Plant pests | What they are, types that exist and how to fight them

What are pests in plants?

The term of plague has evolved greatly since the beginning of time. In the past, any animal that could do some damage to it, usually in crops, was considered as such. Now it is at the same level as a disease .

In this way, it is understood how it plagues a situation in which an animal can cause economic damage.

Differences between pests and diseases

A disease is not a virus or bacteria, but the situation in which one living organism causes alterations in another, producing certain symptoms that can lead to economic damage.

Thanks to this innovative concept, the concept of plague can be separated from the animal that produces it, so the classifications of good and bad species have already been somewhat ambiguous. Instead, it must be explained why one species can be beneficial in one place, as well as harmful in another.

For example, the rabbit is a fundamental element of the Mediterranean ecosystem. At the same time, it is harmful in Australia. As we have already commented, the plague is not the rabbit itself, but the situation that occurs in the regions where he lives, as well as the economic data that derive from it.

Types Pests in plants (agriculture)

When we talk about pests in plants , we mean all animals, microorganisms and other plants that have a disastrous effect on the agriculture of a certain area. A plague can only thrive if there is a good source of food that is renewed.

The measures that are implemented to control the productivity of the crops usually create an environment conducive for pests to grow. Therefore, the farmer will have to establish a solid system that allows his control.

The most accurate definition, according to the international community , is as follows:

“Any species, breed or plant or animal biotype or pathogen harmful to plants or plant products” [FAO 1990; revised FAO, 1995; IPPC, 1997] [CAN, .1997] ” (reference: Wikipedia ).

Plant pests can be classified into two main types: indoor and outdoor.

Pests in houseplants

These are the most common indoor plants pests :

  • Cochineals:The cochineals are a type of insect that is characterized by having a kind of protective shield with several colors, and of different consistencies. They have a beak that they will dig into the leaves, with the aim of sucking the sap inside them. This will cause them to lose color, showing a yellowish appearance, they will dry out and eventually fall off.

The mealybugs can be removed with a little cotton impregnated with methyl alcohol and applying a little insecticide.

  • Aphids: Aphidsaffect the plant in the same way as mealybugs; they use their sucking beak to absorb the sage, causing the leaves and buds to deform, causing them to roll over themselves. Derived from this behavior, the Black Mushroom can be formed , in addition to attracting ants attracted by the secretion of aphids when feeding on the wise.

We can find different types of aphids, in colors like yellow, brown and green. Some can move from plant to plant thanks to their wings.

If there are not many aphids, it is recommended to cut the leaves and shoots directly. In the event that the attack is more serious, then there will be nothing left to throw insecticide .

  • Whitefly:The whiteflies are placed in the area of the undersides of the plant, where the pikes, causing damage of great importance. In the end they will discolor and have a yellowish appearance. If an intense attack occurs in the area, they could cause them to fall.

The presence of the Whitefly can also cause the fungus of the Negrilla to proliferate, in addition to covering the molasses leaf.

  • Trips:The trips are one of the types of plant pests They are very small insects (they barely measure a few millimeters). They chop the leaves, getting them to dry until they fall. They also feel predilection towards the leaves, ending them.

Unlike other pests in plants , in this case they do not usually cause major damage.

  • Red Spider: Redspiders are very small, so it is difficult to see them without help (we may have to use a magnifying glass). Like the whitefly , they usually prefer to be placed on the underside of the leaves. They chop the leaves, making them appear yellowish with yellow or brown dots. Over time, if left untreated, the leaf will rot and fall off.

This plague of plants is usually habitual of dry and very hot environments; If the attack is weak, applying a little water with a sprayer will make them go away. But if that were not the case, we will only have to use an acaricide .

  • Caterpillars:There are countless types of caterpillars that can gnaw the leaves, such as the pluids or the green donuts . The main feature of this type of insect is that they are large enough to take by hand, so it is a good way to remove them. If the pest is very extreme, then use an insecticide.
  • Geranium Butterfly:Considered one of the most dangerous pests, especially for Geraniums. They will be presented as larvae of a size of 2cm long, with a green color that will become darker over time. They will attack the stalks, piercing them, and will make the flowers look weak.

In the event that the plant was heavily attacked, nothing could be done, it would have to be isolated and discarded, to prevent it from infecting any neighboring silver. If not, the first thing we must save are the affected stems, and that is that inside there will be small caterpillars that will be eating them. We will have to follow an insecticide treatment for plant pests for a frequency of 15 days.

  • Miners:The miners are small larvae that create galleries along the leaves of the plant. You can only detect the presence of the larva if you look at the light. A good way to kill the miners is to use systemic insecticide sprays.
  • Green mosquito :The green mosquito is a small insect that, unlike what is thought, has no wings, but it moves from leaf to leaf jumping. The bites will affect the leaves causing them to turn yellow, with a change very similar to that produced by mites. These pests in the garden can be treated with the same products that we have used to fight aphids.
  • Snails and slugs:Although they may appear harmless, their action leaves damage quite similar to those produced by caterpillars. The way to differentiate if these have been is the presence of a silver trail that will leave the mucosa that you use to move. By having a considerable size, we can eliminate snails naturally. We can also use traps with beer or baits that are based on metaldehyde (it will attract and trap snails and slugs.
  • Ants:Ants usually occur if there are other pests in plants , such as mealybugs or aphids. The reason for this is that these insects, once they have fed on the nectar of the plant, generate a sweet secretion that attracts ants.

They are not a direct threat against the plant, but it is true that they can cause some damage by protecting aphids.

  • Soil worms:There are different soil worms that can affect plants, the most common being white , gray and wire worms .
  • Nematodes:They are worms that barely measure 0.2mm, very difficult to detect. They act by entering inside the roots to feed on them. The moment they proliferate they become a real headache for the plant, being able to end it.

The symptoms that detect the presence of nematodes (pale green leaves or wilting), are the same that produce the lack or excess of water, lack of nutrients or as many ailments; That is why they are so complicated to detect.

If we can detect it, we can rarely do anything. It will be necessary to pluck the affected plants in the pot and burn everything, also the substrate itself.

  • Cottony root mealybugs:and we finish the pests in houseplants with it. They are some mealybugs that affect the roots. The main symptom will manifest how the plant does not grow (being more common in cacti).

A good treatment to avoid this plant pest is to immerse the pot for 20-30 minutes in a mixture of insecticides with water. With this time we should end the plague.

Pests in outdoor plants

Many of the pests that occur in houseplants are also present indoors. Having the right humidity and temperature conditions, pests are much more likely to occur in plants , and at the same time become stronger.

Let’s analyze some of the characteristics of the main pests in the garden:

  • Aphids and ants:They are the most common and the first to be presented at the time it is hot. These insects, although small, are very numerous, and will be presented trying to absorb the sap of the plant. Thanks to this they absorb the nutrients that should reach the cells. They are located on the back of the new sheets; if they are not removed quickly they will reproduce reaching a point where the plant will lose color, it will deform and die.

An ecological solution to cope with aphids is to cross a mixture of 2 tablespoons of soap scales with 2 of alcohol diluted in a liter of water.

As for the plague in plants by ants, as we have said before, they will not directly attack the plant, but they will favor the conditions so that aphids can survive, so it is also an important problem. There are products like artificial cylinders that give off a smell that attracts ants; The advantage of this method is that this smell is as attractive as toxic: the ants reach the nest and thus end the life of the entire colony (with larvae and eggs too)

If we only witness aphids, we can quickly get rid of them before the ants present themselves.

  • Outdoormealybugs : mealybugs are one of the most common outdoor plant pests , occurring most commonly in summer in dry climates. In winter and autumn they are more common in houseplants. They are fixed to the plants and use their beak to absorb the sage.

With this behavior they dry the leaves by absorbing their nutrients, as well as the new shoots. If the amount of sap they extract is excessive, they can kill the plant. In the place of absorption a discoloration occurs, generating white or brown spots on the plant. In addition, they produce a sweet secretion that feeds fungi.

In the same way as to treat aphids, there are also certain insecticides that will help the insect absorb it and die poisoned.

  • Whitefly:The whitefly is very similar to the aphid; It is typical of both indoor plants and indoor plants. Rather it appears in places where the temperature and humidity is very high. He puts his eggs on the underside of the leaf; from there it will sting and feed on the sap. It prevents nutrients from reaching their destination, so the leaf will lose color, deform and rot. Its secretions will also feed the fungi.

Powdered insecticides are a good option for treating these plant pests , as they will damage their leaves and make the fly weaker.

  • Worms and mollusks:The worms will directly attack the bulbs and roots, while slugs and snails opt for the most tender shoots of vegetables, fruits and vegetables. The latter will leave a trail of mucosa that, in addition to relieving the problem, is also very toxic to plants.

A good solution to end this pest is insecticides in grain .

  • Sawmill wasp:This insect attacks the plant generating symmetrical bites in plants that have been fertilized excessively. They are also attracted to very dry environments. With an antiplaga located on the floor and floor should be more than enough how to treat.
  • Borers:Considered as one of the most complicated pests to eliminate. It attacks both the leaves, the fruits and the tricks. They leave holes in the base of the plant and in the leaves. If the problem is spreading, there is no choice but to cut the affected area and burn everything to prevent it from spreading.
  • Flower beetle :The flower beetle is another pest of outdoor plants of the most dangerous we can find in our crop. It has a great destructive action, being able to kill the petals in just a few hours from its arrival. The adult specimens, the most voracious, are easy to identify, so we can finish them by hand. How they prefer dry areas, applying a little water on the plant may be enough to remove them.
  • Processionary caterpillar:Acts by drying the branches and preventing the plant from continuing to grow. They are large enough to remove by hand, although we probably have to remove the pockets and burn them to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Black donut:It is an insect that acts at night. It does not usually give many problems, with a simple insecticide for plant pests is usually enough.

How to combat and eliminate plangas in plants?

Finding pests in our plants is not a good sign; In addition to not giving a good presence, it is possible that they are being affected to such an extent that they are deteriorating inside.

Insecticides seem the most likely solution when it comes to killing insects. The problem? Many of them are so strong that we would not only kill the insect, but the plant would follow the same path. Therefore, before using an insecticide, there are certain tips that can come in handy:

Cleaning in the plants

Keeping clean we can avoid pests in plants . We will minimize the possibility of any insect coming and proliferating. In addition, it will also allow us to control them before they get too big.

To clean them we can use a simple duster, or apply a damp cloth if the plants are of considerable size.

Do not forget to check them from time to time, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Natural medicine

Natural remedies , besides being quite effective, do not compromise the environment, so it is worth trying them before opting for an insecticide. There are a whole series of natural remedies that allow us to eliminate plant pests . They use products such as garlic, onion, chamomile, basil, vinegar.

Most of these ingredients have a very strong smell, so they serve to scare away insects.

These remedies usually consist of mixing the ingredient in question with hot water, waiting for it to cool and then applying it to the plant as a spray.

Beware of moisture

Surely on more than one occasion you will find a plague of mosquitoes flying around our plants. These mosquitoes, by themselves, are not a threat to them, but it is an indication that something we are doing wrong. The most common cause of its proliferation is an excess of moisture (that is, we are watering too much).

– If the plant is outside , it will be time to change the land and avoid watering it so much.

-If it is an outdoor plant , the best option is to wait for the soil to dry and control the frequency with which you are watering it.

Remedy to kill aphids

As we have already seen, aphids are one of the most common plant pests . A good solution to end them is to create a mixture of water with a little soap.

When aphids occur, there may be ladybugs near the plant. You should not end them, since they are predators of the plague. They will help you get rid of aphids.

Remedy to end caterpillars

Another common plant pest is caterpillars. There is a very practical method that serves to end them; all you have to do is buy a packet of tobacco, boil water and put cigarettes in the pot. The mixture is very toxic, so it will end the caterpillars. Be very careful since, if you go over, you could also kill the plant. A good way to control ourselves is to use a sprayer.

Remedy to end wasps

To end the wasps we can place traps; The most common is to place a jar or jug ​​with some sweet liquid (how can honey be). Due to the high viscosity of this liquid, they will be trapped immediately.

Remedy to prevent insects from climbing to the plant.

If what we want to avoid is that the insects reach the plant, we can place double-sided adhesive tape along the trunk. However, this solution is something extreme, and it will only be valid when we are talking about a plant that has a considerable trunk.

With this complete glossary on plant pests you will have it easier to defend your crop against any insects and diseases.

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