Indoor plants can be a beautiful way to add individuality to your home design. But they must be properly cared for to look their best. Pest control is an important part of plant care. You should learn how to get rid of little white worms in houseplant pots and prevent them from returning.
You may see tiny white worms in your plant’s soil if you just changed the potting mix or if it has been subjected to severe rainfall. These worms are typically small, thread-like, and crawl through heaps of the earth. These small worms are either pot worms or larvae of fungus gnats. They destroy plant roots and deplete soil organic materials.
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Tiny Little White Worms in Soil
Many plant pests first appear as white worms in composted soil. However, as they mature, identifying them and providing intensive treatment becomes easier.
Pot worms, which are sometimes mistaken for baby red wiggles, are small white worms.
These insects and larvae are ugly and harm the plant in various areas.
As the insects feed just on organic matter in the soil, the entire plant may be harmed. Unfortunately, the roots are frequently harmed the most.
The worm’s constant feeding eventually causes root rot, which is a houseplant’s worst nightmare.
What Causes These White Little Worms?
A variety of factors contribute to the formation and spread of white worm colonies. They can infect even the healthiest plants and quickly spread to others, adding to the gardener’s problems.
Here are a few causes:
While moderate rain is beneficial to plants and readily washes away, heavy rains frequently deplete the soil’s nutrients and foster the growth of a slew of unwelcome and harmful soil pests and bugs.
Many creatures can thrive in waterlogged soils. While some manufacture important micronutrients for plants, the majority graze on them.
White worms are one type of bug that thrives in damp soils and reproduces quickly, making it difficult for gardeners to control and prevent their spread.
An optimal soil pH is as important to the plant as a consistent nutrition supply. An adverse pH might cause significant damage.
It can stunt new development, harm existing leaves and blossoms, and, in this case, give rise to white worms and other pests.
An acidic to neutral pH 5 – 8 reduces the proliferation of pathogenic organisms, allowing the plant to grow and thrive. When bone meal or hardwood charcoal are added, the pH rises to a more alkaline level.
The higher the pH, the easier it is for pests to breed and infest plants.
Many houseplant owners are well aware that most plants prefer a humid environment to a dry one. In high humidity, such plants develop, producing brilliant and robust blossoms and leaves.
Unfortunately, issues develop when the plant is repeatedly exposed to extreme humidity levels.
Excess humidity is absorbed by plants, either from the air or from the soil, increasing the plant’s risk of infectious diseases and pest infestation.
Such high humidity conditions are ideal for small white worms, which lay a large number of larvae in a single day, considerably increasing their population.
Organic Matter Decomposition
Numerous pests and insects feed on decomposing organic waste, such as fading leaves and rotting fruits. If disintegrating or degrading waste is not removed from a plant’s surroundings as soon as possible, small white worms will sprout in its soil.
The disintegrating organic substance provides an ideal breeding environment for the worm’s larvae. The white worms reproduce quickly and may be seen crawling through the plant’s soil as well as deep tunnels.
When plants are nearby or clustered in one area, all plant pests and diseases, including white worms, move fast from one plant to another.
A healthy, non-infectious plant can be perfectly normal one day and then have several brown areas and white worms moving through its soil the next.
As if that weren’t enough, if no action is taken right away, the white worms can cause a full-house infestation.
How To Remove White Worms
1. Removing Top Layer of Soil
Remove the top layers of gnat-infested soil from your houseplant to treat white worm larvae. Put it in the bin. This could also be a good time to re-pot your plant, removing the old soil and putting it with new soil in a bigger pot to allow for better growth.
2. Treat The Soil with A Mild
Following a white worm infestation, treat the soil with a moderate insecticide suited for indoor usage. Castile soap is an excellent choice when blended with water because it is gentle on the skin and will not harm your houseplants. A natural alternative is neem oil.
An insecticide containing Bacillus thuringiensis is another alternative for eliminating white worms from plants. This can be placed on the soil of your damaged houseplant and watered in according to the product label’s manufacturer’s instructions.
How To Care for White Worms-Infected Plants
Because of their light hue, microscopic white worms can be detected quite fast before causing significant damage. A few simple care suggestions will assist you in rapidly locating and removing them.
Wash It Out
If your plant’s soil has become entirely saturated with water, either wash it out to remove any additional minerals that have accumulated, or just replace it with an adequate fresh soil mix.
If you choose the former and intend to wash it out, set your plant in filtered sunshine to evaporate excess water.
The Right pH
The significance of proper pH cannot be overstated. It is one of the fundamental components that can make or ruin a plant.
Determine the correct pH for your plant by consulting a professional gardener, a local plant store, or any other reputable plant source. I recommend that you set and maintain the necessary pH and enjoy it as your plant grows into a magnificent work of art.
A pH meter can be used to determine the proper pH level.
The Perfect Humidity
If your plant’s soil or surroundings is constantly moist, I propose that you place it in an open area with bright, dappled sunshine for some time.
The sun’s rays will help evaporate the excess moisture that the plant has absorbed, allowing it to retain only what is required.
As you may have imagined, keeping the good hygiene is essential for happy and healthy plants. Mist and dust your plants at least once a week, and inspect the leaves, undersides, and soil for bugs and pests regularly.
Furthermore, if a plant dies, move it away from the other healthy plants.
Some plants’ breakdown products can be used to improve soil fertility for other plants. As a result, before discarding the decompose, I recommend that you check to see if it is still valuable.
Another thing worth mentioning, keep the plants at a reasonable distance from one another to prevent the spread of white worms from one plant to the next.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Tiny Little Worms in Soil
ARE WHITE WORMS HARMFUL TO PLANTS?
White worms do not do significant damage. However, if allowed to reproduce for an extended time, they may cause root rot and leaf discoloration.
HOW DO I QUICKLY GET RID OF WHITE WORMS?
Apply insecticide to diseased plants, or just handpick any white worms you observe crawling around in your compost soil.
WILL I HAVE TO REPLACE MY PLANT’S SOIL IF WHITE WORMS INFEST IT?
If only a few white worms are present, you can handpick them and continue using the same soil. However, if their population has increased significantly, it is best to change the soil.
HOW DO YOU KILL WHITE WORMS?
If you find maggots in your food or trash, you can destroy them by boiling them along with the eggs. Another alternative is to completely sprinkle them with salt or spray them with a pesticide. If you locate them in your home’s carpeting or baseboards, you will almost certainly need to spray.
WHAT ARE THOSE WHITE WORMS CALLED?
Pinworms, sometimes known as threadworms, are microscopic white or light gray worms that cause enterobiasis, a frequent infection. Pinworm is most commonly discovered in youngsters and can be treated with over-the-counter antiparasitic drugs.