I am a giant tending to my plants on my apartment deck. Sometimes I start the morning by giving my plant children a stern look over. Is everyone okay? Who’s thirsty? I pick up dead or dying leaves. It’s important to make sure your little forest doesn’t have any fires.
During this ritual I noticed these tiny brown bugs on my ribbon plant. At first, I didn’t know what I was looking at; spots on the leaves, the plant seemed fine, until its leaves changed from green-red to sad brown.
I squatted down and started using my nails to slide the hard-shelled bugs off the long thin leaves. There were too many to pick off one at a time. I didn’t like using rubbing alcohol as the internet recommended, wasn’t nearly as satisfying.
After I dusted off the bugs, they fell onto the deck, staining my fingers. Then the ants came out, feasting on the corpses, Mother Nature’s Hoover, cleaning away every tasty morsel.
Would the fish like them? I wondered. After sliding off the bugs, I sprinkled them over the nearby fish pot. These guppies get excited over anything, from me walking by to adding more water, but feeding times are when they love me the most. And they loved those little hard-shelled bugs.
I dragged the plant over to my fish pot, grabbed a beach mat, and made myself comfortable. Sliding my fingers, sprinkling the bodies, and saving my plant.