How to Get Rid of Bugs on Houseplants Naturally

Dealing with a pest infestation is every plant owner’s worst nightmare. If you see the first signs of plant pests in your home, they’ve already made a nice home for themselves in your potted plants. Don’t give up, though. With a little extra work, you can get your indoor garden into shape again. There’s a handful of ways to go about getting rid of different types of houseplant bugs.

Pests that often attack plants are mealybugs, scale, spider mites, fungus gnats, thrips, and slugs, says Erin Marino, who is an expert on plants and the marketing director at The Sill. It’s important to remember that these bugs only want to eat your plants and not you, your pets, or your furniture. I know that sounds scary. ”.

You want to keep your plants healthy and happy because being near plants can make you feel better. If you want to know how to keep bugs out of your indoor plants, read on for gardener-approved tips, such as how to make your own indoor plant bug sprays and how to treat the soil of your plant without using chemicals.

Having houseplants enhances any living space with cheerful greenery. But the wrong pests can quickly turn your indoor oasis into a nuisance. Before reaching for harsh chemical pesticides try these safe and effective natural methods to get rid of bugs on houseplants.

Identify the Pest

The first step is confirming what bugs you actually have. Common houseplant pests include:

  • Aphids – Small green red or black soft-bodied insects that cluster on stems and leaves.

  • Mealybugs – Fluffy white insects that leave a cottony residue on plants

  • Spider mites – Tiny reddish or yellow dots on the undersides of leaves. Fine webbing may be visible.

  • Fungus gnats – Small flying insects often seen circling wet soil.

  • Thrips – Slender black or brown bugs that feed on leaves and buds.

Properly identifying the pest will help you choose the best organic treatment method. Also inspect to find heaviest areas of infestation on your plants.

Remove by Hand

For mild infestations of aphids, mealybugs or other soft-bodied insects, manually removing them may be enough. Check plants daily and simply pick off any bugs you see. Dispose of them in soapy water. Regular hand removal prevents pests from multiplying.

Use Soap and Water

Insecticidal soap spray is a safe and effective treatment for many houseplant pests. It works by dissolving their waxy protective coating which dehydrates and kills them.

Mix 1-2 teaspoons of mild dish or insecticidal soap into a spray bottle filled with water. Mist your plants, especially the undersides of leaves and stems where bugs hide. Apply weekly until pests are gone.

Apply Neem Oil

Extracted from the neem tree, this organic oil smothers and disrupts the life cycle of harmful bugs. It’s safe for people, pets and plants.

Spray a diluted neem oil solution on infested plants every 5-7 days. Be sure to coat the undersides of leaves. Neem oil must contact pests to kill them.

Use Horticultural Oils

Like neem oil, these lightweight oils suffocate soft-bodied pests and their eggs. They leave an invisible residue that is safe for plants.

Apply these sprays every 1-2 weeks according to label directions. Horticultural oils kill only active pests, so repeat applications are needed to disrupt newly hatched insects.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth

This powdery natural substance damages the waxy cuticle layer on insects, causing dehydration and death. Spread a fine layer on soil to kill fungus gnat larvae. Lightly dust leaves to kill other pests. Reapply after watering.

Set Out Sticky Traps

These inexpensive traps snare adult insects like whiteflies, aphids and fungus gnats. Position traps just above the plant canopy or soil. Check traps frequently and replace when full. Sticky traps provide ongoing control when used with other methods.

Maintain Good Growing Conditions

Healthy, vigorous plants are more resistant to pests. Provide houseplants with the proper amount of light, water, humidity and nutrients for their variety. Promptly remove sick or dying leaves/stems where pests like to feed and breed.

Getting rid of houseplant bugs doesn’t require risky chemicals. Be diligent about checking for pests, and take action at the first signs of infestation. Combining these organic control methods will soon rid your houseplants of destructive bugs so their true beauty can shine through.

How can you tell if your indoor plants have bugs?

Bug-infested plants usually show signs of distress, like leaves turning yellow, brown, or falling off, or evidence of pest activity, like webs or leaves that are only partially eaten.

“Each pest leaves a specific calling card that is unique to them,” says Nick Cutsumpas, the plant coach and urban farmer behind Farmer Nick. “For example, spider mites spin thin webs at the base and underside of the leaf, while scale bugs attach themselves to stems and leave a sticky residue.”

Some plant pests are too small to see from far away, so check your houseplants for bugs every time you water them.

What is a homemade bug repellent for houseplants?

There are several different houseplant bug sprays you can make at home with just a few simple ingredients.

To make your own bug spray, mix ¼ cup of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and water. Put the dish soap and oil into a spray bottle that is empty. Then add water until the bottle is full. Give the bottle a good shake.

Another involves tea tree oil, a natural insecticide. Into an empty spray bottle, put 1-2 ounces of tea tree oil. Then, fill the bottle up with water until it’s full.

Finally, you can use hydrogen peroxide as a DIY houseplant bug spray ingredient. Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per every cup of water in an empty spray bottle. Shake well before use.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in Houseplants (4 Easy Steps)


How do I get rid of little bugs on my plants naturally?

Neem oil is effective against aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, and caterpillars. Neem oil will also help to get rid of powdery mildew. To use neem oil, mix one or two teaspoons of pure neem oil with one liter of water, add one teaspoon of liquid soap, and spray the mixture onto the leaves.

How to get rid of bugs in house plant soil?

Bugs in Soil – To get rid of bugs living and breeding in the soil of an indoor plant, first remove the top layer of soil in the pot and throw it out. Replace the missing soil with fresh soil and drench the soil with a mix of 10 drops of liquid dish soap in a quart of water.

What is the best homemade pesticide for houseplants?

A Basic Recipe for using soap as a pesticide: Use a mild dishwashing liquid or Castille Soap. Natural Hand soap can be used too. Add 1 tsp of dishwashing liquid soap to 1 Litre of water. Place in a spray bottle and gently spits your houseplant, covering the top and bottom of the leaves.

Why do I have little bugs around my indoor plants?

Why are there tiny bugs in my houseplants? Plants often attract bugs when they’re in poor health or if their environment is subpar. For example, fungus gnats appear when you’ve over-watered your plant, and spider mites are attracted to leaves that are covered in dust.

How do I get rid of bugs on my houseplants?

Add 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo into a 4-ounce spray bottle. Fill to the top with water. Spray infected houseplants every two days with the spray. After spraying and waiting for 4 hours, I rinse the plant with clear water using another spray bottle. The goal here is to cover the bugs for a few hours with the spray to treat and get rid of them.

What are some home remedies and tips for bed bugs?

For bed bags you should disinfect the entire room or house. Wash the bedding very well and consult a specialist, it may be necessary to take more measures.

How did you get Bugs in houseplants?

So, you may be wondering how you got bugs in houseplants in the first place. Whitefly, aphids, fungus gnats, and mealybugs seem to have the ability to appear from thin air. Unfortunately, dealing with bugs or tiny flies indoors can be more problematic than outdoors. Here are some reasons why you get insects on indoor plants:

How do I get rid of flying houseplant bugs?

Here are a few additional tips for getting rid of any flying houseplant bugs: 4. Sticky Traps If you don’t control the adults, they will just fly around to other plants to lay their eggs. So use non-toxic yellow sticky or blue traps (the color to use depends on the bug).

Leave a Comment