The Q&A Archives: White Specks On African Violets

Question: I have 2 trays (3 or 4 plants per tray) of African Violets set 6 feet apart in East facing windows. Both bloom vigorously. However one tray only has very tiny white specks, like dust, on all the top surfaces of the leaves and flowers. The specks do not move. Just today we have seen two microscopic flying insects around the tray. Inspection of the window sills reveals quite a few of these insects, dead. Your assistance please as to identification and prevention.

Answer: Based on your description I suspect what you are seeing is thrips, probably coming in from outside. These (and most African violet pests) can be treated with insecticidal soap applied and reapplied according to the label instructions. When you mix it, be sure to use tepid and not cold water.

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