One day, you are casually strolling around your garden while you are basking in the glory of the hard work you have done. All the flowers are in bloom and all the plants are in good condition, or are they really? You will walk towards a plant that seem to be getting your attention and surprise! It’s starting to get discolored and it seems that its leaves are going to fall anytime soon. You look around and you finally found the culprits: tiny black bugs on plant leaves.
There can be no more stressful thing for a true gardener or a gardener at heart than a scene of pests on their plants. Additionally, it’s maddening as you realize that as long as those pests are still on your plants, the latter’s life will be in danger.
But fret no more! Here, we collected the basic information regarding the three main tiny black bugs on plant leaves for you to easily recognize them. With fast recognition comes fast action and with the last, you can definitely save your plants. Also added to this blog post are the various methods you can opt for to fight off pests that are already infecting your plants. Lastly, there are also ways on how to prevent pests’ infections in the first place. So make sure to stick around!
COMMON PLANT PESTS
Here are some of the most common tiny black bugs on plant leaves that can certainly be detrimental to your plant’s well-being. Watch out for them and take necessary actions as soon as possible.
These are soft-bodied insects which have mouthparts that can easily pierce into a plant’s leaves and then suck the sap out of them. Healthy and established trees and shrubs won’t really be that affected by these bugs. On the other hand, some plants will be, especially those who are indeed sensitive to specific aphids.
First, aphids fly towards the plant or the host. As soon as they land, they will put immature aphids or nymphs, which are their wingless young, and then move to another plant. Moreover, these nymphs left on the tender tissue of the plant’s leaves will be the ones to feed on the sap. As they do so, they will definitely increase in size in just a span of seven to 10 days. Furthermore, just after those 10 days, they can already produce their own nymphs and the cycle just repeats over and over again.
These tiny black bugs on plant’s leaves which can also be pink, brown, green, yellow, or red should be controlled quickly. It’s because aphids are most likely to be females and each one of them can produce as many as 10 to 60 offspring. Indeed, they can really accumulate and make the plant stressed that fast. Then the plant will certainly show manifestations like wrinkling or extremely distorting leaves.
Additionally, they create this sugary liquid waste called “honeydew” that can pile up and result into a fungus called “sooty mold.” This fungus will turn the plant’s leaves black and may also attract other insects to feed on it. Lastly, the worst case can be if these aphids are carrying viruses which can really seriously harm the plant.
- SPIDER MITES
Another one of those tiny black bugs that can be found on plant leaves are these arachnids. These pests are actually relatives of spiders, ticks, and scorpions which means that they are not technically insects.
These spider mites which thrive in dry conditions are wind surfers. They ride their webbing on the breeze in order to transport from one plant to another. Moreover, as soon as they land, they definitely attach themselves to the leaves’ tissue and then suck the fluids in it. That will show up as tiny spots with pattern under the plant’s leaves. Then the leaves will eventually turn into an odd yellow color, dry up, and then fall off.
Furthermore, these pests actually stay in put during the winter as eggs left on plant parts. As soon as it starts getting warm around, these eggs will hatch until the larvae will become a nymph and then eventually an adult. Also, the females will be able to produce around 300 eggs in just a span of weeks. For this reason that these spider mites are indeed terribly prolific, you may not be able to tell immediately that the plant is suffering severely.
These pests are characterized by their black and slender bodies as well as their two pairs of feathery wings. Additionally, they look like small dark threads as seen by the naked eye without any lens or any special apparatus.
Thrips, just like the other two previous tiny black bugs, do suck the fluids in the plant’s leaves. However, they are also capable of scraping which is just very detrimental to plants. The signs that a plant is infected will be that its leaves or any part for that matter will be twisted, discolored or turned pale and silvery, as well as badly scarred. For severe cases, the plant may really die eventually.
GETTING RID OF PLANT BUGS
There are many options that you can choose from to eliminate the tiny black bugs in your plant’s leaves. Although, be informed that there are two ways on how to actually do it: the natural or the chemical way.
The natural way includes using the pests’ natural predators to end them. Some of these natural predators are the lady and soldier beetles. Another option under this category is splashing with water. Here, you will spray water on an infected plant which can obviously expel some bugs in it. Take note that using the natural way will also save the fundamental and non-harmful insects living on the plant.
However, there is also the second way which is utilizing all sorts of chemical controls such as insecticide soils and soaps. Remember that these will be effective if only you put them directly into the bugs. Also, be careful when using these products.
Lastly, there are some ways you can combat pests by using your own products at home. Think about it as an easy DIY project to save your plants. There is the beer which many pests like. So if you set up saucer traps with beer in it, you can certainly prevent some pests from getting into your plant. This is also the same with garlic. This also repels some pests too. For it to work, stick a clove of it into the soil.
On the other hand, there is also the alcohol spray that you can try. You can produce one that will surely repel insects by mixing one or two cups of 70% isopropyl alcohol with a quart of water. Furthermore, there is the pepper spray that you can make by mixing two tablespoons of red/ black/ chili pepper, six drops of dish soap, and a gallon of water. If there is no pepper available, you can also use a dill, ginger, or paprika
PREVENT GETTING PLANT BUGS
Having tiny black bugs on your plant’s leaves is stressful and indeed angry-inducing. Growing a plant takes effort and a lot of resources. At the same time, these plants may be like babies to you. That is why it’s definitely hard to see them being infected by pests.
Now, bear in mind that taking actions to avoid this agonizing situation is worth it compared to having to fight a pest that is already there. And yes, there are numerous ways to care for your plant so it won’t be a host of disgusting pests.
- Of course, it’s a no-brainer to invest in a simple magnifying lens if you are into gardening. This tool will be able to help you monitor your plant. You will most definitely see something suspicious right away if you have this item.
- Clean your plants from time to time using a soft cloth as well as lukewarm and non-toxic soap.
- Definitely use sterile soil for your plants as much as possible. Take note that sterile soil is a garden soil that has undergone a chemical process which removed pathogens in it. Again, it’s obviously another no-brainer in gardening. Furthermore, it will save you from stresses other than the bugs such as this soil is less likely to grow weeds.
- Completely sanitize your plants’ containers.
These tiny black bugs on plant leaves are just some of the pests that can really ruin your plants. Clearly, there are many more bugs out there which are more destructive. You absolutely need to be creative in your ways in dealing with these horrible pests.