How to remove insects
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Sometimes it can be hard to identify exactly what type of pest or bug that's on your plant, but luckily there are some generalized methods of insect removal that work for a number of different species.
IDENTIFY THE PEST
The best way to treat your plant is to identify the bug and determine if it's actually a pest. If you're not able to identify it, you can always contact our Plant Experts for identification and guidance on proper treatment.
Not all bugs are pests and they are all part of the ecosystem. Some store-bought plants might also have beneficial biological control on them, such as Predatory mites or green lacewings. It would be sad to unnecessarily kill harmless insects.
With that said, if you're unsure of what they are and they seem to be causing damage to your plant, you should of course try to remove them from your plant.
WHAT TO DO NOW
There are a number of different treatment options you can try. Always consider using gentle methods before using pesticides - this is better for the environment and less harsh on your plant too.
Start with manually remove all visible insects. Of course, this is typically easier if the insects are large enough to be seen and removed. Depending on the plant and how sensitive it is, you can use your hands, masking tape, a lint roller, vacuum cleaner (on low suction) or just give your plant a thorough shower.
If the insects you see on your plant are smaller and either fly or move about, you can use sticky traps - this is a type of yellow, blue or white glue trap that attracts the insects to them. Just place them near the infected plant, about the same height as the insects, and then replace them with a fresh one once they become full.
Spraying your plant with soapy water is an effective way of treating an insect infestation.
Mix 1 quart of lukewarm water, 1/2 tsp liquid soap and a few drops of rubbing alcohol. Shake until the soap is diluted into the mix and apply it to your plant.
- Note that some plants, especially their flowers, can react badly to pesticides or soaps so test it on a smaller area of the plant first, to see if it reacts, and then treat your plant carefully. Always avoid direct sunlight after application as it can otherwise burn the plant.