So I am currently dealing with essentially a houseplant massacre:
- boston fern is infested with (I believe) mealybugs
- bonsai cape mallow is infested with (confirmed) mealybugs
- bonsai south african ficus is infested with (I believe) spider mites
- succulents are infested with (confirmed) spider mites
- spider plant is infested with (I believe) mealybugs
- cat palm is infested with (confirmed) spider mites
- chinese basil is infested with (I believe) spider mites
- string of bananas is infested with spider mites, as well as its cuttings
What is the best way to get rid of all of these? I just realized today that the infestation is as bad as it is. What I've done so far:
- I noticed the cat palm first. I think this may have been where the spider mites came from. I gave that a good wash and shower last week.
- Two days ago I gave the cat palm another shower, this time with dish soap/water mixture (it has been quarantined away from other plants since I noticed the spider mites)
- Today after inspecting other plants, I noticed the string of bananas was in really bad shape. I washed that down with dish soap water. I've done the same with all of the other plants, of course disinfecting the areas where they were with lysol as well as the sink/surrounding area after treating them.
My question is: what is the best way to save my plants?
- I don't care if the treatment is food or pet safe (I don't have pets, these plants are purely for decoration besides the chinese basil)
- I will do ANYTHING. I will fog my whole apartment multiple times, I don't care!
Given the global quarantine, I want to pick the most effective (not necessarily the safest for me) treatment, since shipment times will take a while. I am definitely going to invest in neem oil for the showers/washes, which I will continue.
Related to showers/spraying: how often should I shower the plants? And how do I avoid overwatering when doing so, especially with the succulents?
FINAL QUESTION: I just ordered some baskets to set the plastic pots that hold my plants in. Will these potentially exacerbate the problem of both pests (since there's lots of nooks and crannies?) How can I prevent them from becoming a breeding/hiding ground?
Thank you so much for any help or input. For reference: I live in the northeast (PA) in a highrise with south-facing windows. I get direct sunlight through them ~6 hours a day.