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How To ID Grow Room Pests
Before you can stop damage to your indoor garden plants, you have to know who the culprits are and just the right treatment for eliminating them. But you don’t need to schedule an appointment with the nearest entomologist to diagnose the problem. These handy online pest identification guides show you detailed images of garden pests and offer trustworthy advice on how to get rid of them.
The nonprofit NGA offers a well-organized library of garden pests, including those that are common indoors. The descriptions of where to look for them on plants are an essential first step from seeing damage to determining its cause. Most of the solutions recommended are organic.
Best for: Reviewing identification photos
This resource from one of the nation’s leading public gardens lets you search by pest or plant. You’ll find separate entries for indoor pests and the damage they cause. The solutions emphasize biological and cultural tactics as well as organic treatments.
Best for: Matching symptoms to pests
Everything you need to know about indoor garden pests is in Safer® Brand’s Insect Library. You’ll see clear images of them, find out how to recognize the symptoms they cause, and learn about the most effective controls, including the beneficial insects that prey on pests.
Best for: Finding fast solutions
You get in-depth information and a wide variety of ID photos (including shots of plant damage) from the scientists at UC. Each pest on the extensive list is covered in its own detailed report that’s been written for the nonprofessional. The printable reports include specifics on the pests’ life cycles and habits, as well as a comprehensive review of management strategies.
Best for: Getting details on pests’ life cycles and habits
In a short, fun video that plays on the popular TV crime drama, Mike Raupp, the “Bug Guy” for the University of Maryland Extension, shows how to gather clues at the scene of the crime—damaged plants. While Raupp demonstrates in an outdoor garden with crops growing in the ground, his advice on how to recognize critical information and use it to make a positive ID is useful to indoor growers, too.
Best for: Discovering where bugs hide
You’ll see photos of the most common insects—such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs—along with those of less familiar indoor pests, such as scale, leaf miners, and springtails. Each entry includes a description of the damage caused by the insect, and many offer insights into the conditions that make your plants vulnerable to it. The recommended controls start with the least invasive approaches (such as simple cultural changes) and include organic solutions (such as insecticidal soap) along with more toxic chemicals.
Best for: Learning about prevention and nontoxic controls