Ask a Question forum→Houseplant pests

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Name: Sharon Parrott
TN (Zone 7a)
sparrott
Jun 15, 2020 1:04 PM CST
If I never put my house plants outside, a friend told me I will not get pests on them. Is that true? Mealy bugs, thrips, etc.... And if not where do they come from? Of course that is barring any new plants in.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 15, 2020 2:45 PM CST
Keeping your plants in the house won't prevent bugs. Putting them outside won't guarantee bugs. If there are bugs floating around and they happen to land on your plants, your plants have a good chance of being infested with them.

Bugs travel on a breeze, an infested plant, your clothing...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Jun 15, 2020 2:46 PM CST
You can potentially bring in bugs every time you go in and out the door... and on the bottoms of your shoes, but yes, they are less likely to get bugs if kept indoors.
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Name: Sharon Parrott
TN (Zone 7a)
sparrott
Jun 15, 2020 4:24 PM CST
Thank you both! I never heard of thrips or mealy bugs before I got plants and started reading about them and I wouldn't know the first thing to do if I got them. So think I'll keep them in and hope for the best. Lol.
Again thank you both!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 16, 2020 10:55 AM CST
Prevention is the best first step. Go online and look for photos of the most common indoor plant pests - spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, fungus gnats and aphids. That will help you identify any pests BEFORE you acquire a plant.

Pest-free plants will usually stay that way if they are properly cared for and not stressed due to improper light or watering. Plant pests are relatively rare on plants that come from good sources and are well maintained. So don't make yourself crazy with worry about them. They can be treated safely and effectively, especially when caught early.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sharon Parrott
TN (Zone 7a)
sparrott
Jun 16, 2020 5:48 PM CST
Prevention! Is what I'm practicing! I figure u never really get RID of them , You just control them , is that true? To me they seem a monumental ordeal..
I love my plants and take good care of them hoping for nor problems.
Thank you For answering.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 17, 2020 9:23 AM CST
I know the frustration of having plant pests come back again and again. There were times when I wanted to give up my plants entirely!

But there is hope. Buy plants from reliable sources and inspect new plants carefully. Make sure to provide a healthy environment with proper light and watering. Inspect your plants regularly and treat any pest problems promptly before they get out of hand. Finally, treat any infestation very thoroughly or some will survive and come back to haunt you. I can't emphasize the last one enough.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sharon Parrott
TN (Zone 7a)
sparrott
Jun 17, 2020 9:58 AM CST
Thank you all very much! I love this site!! And I don't want to be a "pest" on here. 😁
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 17, 2020 10:17 AM CST
We love pests here. Just not on our plants!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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