Mint is one of the most common herbs people grow in the home. However, anyone hoping to grow this plant must know a great deal about pest control because its presence attracts a lot of devastating pests. Some of these include mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites.
When left unattended, pest infestation can have deadly effects on your plant. However, regular checks, diagnoses, and proper care can help to ensure the plant is protected for the whole of its growing season. If things eventually get out of hand, you can also call on professionals like those at Mint Pest Control.
Meanwhile, in this article, we’re going to be discussing some common bugs attracted to mint plants and various ways to get rid of them.
Common Bugs on Mint Plant And How to Get Rid of Them
Mealybugs are one of the popular pests that attack mint plants. Fortunately, they’re easy to detect because of their fluffy white appearance. These pests suck out the juices in the leaves and stems of mint plants. As a result, the leaves become discolored, and the plant generally has stunted growth.
One of the easiest ways to deal with mealybug’s bite is by applying soapy water with a cotton bud to the affected areas. You can also substitute the soapy water with alcohol if you like. After applying either of those, allow it to stay for a few hours and wash it off.
Another secret substance you can use to get mealybugs off your mint plant is neem oil. It’s quite effective because it suffocates adult bugs, so they’ll never be tempted to return. Additionally, it can be used to stop larvae from growing.
Have you ever seen brown or yellow spots appearing on the leaves of your mint plant? There’s a high chance that the plant is suffering from a spider mite infestation. There are various species of mite, but the main species that infest mint plants are the two-spotted spider mites. This type is mostly attracted to new plants. They stay on the underside of their leaves.
Spider mites thrive best in arid conditions as it allows them to spin frayed webbing all over your leaves. If your mint plant is suffering from spider mite infestation, it could be a result of not watering it properly.
When dealing with spider mites, neem oil is the right substance to turn to. It’s rich in natural miticide, which is a chemical agent that’s quite effective in killing mite infestations. Alcohol application can also help with mite infestation, but you should only apply it to the affected area.
Since we also mentioned earlier that underwatering could be the reason why your mint plant is suffering from mite infestation, it’s also essential to increase your watering frequency.
This category of pests is dark in color. They’re also known for their shiny-backed beetles that jump high like fleas. As you might have already noticed, they damage mint plants in various ways. This can be in the form of stripping new leaves of their vibrant color or creating holes in them. They also carry diseases like blight, which are quite dangerous.
Since flea beetles love jumping, one of the most effective ways to get rid of them is to set sticky traps to stop the adults. Since these pests have soft bodies, you can also eliminate them with soapy water or neem oil.
Loopers are caterpillars that feed on leaves and also have a huge appetite for new growth of mint plants, just like two-spotted spider mites. Another reason why they find it hard to stay away from mint plants is due to their strong smell. One effective way you can know if loopers have been eating your plant is when you spot holes or bite marks.
Moreover, a looper infestation can also be detected by seeing a cocoon shedding on your plant. Fortunately, you don’t need tools to find them. All you have to do is search your mint plant thoroughly. Once you catch them, don’t hesitate to do the right thing to prevent further damage.
The kind of treatment suitable for a looper infestation greatly depends on the level of damage caused. For mild infestation, you should be able to remove the loopers with your hands, but ensure you hear a glove before carrying out the procedure. After removing the loopers, please put them in a bucket of soapy water to get rid of them.
Another effective remedy for dealing with a looper infestation is the use of insecticides with Bacillus thuringiensis. It’s a substance toxic to certain insects but mild to benefit wildlife. Using pepper spray is also ideal because some insects don’t like to appreciate its pungent smell or heat.