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Whether laboriously landscaped or lovingly cared for houseplants: lice are one of the kind of damaged insects that are common on healthy plants in every whereabouts. Even before green plants in the greenhouse, they do not stop. A caring appearance of the leaves and shoots, as well as a sticky surface are often the first thing one perceives of the pests themselves. Most of the insect population at this time, however, is so advanced that you need to take effective countermeasures quickly.
Detect lice in time
Under the generic term "lice" hide various, species-rich and parasitic insect species. However much these individual pest families themselves differ in appearance, they still share a common food source: the nutritious cell sap of the host plants. By stinging and biting using the mouthparts, the lice manage to get to the important juice of the plants. Triebachsen and the underside of the leaves are particularly affected. In case of advanced infestation even older and healthy green plants can suffer massive damage. The lice must therefore be removed as soon as possible. Before effective home remedies are used, you should first determine the type of pests.
A wise web of wax, reminiscent of tattered cotton, is the typical distinguishing feature of wool lice. These pests are about half a centimeter in size and have a light brown to pink color. Woll lice do not only multiply preferentially over "virgin production", but can become several years old.
Also known as "white fly" insects are up to 1.5 millimeters in size and have a moth-like appearance. In the case of the moth shield lice, above all, it is the larvae that cause massive damage to the infested plants.
These insects belonging to the family Coccoidea are closely related to the woolly lice. Unlike these, however, shield lice protect themselves by a hard, shield-like chitin shell. This is also the oviposition, which makes targeted control of these harmful insects difficult.
A species of lice, which are among the most widespread pests worldwide. Some specimens of only a few millimeters large animals have wings and can therefore also attack plants over a greater distance. The color of the aphids varies from green, brown, to black.
Well over 100 different species of these insects are native to Central Europe. The up to 4 millimeters large, winged pests have powerful spring legs. This earned them the nickname "leaf fleas". Some species are extremely picky in their choice of food, for example, some specialize in sucking on woody plant parts or roots.
Even those who do not have a garden are by no means immune from the pests. Houseplants are also a rich source of nutrients for many species of louse, even before hardy plants and cacti do not stop the insects. The pests are not alone on the way. Lice on plants but a sticky secretion, the so-called honeydew. This legacy attracts ants in the garden, which step in a kind of symbiosis with the lice. While the defensive ants "protect" their lice from predators, they provide them with honeydew in return. But also mushroom pathogens, such as the black Russet mushroom, use the excretion as a food source. The disadvantage: Viruses and fungi give off a toxic outflow, which is slowly ruining the affected plant.
Effective home remedies
A sticky plant surface or at least spots with a honey-like consistency directly on the ground indicate an infection with the cell sap sucking insects. However, even with a high pest population, you do not have to resort to a chemical mace. Because almost everything you need to successfully combat, you already have at home. Only patience is needed, as biological means are not rocket science and it takes some time before the first successes show up. The first measure is always to separate the affected plants if possible. This will prevent the lice from simply looking for a new host plant in the immediate vicinity.
If you recognize the pests in time, usually already helps a targeted beam with the garden or shower hose to move the insects to the task. Repeat this game after about 2 days to get the last lice away from your plants.If it is not a cuttler or a young plant, you can safely accept some shredded leaves. The plant quickly recovers from the damage when properly cared for.
Tip: Avoid ants infestation in good time by washing the honeydew coated parts of the plant generously with soapy water.
Nettle and field horsetail brew are universally applicable. On the one hand, strengthen the resilience of plants by regularly pouring with the diluted broth. On the other hand, they also provide the plants with valuable nutrients. In case of infestation with lice, you can also rely on the versatile herbs: spray the entire plant generously with field horsetail or stinging nettle broth. A combination of both is possible, but by no means increases the effectiveness. This measure must also be repeated every two days. Even if you can no longer detect lice, the treatment will continue for more than a week. Spray the plant only in the early evening or in the morning, so that the strong midday sun can not cause burns on the leaves.
Also garlic has proven itself with a low infestation. Put freshly peeled garlic cloves into the substrate. In addition, you can put crushed garlic in lukewarm water for 24 hours and then apply this broth directly to the affected parts of the plant. Repeat this process daily and if necessary also renew the garlic cloves in the soil.
Whether it makes sense to remove the lice mechanically depends on the species. In the case of aphids, for example, you can weaken the population if you eliminate the adult animals, or at least the affected parts of the plant. However, if you have caught scale insects on your plants, you should refrain from using such a method. The females lay eggs and die. If you remove the persistent pests of the pests with a knife, you can thereby distribute the unwanted offspring over a large area over the plant.
Help the nature on the jumps
Admittedly, you are unlikely to keep eggs from parasitic wasp or even lacewing larvae in the kitchen drawer. However, to help you fight off the best home remedies for lice, you can take advantage of the natural predators of the gluttonous lice. The following insects have the pests literally like to eat:
- assassin bugs
- parasitic wasps
- lacewing larvae
- Wipe the shoots with clove oil.
- Lay out double-sided adhesive tape on the ant streets.
- Sprinkle baking soda.
Lice on plants are annoying and can cause great damage to the affected plants. With a variety of home remedies can fight the cell sap sucking insects. However, the use of nettle broth and Co. requires consistency and patience. Unlike chemical products, biological agents can be used without residue in the garden and in your own home. An important plus, especially in the cultivation of crops.