hibiscus infested with bugs
We had two beautiful outdoor hibiscus this summer on our back patio. As winter approached we brought them inside but now there are tons of tiny bugs all over the leaves. Weeks ago we took them outside, hosed them off, then applied a hibiscus-safe insecticide. I reapplied a week later. Just noticed the problem is far worse now. Should i have kept this plant in total darkness instead of by a window? Would the plant go dormant and the bugs unable to survive? I am afraid to hose them off now as temps here in n. Ohio are in the twenties.
Describe the bugs---white fly's? Aphids? Spider mites?
Different treatments for different bugs----
Put a little liquid dish soap in a spray bottle with lots of water. Not many kinds of bugs will survive that.
Use a mild soap such as Ivory to avoid the slight possibilty of leaf damage.
If they come back back after a few weeks then you know the soil has a heavy egg infestation. Either change the soil or just keep with regular spray maintenance till they run their course.
If the leaves are not dying and falling off then you know you have a good location for the winter. Just don't expect to see any new growth until the days get a little longer. Don't put it in the dark or it will die.
No reason to buy fancy expensive insecticidal soaps or harsh chemicals
If you have fungus gnats, you may need to transplant. The fungus gnat lays it eggs on the soil. The larvae then infest the root system. Over watering is part of the cause of growth in gnat population. Eliminate all standing water. Let the plant dry out.
A good repellant pesticide could be applied to the soil surface and the planter exterior. That would prevent adult gnats from landing and laying eggs.
Good luck. I do not know of any pesticide that will eliminate a gnat population. Some repel the mature adults. It is the replanting, including shaking off old dirt, that attacks the larval stage of the gnat.
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