After a brief summer vacation outdoors, houseplants come back inside for a comfortable winter. Some may return with unwelcome visitors, such as fungus gnats, whiteflies, mealybugs, scales, aphids or spider mites.
Allowing soil to dry between waterings helps discourage egg-laying of pests in soil mixes, as does repotting. Wash pests off leaves with a quick spray of water or, if necessary, a pesticide treatment.
Also, remove dead plant material and leaves, since they harbor larvae.
If the problem persists, bring a sample of the pest in and ask one of our knowledgeable greenhouse staff for a recommended treatment.
Originally published on November 5th, 2010. Updated on November 3rd, 2020.