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Mint plants are one of the most popular herbs you can grow in your home.
But as attractive as it can be, it usually attracts unwanted attention from several devastating pests.
If you are going through this challenge and don’t know how best to get rid of these pests.
Do well to follow the tips that we will provide for you in this article.
Mint Plant Pests
Below are the major pests that destroy the mint plant as well as the symptoms and the various ways that each of them can be treated.
1. Spider Mites
There are several types of mites, but the mite that’s associated with causing damage to mint plants is the one which is called Two-Spotted Spider Mite.
This type of mite is usually small and lives on the underside of mint leaves which is attracted to new plant growth.
It mostly thrives in hot, dry, and arid conditions.
So, if your plant has spider mites, there is a good possibility that your plant is underwater.
If you are in your garden and you see yellow or brownish spots on the leaves of your mint plant.
Then, it means that your mint plant has been infected by the spider mite.
Furthermore, if you notice any discoloration or spider web throughout the leaf. It also means that it has been infected as well.
Below are the ways that you can treat this pest infection.
A. You can pump and spray water on your mint plant to get rid of these pests since mites live in dry conditions and can’t survive in a moist soil or plant.
So by doing so, it will help to keep away this type of pest.
B. You can as well use a plant-based insecticide such as pyrethrum or rosemary oil which is very effective in killing off the mites without causing harm to the plant.
C. Neem oil is also a natural miticide.
It is a chemical agent that is especially effective at killing mite infestations.
Though there are other organic treatments that you can use in place of oil which include garlic water and hydrogen peroxide.
D. Potassium salts can also be useful against spider mites.
E. You can introduce other favorable insects to your plant, such as the ladybug, which preys on these mites.
F. Applying rubbing alcohol to the affected areas can also help get rid of the spider mites.
Mealybugs is also one of the most common pests that infest the mint plant.
Whenever you see or notice a white fluffy appearance, it means that it has been infected by this bug.
Mealybugs feed on the leaves and stems of the plant and suck out their juices which will result in the mint plants to have stunted growth and discolored leaves that will droop and fall early.
You can get rid of mealybugs by:
A. Applying soapy water or rubbing alcohol on the affected areas with a cotton bud and allow it to sit for a few hours and then wash it off.
B. You can also use a neem oil which is also an effective remedy for mealybugs. It suffocates adult bugs and can also help prevent larvae from maturing.
3. Thrips (Thysanoptera)
Thrips are small pesky and flying insects that feed on various plants.
They puncture the plants and suck their juices.
The symptoms of this pest are very much similar to aphids.
A sign that depicts that your mint plant has been affected by this pest is the leaf having spots, streaking as well as the leaf shriveling and curling inward.
Thrips can be removed using:
A. Using a strict trap can help in treating the thrip infection.
B. Spraying water on the plant can also help in preventing infestations from breaking out and damaging your plants.
C. Favorable insects like ladybugs and pirate bugs can help since they prey on other pests.
D. One of the most effective treatments for any flying pest, including thrips, is the natural bug spray pyrethrin.
By using Pyrethrin, it affects a thrip’s nervous system, paralyzing them and killing them in contact.
So, if you want to use this method, do well to apply it directly to infested areas to kill insects and repel breeding.
4. Hairy Caterpillar
Hairy caterpillars are those pests that cause early defoliation of plants which simply means leaf loss if left untreated.
If your mint plant has long, thin caterpillars with white tendrils growing from their bodies, then it means that your plant has been infected.
Additionally, they’re quite painful if you happen to touch them accidentally which will make pruning and harvesting your mint extra troublesome.
A. Similar to cutworms, manually removing hairy caterpillars and their cocoons is an effective treatment.
You can remove them with tweezers and place them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.
B. Another effective treatment is using an insecticide that contains Bacillus thuringiensis, which is proving to be an effective toxin for some insects, especially caterpillars and troublesome larvae.
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5. Root-lesion Nematode
Root-lesion nematodes are microscopic pests that cause a nutrient-deficient appearance to your mint plant.
If your mint plant has smaller, feeder roots, fraying edges or the root system as a whole is significantly underdeveloped.
Then, this is a sign that the root-lesion nematode is in your soil.
Because this pest continues to attack plants until they die, time is crucial to your mint’s recovery.
A. The first option you have is to remove the affected roots from your plant and till the soil around it.
B. Do well to always use sterile equipment.
C. In a situation whereby your nematode problem is very serious, you may also consider soil fumigation.
By soil fumigation, it means when special pesticides applied to the soil release a gas that eliminates harmful microbes.
So before you start applying, always read the instructions on the products carefully.
Loopers are leaf-eating caterpillars that have an insatiable appetite for new growth, including new leaves and young stems.
They love eating strong-smelling plants, which makes your mint a prime target.
If you spot holes or bite marks throughout your plant, or what looks to be cocoon shedding, you may well have a looper infestation on your plant.
Though, they are quite easy to see with the naked eye, so do well to check your plant for infestations regularly.
That’s a great way of catching them before they cause too much trouble.
A. Firstly, depending on the severity, you may be able to remove all the loopers by hand.
Place the loopers in a bucket of soapy water to dispose of them. You should also look out for eggs which are usually on the underside of leaves.
B. You can also use an insecticide that contains Bacillus thuringiensis, which is toxic to some insects, especially caterpillars, without harming other beneficial wildlife.
C. in addition, pepper spray is also effective, as caterpillars don’t appreciate the heat or strong smell.
7. Flea Beetles
Flea beetles are dark-colored, shiny-backed beetles that are famous for jumping high like fleas. They are attracted to mint plants.
They are known to cause serious damage to plant leaves, including creating holes and striping new leaves.
Additionally, flea beetles can carry diseases such as blight, so you must get a hand on their presence.
A. Since flea jumping is characterized as their weakness.
Then sticky traps can be an effective way of luring adult beetles away from plants and stopping them in their tracks.
B. Also, since flea beetles are soft-bodied, they are extremely vulnerable to solutions such as neem oil or soapy water.
8. Aphids (Peach aphid)
Peach aphids are small green or yellow insects that live on the underside of the mint’s leaves.
Aphids bite into leaves and suck their juices out.
Signs you have an aphid problem include damaged leaves, distorted color, spotting, and stunted growth.
Additionally, Aphids are known to spread rapidly and can lead to devastating infestations if left unchecked.
Depending on the severity of your aphid problem, there are two avenues of treatment.
A. If the infestation is small and contained, you can prune the affected leaves off the plant,
B. You can also spray the aphids with water to knock them off.
Cutworms are aptly named pests because they cut through your plants as they feed. As the larvae form moths, cutworms are especially devastating for mint given how delicate and vulnerable it is.
A sure sign you have an infestation is cuts or a hole throughout your mint, as well as spotting small caterpillar-like insects at the base of plants during the evening time.
There are a few treatments you can rely on to rid your mind of cutworms which include:
A. Manual power which means picking them off your plant.
As cutworms are dormant during the day, the best time to strike is at night time when they are most active.
As you do so, ensure that you wear a pair of gloves and remove pests as you discover them.
Drop them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.
B. Another treatment to consider is using diatomaceous earth, which dehydrates any insect that walks through it.
Just simply create a protective barrier around the base of your mint plant.
1. What Are The Common Problems With Mint Plants?
Some of the common Problems affecting Mint Plants include aphids, spider mites, cutworms, and mint root borers.
Mint can also be susceptible to diseases such as mint rust, verticillium wilt, and anthracnose
2. How Can I Spray With Mints?
You can spray mint plants through the use of Peppermint oil which is a great preventative.
Apply it every month or after a drenching rain to keep potential insect pests away from your garden.
Steps to follow include:
Fill a spray bottle with water and add 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix well and spray lightly on plants.
3. What Is The Pest Of Peppermints?
Aphids, thrips (thysanoptera) and spider mites are common pests of the peppermint plant.
The common denominator of these pests is that they reside in the underside of leaves and they often cause leaves spot, leaves discoloration and partial or complete defoliation.
4. How Do You Keep Mint Plants Healthy?
Keep soil consistently moist and water when the top inch becomes dry.
Promote excellent leaf production by regularly feeding with water-soluble plant food.
Once plants are established, harvest mint leaves regularly by pinching off the stems.
5. Do Mint Plants Need Full Sun?
Mint likes full sun or partial shade.
It is very vigorous and will spread all over the place if planted in the ground.
Instead, plant it in a large pot filled with multi-purpose compost or in a large, bottomless bucket sunk into the soil with the rim above ground level to prevent shoots escaping over the top.
6. Are Mint Plants Resistant?
The scent of mint repels aphids, cabbage moths, flea beetles, squash bugs, whiteflies, and even ants
Mint is a vulnerable herb, and if left unchecked, it doesn’t stand much of a chance.
So, if you have a mint plant growing in your garden, do well to check it out today and if you encounter any pest infection, treat them according to the tips which we have provided in this article.
For further questions, ask them in the comment section below and we will surely respond.