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  1. #1

    Default indoor insect identification, symptoms and controls.

    The FAQ summarizes common indoor insect identification, symptoms and controls. Refer to pest-specific Faq’s for more information.


    Signs of an infestation:
    Stunted, curled leaves. Aphids use piercing mouthparts to suck sap from the Phloem. Ants often accompany aphids (Ants help transport aphids around), and will also need to be controlled. Aphids secrete a sugar-like ‘honeydew’, which make the undersides of the leaves sticky.

    How to get rid of aphids:
    Use sticky traps (i.e. No Pest Strip) for prevention and detection. Beneficial insects like ladybugs can be used to naturally control an infestation. A soapy spray (i.e. Safer’s Soap or detergent in warm water) can also be used to suffocate them.

    • Suck plant sap
    • Cause stunting, leaf curling
    • Leave honeydew deposits on leaves
    • Ants in the grow room

    Contributed by: Sniperman
    Submitted: July 24th, 2004

    Aphids: symptoms include curled or yellow leaves. Sticky honeydew residue on leaves, general weakness in plants.

    Control: spray with a strong stream of water (during veg only). Sticky yellow traps. Alum foil mulch. Predatory bugs. Horticulture sprays. Most general-purpose garden spray r dusts, including pyrethrins, rotenone, and Malathion.

    Spider Mites:

    Signs of an Infestation:
    Mites will first be noticed by the presence of small, discolored spots located near veins in the leaves. To see them, you will need the help of a 10X loupe, or a 30X Microscope. Mites use piercing mouthparts to suck sap. Mites will slow growth and attack the buds in advanced stages. The life cycle of the spider mite is closely tied to the temperature of the grow room; slow an infestation by keeping temp in the low 70’s.

    Eliminating spider mites:
    A “No Pest strip” is very effective in eliminating them. Avid is a very effective systemic chemical control. A soapy spray will also keep their numbers in check (thoroughly coat underside of the leaves). Space plants out to minimize transfer movement between plants.

    • Suck plant sap
    • 'Speckling' may indicate mites underneath
    • Mites may appear transparent, black or red
    • 'Bronzing' of the leaf is characteristic
    • Webbing is present in advanced stages


    Image by Sog: Thrip size reference

    Signs of an infestation:
    Thrips feed on new leaves of plants (and flowers); fresh leaf growth will deformed. A metallic sheen on leaves is one sure indicator of Thrips.

    Sog "Thrip feces are easy to see with the naked eye; they show up as black spots on the leaves and stems of infected areas. Thrips themselves are a pale pinkish color."

    Controlling Thrips:
    Interestingly, Garlic repels Thrips. Cooler temps will slow down the life cycle, and blue sticky traps will trap adults. You can siphon them off by rustling the plant, and sucking them up with a shop-vac!

    Image by Sog: Silvered leaves
    indicate heavy attack

    Predator mites are also beneficial in the control of Thrips. Fine powdered Sulphur applied to the leaves will control them as well. A biological spray containing Beauvaria bassiana, (A fungus that grows and consumes Thrips) is also effective. Spraying the leaves with Chrysanthemum also kills Thrips.

    • Feed on plant tissue
    • Rasp leaf surfaces and suck juices
    • Heavily damaged plants appear silvery or gray
    • Plants may be distorted, especially seedlings


    Signs of an infestation:
    Whiteflies are also sap-suckers. The top surface of leaves on infested plants become pale or spotted due to these insects feeding on the undersides of the leaves. Heavily infested plants will produce a buzzing cloud of flies if shaken.

    The Whitefly life cycle is interesting in that the larval stage does all the damage. The larva will hatch and remain until it has quickly molted 3 times. Then it pupates and an adult emerges.

    Controlling the Whitefly:
    Insecticidal soap will take care of an infestation, as will the more toxic Diazanaon. Apply the soap (plus a wetting agent) to all parts on the plants, and both sides of the leaves. This will act to block the breathing pores and suffocate the pests.

    • feed by sucking plant juices
    • mottled leaves indicate heavy attack
    • may cause yellowing or death
    • excreted honeydew may cover lower leaves, and black mold may grow on honeydew

    Fungus Gnats:

    Image by Ot1: Fungus Gnat

    Signs of an infestation:
    Fungus Gnats are attracted to soils that are rich in compost and nutrients. They lay eggs on the surface, hatching into larvae. Those larvae feed on the root tissue, including root hairs, and the outer cell covering of the root; often leaving only the central tube of the root. External signs include discolored leaves, and systemic plant failure. Fungus gnat adults will often run across the medium and may fly if the plant is shaken.

    Controlling Fungus Gnats:
    Pyrethrum aerosols, as well as placing yellow sticky traps all around the plant will help control the emerging adults. Gnatrol (containing natural Bt) is highly recommended.

    •Gnats vector root rot
    •Gnats on the medium, or bottoms of the plants
    •¼” long whitish maggots in the soil
    Last edited by frostyy420; 03-04-2006 at 03:14 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Account Closed Stoned2Death's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Demons rule and their subjects hold them as saints. Bizzaro world.


    What about scale?

  4. #4
    Senior Member drewpdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    I took in a pot with a rose bush in it, and took it inside. Now i noticed a ton of little rolly polly bugs (no clue the real name thats just what we called them as kids they at very small bettles that when touched roll up in a ball like an armadilo). Are these harmful to my plants?

  5. #5
    Resident Kaos!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Farmer Mc Greggors garden


    Those are Sow-bugs, just looking for a dark wet area to hide.
    I don't think they go out much in daylight, so theyll probably look for a way outside, or die inside.

    I'd look under the rose pot, and smoosh any rolly-pollies.

    And Mom and Dad say if I eat all of my food
    I can go to the hard core show and see F.O.D.

  6. #6


    what is the best way 2 get rid of whiteflies? is the one listed the only way?

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default leaves down help

    Hi I have a horible leef problem that i think is aphids or a sickness can anybody take a look at this pic and conferm or deny this im not shure if the kids are just to crowded under the lights and this could be the result despite all the air we move i soil neem avery day to kill the little white flys that try to invade the soil (it keeps them down but they come back every couple of days ) but this never happend to our leaves before. we are trying safer now but were loosing leaves real fast thanxs for reading and any info would be awsome peace ESP
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8


    Lookin at the pic I thought...P deficiency...but then I read the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by ESP View Post
    ...i soil neem avery day to kill the little white flys that try to invade the soil (it keeps them down but they come back every couple of days )...
    ...we are trying safer now...
    Plants don't like insecticides. I've used the Safer's soap sprayed on plants & they din't like it one bit. If yer gittin white flies in yer soil all the time, yer keepin it too moist. Lettin the top of the soil dry out should prevent the lil buggers from gittin in. Also, look into diatomaceous earth...itsa sand like substance that when layered on top of yer soil will be like razor blades to the flies.

  9. #9


    thank you butcher bob, i tryed using neem on my ladies and they hated it. i just got some of the diatomaceous earth, how thick of a layer do i need to use?

  10. #10
    Gone Gonzo, Back Never Sativa Cyborg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I wish I knew....


    Is the plants hatred of neem normal or just some strains? I had heard it didn't hurt them but my plants were pretty pissed when I used it on them.... I was using it for spider mites in flower if that explains it...IDK



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