African Violet Pest and Diseases

The BUGS of African Violets

Be sure to read a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) on a chemical before using it.
Goto Google and enter the chemical name and MSDS to find the MSDS on that chemical.
It's a good item to print out a copy of the MSDS for ANY chemicals that you are using on your plants

Goto my THRIPS pages

Goto my MITES pages

The Bugs FAQ this contains alot of good info!

Aphids - Leaves my be discolored,
Curled, smaller in size, Also a sticky substance may be on the leave
A Much Larger view of Aphids on a leaf, Full Color

Wipe or Wash off the aphids, Q-tips dipped in alcohol will work also. Orthene will also work

Fungus Gnats
As for the gnats, they are a very common problem.
They can come into your house on your clothes, on your pets, through windows, etc.
They can also in introduced from your soil/mix

For natural control:
I use blue and yellow sticky traps to catch them.
You can also use a bowl with soapy water to catch them.
Or try a few sundew plants. (Sundews are very interesting plants!)
Something called GNATROL works very good for gnats and I think it's very safe to use.

Gnatrol is a highly selective, biological larvicide for use in greenhouses
to control fungus gnat larvae. The active ingredient is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis(Bti).
Once the larvae have ingested the insecticide, protein subunits paralyze the fungus gnat larvae,
which stop feeding immediately and die usually within 24 hours

Whiteflies - Tiny white winged insects, on the underside of leaves,
Bump the plant and they will fly around. Leaves my be mottled and yellow

Wipe or wash off with 'Q-Tip' dipped in alcohol, 'Orthene' will also control whiteflies, and sticky traps might help.

Mealybugs - White cotton like insects under leaves and in corners of stems where they attach.

For a few mealybugs use a 'Q-Tip' dipped in alcohol and remove all the bugs.
Check your plants carefully to get them all.
Eggs sacs may be present under rims or bottom of the pots, so check here also.
Again, 'Orthene' will control Mealybugs

Soil Mealybugs

(photo credits to: Marjorie's Photo Album)

Great Close-ups

You can easily miss Soil Mealybugs, since they look alot like "perlite"
Always check for them when repotting

For Soil Mealybugs you will need to DRENCH the soil
If not the bug will simply move to an area of soil that did not get treated

Chemical controls for Soil Mealybugs include:
Marathon, Merit, Malathion, Cygon, Diazinon, Orthene, Schultz Insect Spray,

Marathon is my insecticide of choice for soil mealybugs.
I use about 1/8 teaspoon per 4" pot. Mix into the soil and water.
I always use it when I repot each African Violet.

Merit works well. Use the wettable powder and mix 1/8t to a gallon of water.
Then spray your plants. Merit is a systemic insecticide also.

Scales - Stems or Leaves are covered with a cushion like mass,
or brown or reddish-grey 'BUMPS' Leaves may also turn yellow or drop.

You can try to pick these off, or treat with 'Orthene'

Spider Mites - Leaves are turning yellow.
There will be webbing over flower buds, between leaves or under leaves.
If you look close enough you can see these moving around.

Again 'ORTHENE' will help, Treat weekly so you kill the newly hatched eggs.

Springtails - Little specks swimming in your reservoirs.

Look for products containing diazinon, permethrin, bifenthrin, or cypermethrin, Malathion
and controlled by drying up their environment

Go Back to the MAIN Page

Copyright 1995-2004 Steven Reed. All Rights Reserved.
Images my not be used on ANY other web site without Permission,
Full Credit Given and Web Link to my site

To contact me