houseplant Pests and Diseases

Houseplants are a joy to keep in your yard as these can improve the appearance and ambience outdoors. However, you have to realize the fact that these are not susceptible to diseases and pests. There are insects that can severely damage the plant and kill it while other pests can attack the plant and cause it to become prone to diseases. So, it is best to understand more about most common houseplant pests and insects that affect the health and overall look of your precious plants.

Mealy Bugs

These bugs usually thrive in places with warm climates. Basically, mealy bugs have soft bodies, and they are wingless creatures that have a cottony appearance once they attach themselves on the fruit, stems and leaves of your houseplants. What they do to surive is feed on the plant by inserting their stylets of sucking mouthparts into the plants. Then, this allows them to draw the sap out of the plant’s tissue. In case the pest level is rather low, the damage caused to the plant is not usually significant. However, once mealy bugs come in high numbers, the plant’s leaves will eventually turn yellow and curl until the entire plant dies. Most plants such as fruit trees, avocados and ornamentals are at risk of mealy bug attacks.


According to scientists, about 4000 species of aphids are discovered throughout different parts of the world. When a low number of aphids are found on plants, damages may not be severe. There is also no need to maintain aphid control in this case. The only concern is once these insects continue to populate plants, and infestations of these pests can result to stunted growth of plants as the leaves curl, turn yellow and wilt. When left as it is, plants will become weaker, and there are even species of aphids that transmit disease in other plants when viruses are passed as these bugs begin to feed. As for the appearance of these insects, they are soft-bodied with a pear-shaped body. The color varies from yellow, black, brown or red, and this all depends on the food source and specie.

Spider Mites

Most commonly found in North America, spider mites are also common pests that put your houseplants at risk of disease and damages. These insects, in particular, attack outdoor and indoor plants, and those grown in greenhouses are not susceptible from spider mites. However, it is worth noting that these are not exactly insects since these pests are in the class type of ticks, scorpions and spiders. Adult spider mites have a pale color with oval-shaped bodies. These also live mostly in colonies and found underneath the leaves. Once you notice light dots on the plant’s leaves, feeding is taking place. When left unaddressed, feeding remains until leaves become yellow and dry and eventually fall off. Most spider mites live in dry and hot conditions, and heavy infestations tend to arise even without being noticed. Thus, you may only observe damages to the plants once there are too many spider mites invading your plants. So, it is best to monitor your plants and use the right products to get rid of these pests.