There is a variety of insects which infest parlor plants, and, unless looked after rather closely, will destroy their beauty. The green fly is a great pest to parlor and green-house plants; but they are easily killed in the green-house, by filling the house thoroughly with tobacco smoke at the close of the day, and then shutting it up tight for the night. For'parlor plants, it will be necessary to put them in large boxes, or barrels, and fill them with smoke, and cover up tight. This will effectually destroy this destructive and disgusting insect. By immersing the plants in a tub of soap-suds, they may be freed from the fly. To do this, a piece of pasteboard should be made to cover the top of the pot, cutting a side slit for the stem; then, holding the hand over the pasteboard, the pot may be inverted without disturbing the mould, and, by the immersion, the foliage will be effectually freed from the insect.
The red spider may be detected by examining the leaves, which look yellow and sickly; but they are so small it will require good eyes to see them. This minute, ugly customer is not so easily got rid of as the green fly. Plants from neglected green-houses are often infested with it. The most effectual way of destroying these insects is to give them repeated syringing with sulphur water. The plants can be taken out of doors in a mild day, and the operation performed upon them, remembering that it is important, to syringe the under side of the leaf as well as the upper side, as the red spider will be found in greater abundance there.
There is another insect, more difficult to get rid of than either of those named. It is the mealy bug, which may be found in the axils of the leaves, and on the stems of Oranges, Camellias, Heaths, etc. They look like little specks of cotton; but, upon picking them off, a disagreeable, ugly-looking insect will be found imbedded in this glutinous, cottony substance. They are sometimes very troublesome in graperies, and require much care to get rid of them. They are only to be destroyed by industriously picking them off.