If you are a person who is dedicated to the cultivation of plants, either professionally or as a hobby, you will know perfectly well that the risk of suffering from any plague is very high and really annoying, since not all of them can be eliminated. Some insects can spread to different species of plants, while others are more specific to some specific types. In this article we will talk specifically about geranium pests, since it is one of the most common flowers in our homes.
We will discuss a total of eight different geranium pests, paying special attention to the African mosquito, also known as the geranium butterfly. So if you have these beautiful plants in your home and you suspect that they may suffer some invasion by insects, I recommend that you continue reading.
What pests affect the geranium?
Geraniums are very popular herbaceous plants for decorating the home. Their genus includes more than 400 different species native to Europe and Asia. Some of them are perennial, perennial or annual. Despite the fact that they are very resistant and rustic vegetables, There are some bugs that can cause you quite a bit of trouble. To help you identify and combat them, we are going to talk about seven geranium pests.
Among the most common insects that inhabit plants are the mealybugs. These have a very similar appearance to warts and are usually brown in color. Its appearance occurs mainly in the stems and leaves of plants. So we must pay special attention to these areas to detect them.
Mealybugs hatch from eggs and initially appear small and flat. Also its color is different at the beginning, more like straw, translucent and pale. Once they come out of his shell, They are looking for a place where they can buy plant juices to feed themselves.
How to get rid of mealybugs from plants
Although it is a difficult pest to control, we can try. The best thing to do is to scratch all visible mealybugs and subsequently spray with an effective insecticide against these insects.
Another well-known pest is that of the red scratch. It is not only difficult to locate, but also to eliminate. These little mites are practically invisible to the naked eye. They are usually found on the back of the leaves. From there they bite into them until the fabric ends up breaking. When they have become very widespread, we can identify them as straw-colored bugs.
How to eliminate spider mites
However, we can easily identify this pest through the damage they cause to the leaves. These lose green pigments, adopting a discolored appearance. Regarding the spider mite, the best we can do is prevent its appearance, spraying the leaves of the plants with an insecticide and / or concentrated acaricide.
Also the aphids are part of the pests of geranium, and many other plants. These can be yellow, black, pink, or green. Depending on how mature they are, they may or may not have wings. Like mealybugs, these insects feed on plant juice, but have a predilection for new shoots. In this way they manage to damage the geranium very quickly. As a consequence, the shoots begin to curl until they are completely damaged. To combat and prevent them, we can use insecticides.
Home remedies against aphids and other insects
The white fly
Fortunately, the white fly it is easy and quick to recognize. If we shake the plant a little, they will fly off forming a cloud of insects. Whiteflies deposit eggs and larvae on the back of the leaves. Like aphids, they excrete honeydew and are capable of forming a black fungus. We can combat them with the same insecticide that is used for aphids.
Home remedies against whitefly
The green mosquito
The green mosquito is another of the geranium pests. They are tiny and feed on the sap of the leaves, causing a discoloration similar to that caused by mites. In this case, the leaves may turn yellow or reddish until they fall off. The method of eliminating it is by means of the same insecticide applied for the aphids and for the whitefly.
Why does my geranium have yellow leaves?
There are many species of caterpillars that feed on the leaves of the geranium. Whenever we see any, it is best to pick them up by hand. The same with their eggs, that usually appear during the spring on the underside of the leaves. In the event that we are faced with a serious pest, we can apply the same insecticide as for the pests that we have mentioned above.
One of the most difficult pests of geraniums to detect are the nematodes. These affect the roots of plants, causing symptoms similar to excess water and lack of nutrients. To detect nematodes we have to extract the roots from the soil and examine them carefully. We will see these insects as small bumps between the roots.
What are the most effective nematode repellants?
In the event that we suspect that our plants are suffering an attack by nematodes, the best we can do is go to a garden center for advice, since there are many different products to combat this pest.
What bug eats geraniums?
Now that we know about some geranium pests, let’s talk about the most important and harmful: The African fly. This insect literally eats the plant. Therefore, among the symptoms of this pest are holes in the stem and bites in the leaves. Initially they are caterpillars of about two centimeters long and of a greenish color. But how did they get there?
These caterpillars arrive in the form of a butterfly, That is why this pest is also known as the geranium butterfly. It lays its eggs in the vegetable and when they hatch, the caterpillars begin to feed on the plant.
How to kill the geranium butterfly?
Unfortunately, There is no way to eliminate the geranium butterfly. If the plant is not very affected, we can remove the affected stems and apply an insecticide. However, it is best to prevent it, treating the plant once a month.
With this information we are already able to identify the plague that may be affecting our geraniums and combat it, if possible. Remember that early detection can save our vegetables.