If you think you don’t have to worry about pests because you’re growing an indoor garden, you’re sadly mistaken. There are common pests to watch for. When not taken care of, these pests can destroy your plants, not to mention your peace of mind. Some pests spread plant disease, and others can spread disease to humans. There are 4 indoor garden pests that you need to be aware of:
1 – Gnats
Flying insects are the most visible pests in any indoor garden, and if you find ones in your indoor garden, it’s most likely gnats. They love garden soil, and begin their life cycle there. Their main source of food comes from plant roots, and if you add compost to the soil, they’ll eat that too. Fungus gnats are most often found in indoor garden soil, and they appear during the spring. They’re more than just a nuisance, because fungus gnats can spread plant disease and stunt growth. Work to get rid of them, the moment you suspect that you’ve got a problem.
2 – Thrips
Thrips also have wings, but these are slender and oval insects, unlike the more rounded gnats. They like to feed on plant cells, by puncturing through leaves. Some thrips are actually good to have around, because they feed on mites, which are other pests you want to keep out of your indoor garden. However, other thrips destroy the surfaces of leaves and flowers, and they leave behind scars.
3 – Mites
One type of pest to try to spot early on are mites. They multiply rapidly, and unless you’re looking through a magnifying glass, they’re easy to miss. The best way to check is to the look underneath leaves, at the veins. Mites love to bite into the veins of leaves and you can see the holes they leave. Spotted and black mites are common mites that you might find in your indoor garden.
4 – Ticks
Many outdoor gardeners know all too well about ticks. Indoor gardens are generally free of ticks because commercial potted soil is used and the apartment is in the city. However, indoor gardeners who use soil from neighbors or live in areas where ticks are many and like to climb on clothes and shoes, may have to deal with ticks as pests. These are bigger than mites, but they look similar. They enjoy living in the soil, but they are more of a pest to people and pests than plants. They latch on to your skin and can spread disease. It’s important to eliminate ticks if you notice them in the soil.
Plant oil extracts are a great way to get rid of pests in your indoor garden that is totally organic. You can also pluck and destroy pests with a pair of tweezers as you find them. Prevention is even better, and sealing up vent fans whenever possible, will help to keep the numbers of pests down.