How To Get Rid Of Houseplant Bugs Naturally

These tiny, wingless insects, which when gathered together seem white, are typically found on plant stems, leaves, and nodes (the area where leaves meet the stem). According to Scott, “Mealybugs are drawn to excessive succulent growth, which can be brought on by overwatering and overfertilizing, particularly with fertilizers heavy in nitrogen.” Plant development slows down and leaves often curl and turn a faint shade of yellow as a result of their feeding on plant sap.

By delicately wiping them with a cotton swab dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol (avoiding touching delicate leaves), or by misting them with a solution of dish detergent and water, you can get rid of the bothersome insects (one teaspoon of soap to one gallon of water). Mealybugs can also be controlled with insecticidal soap, neem oil, and horticultural oil. Follow a planned fertilizer schedule rather than indiscriminate feeding to stop breakouts, advises Scott. Mealybugs can easily be removed with your own hands if discovered in time.

How can I naturally get rid of bugs in my house plants?

When Acree returns home with a fresh plant, she immediately disposes of any pests by placing it in the bathtub. She tops the soil with pet- and kid-safe food-grade diatomaceous earth powder, which dries out the insects and their larvae, after lightly misting them with a natural DIY bug repellent that you can prepare with 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil and 1 cup of water.

Spray your plants

Making an insecticidal soap to spray on your plants is your best option if you’re dealing with soft-bodied pests like mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. While you may purchase one at the shop, it’s simple to make a DIY version with organic ingredients. Simply combine 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap (free of bleach, degreaser, synthetic colours, and scents), 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap in a spray bottle, then top it off with warm water and shake. Once a week, you can spray your plants with the combination to get rid of pest problems.

Dry out your plants

By simply eliminating the moisture, pests like fungus gnats that prefer damp soil in houseplants can be controlled. (Excuse me, gnats.) The best course of action in these types of circumstances, according to Susan Spanger, a professional gardener and floral designer at Bloomful Floral Design, is to water your plants less frequently than usual in order to let the top few inches of soil totally dry up.

You eliminate the source of food for fungus gnats—fungi in the soil—by not maintaining damp soil. The Sill claims that by letting it dry up, that important food source will be eliminated, which will also eliminate the fungus gnats. According to Spanger, you can also cover the top of your soil with a half-inch of sand. She claims that mature fungus gnats find the rough surface unpleasant and that it dries off soon. Those pests on the houseplants will never return.

How can I rid my indoor plants of bugs?

These are the tiniest, pearshape insects that you have undoubtedly seen in the vegetable patch outside. They can be found on indoor plants as well, and they tend to congregate around developing leaves and flower buds. They produce a gooey fluid known as honeydew after sucking the plant’s sap.

Remove any areas of the plant that are seriously affected to get rid of the bugs. Use a damp cloth to remove insects from other places, or use the bathtub to spray them with water. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, or insecticidal soap can also be used to remove them. Weekly removal should continue until they are gone.

Why are the bugs on my house plants there?

I’ll address some of the most frequent inquiries I receive about fungus gnat control in houseplant soil in this section. Ask your query in the comments section if you can’t find the solution here.

Will treating the soil with hydrogen peroxide kill fungus gnats?

Hydrogen peroxide application to the soil may be effective in eliminating fungus gnats. Try moistening the top inch of the soil with a solution made by combining 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water.

Pouring or spraying it on top are both acceptable options. Remember that the adult gnats that are flying around won’t be killed by this; only the larvae that are dwelling in the soil will.

Controlling the amount of water you provide indoor plants is the most crucial thing to keep in mind while trying to get rid of fungus gnats.

Keep in mind that fungus gnats like damp soil to breed, and that overwatering is the leading source of gnat infestations in indoor plants.

Even if you are successful in getting rid of a fungus gnat infestation in your home, further issues are challenging to stop. Fungus gnats are one of the houseplant pests that are easiest to manage, which is excellent news.

Check out my eBook on houseplant pest control if pests are driving you mad and you want to learn how to permanently get rid of plant bugs. You will learn how to recognize common houseplant pests and kill them effectively before they harm your prized plants. Get your copy now to permanently get rid of bugs on indoor plants!

How can you create DIY plant insect spray?

There is no quick fix to keep insect pests away from your indoor plants and garden. I’ve picked up a few tips over the years on how to deal with bugs without using harmful chemicals. Here are some of my suggestions, including some homemade insecticides (soap sprays).

Pay Attention to Your Plants

Consider the following methods to deter insect pests from attacking your plants before using pesticides, even natural ones:

  • Use organic fertilizers like aged compost to feed your plants. Strong plants are less likely to be attracted by insects and are better able to survive their attack than weak ones. If you’re using fertilizer, pay strict attention to the directions. Pests will be drawn to overfertilized plants and consume their lush new growth.
  • Use companion planting to naturally ward off insects. While some plants coexist well, others do not. Take a look at our companion planting guide.
  • To prevent pests from damaging your plants, especially sensitive transplants, use barriers like row covers. When plants are established and in flower, remove the coverings to allow insect pollination. Additionally, placing “collars” made of cardboard from toilet paper or paper towel rolls around the tiny transplants (1 to 2 inches into the soil) may stop pests like cutworms from eating the tender stems.
  • Plantings should be timed to avoid bug population peaks. For instance, so as to avoid squash vine borers, which deposit their eggs in the early to mid-summer, sow squash as soon as feasible. To avoid the carrot fly, plant carrots after June 1 and harvest them by the beginning of September.
  • Choose plants that have some pest resistance built in. Butternut squash is one of the vegetables I grow a lot since it is quite hardy against the squash vine borer.
  • By controlling the bugs they feed on, beneficial insects will do a lot of the work for you if you make your garden inviting to them. For instance, lady beetles are a successful biological pest control for a variety of insects. Leave a tomato hornworm alone if you notice one with white cocoons on his back (see above photo). His body is covered with the eggs of a parasitic wasp, whose young will soon consume him from the inside out. An appropriate end for such a horrible pest!
  • Recognize the bugs that inhabit your garden. If you don’t know who is a friend and who is an enemy, you can’t defeat them. To prevent them from becoming adults, become familiar with the appearance of their larvae and eggs.

These aphids have caused some harm, but if you notice black and orange ladybug larvae that resemble alligators attacking the aphids, don’t spray. He can consume up to 50 aphids per day, doing the grunt work for you.

Organic Pesticide Sprays for Insects

Avoid using harsh chemicals if you have tried all other options and feel you must use a spray. They will pollute the watershed, kill both good and bad bugs, and eventually the insects you are attempting to kill may develop a resistance to those poisons necessitating the employment of more stronger ones, which will do more harm than good. They may also cause harm to you, your kids, and animals and birds.

Making one of these homemade insecticidal sprays can help you take a more natural approach. Remember that although being less hazardous, they are not completely safe. Keep children and pets away from them. Before using them extensively, test them on a few leaves to ensure they won’t harm your plants. They will unquestionably cause foliar damage if you sprinkle them on your plants in the hot, sunny part of the day. When bees and other pollinators are not busy in the evening, spray.

  • Dish Soap Spray: Mix 1 quart of water with 1 tablespoon of a mild liquid soap, such as castile soap or pure dish soap (no bleach, degreaser, or other additives). Although Dr. Bronner’s soap is pricey, it doesn’t contain any animal fats, making it a decent option for vegans. Soft-bodied insects can be easily killed using insecticidal soaps. Make sure to cover the entire plant, including the stems and both sides of the leaves. Sprays made of soap must be reapplied every 4–7 days or until you see a decline in population because they only operate when they are moist. If rain hasn’t done this for you after a few applications, spritz the plants with plain water to remove any soapy residue.
  • Spray with oil: Combine 1 cup vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon mild liquid soap. Spray your plants as before using a quart of water and 2 to 8 teaspoons of this combination. This spray is good against aphids, thrips, mites, and scale because the oil smothers the insects.
  • Insecticide from Tomato Leaves: Tomato leaves contain the insecticides solanine and tomatine. 2 cups of fresh leaves should be overnight soaked in 1 quart of water. Spray after sifting. In addition to killing aphids and many eating insects, it also draws helpful insects. Because it may transfer illness from plant to plant, avoid using it on other nightshades like potatoes, eggplants, or peppers.
  • Contrary to what you may have read, garlic serves more as a repellant than a killer. Let 2 garlic bulbs and 1 cup of water be pureed overnight. Pour the liquid through a strainer into a quart jar, then top it out with water by adding 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon liquid soap, and the remaining liquid. Fill a 1-quart sprayer with water, add one cup, and spray the damaged plants. Aphids, cabbage worms, leaf hoppers, squash bugs, and whiteflies can all be repelled by it.
  • Hot pepper repellent spray: Hot pepper works effectively on a variety of insects as well as rabbits and deer. Combine 1 quart of water, 1 teaspoon of mild soap, and 1 tablespoon of dried chile powder. Spray the plants being attacked at full vigor.

If you have a lot of hot peppers blooming in your yard, purée 1/2 cup of the chopped peppers with 1 cup of water to create a new mixture. 1 quart of water with the puree added should be brought to a boil. Strain after allowing to cool. Add 1 teaspoon of mild soap, then spray plants at maximum strength. When using this spray, you might wish to wear gloves and avoid getting it in your eyes.

Many other plants, such as hyssop, lettuce leaves, onions, pennyroyal, peppermint, and radish leaves, have also been said to have insecticidal properties.

In terms of pest management, there is no one solution that works for everyone. At most, we can work to keep a good balance between the good guys and the evil guys while still procuring some good produce for ourselves.

Let’s take on weeds now that we know how to reduce insect problems. These weed-control suggestions include 5 Homemade Herbicides.

How can bugs in potting soil be eliminated?

How Can I Naturally Get Rid of Bugs in the Soil of a House Plant?

  • Use a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution in water to thoroughly water the plants.
  • Add some diatomaceous earth to the soil’s surface and the saucer of the pot.
  • Put the plants somewhere well-ventilated, and let the soil dry up entirely.

What natural cure gets rid of gnats in houseplants?

You can sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the soil while you’re waiting for diatomaceous earth to arrive or as soon as you realize you have fungus gnats. The cinnamon stops them from laying eggs and acts as a natural fungicide and irritant.

Ceylon cinnamon is what you want to use, not the common variety that most people already have at home.

Water with Mosquito Dunks/Bits

The wonder solution known as mosquito dunks will stop fungus gnats in their tracks and is also quite simple to use.

You simply need to place a small piece in your watering can and use it to water your plants. Additionally, each component will withstand numerous waterings.

These include the naturally occurring bacteria BTI as the active ingredient, which is poisonous to insect larvae like gnats and mosquitoes.

Toxins produced by the active substances only affect gnats, their larvae, blackflies, and mosquitoes. The gnat larvae are enticed to consume this rather than the fungus or roots because of this.

Hydrogen Peroxide Drench

Pour 4 parts water and 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent, over the soil of your plant.

The only effective method for eradicating the gnat population is to use hydrogen peroxide, which kills all fungus gnat larvae.

This dilute concoction has the ideal strength to kill insect eggs without harming your plant (it actually aerates the soil and cleans the roots).

Do not water your plant when it is already moist. Only do this when your plant genuinely needs water.

Use an Apple Cider Vinegar Mix

Killing out all of the eggs and larvae in the soil is crucial for getting rid of gnats in your houseplants.

After using the aforementioned techniques to accomplish that, you should catch every adult gnat that is still flying around to prevent them from laying more eggs.

Placing an apple cider concoction next to your problematic plant is one natural method for catching gnat insects. One teaspoon of sugar, two parts water, one part apple cider vinegar, and a few trace amounts of liquid dish soap should all be combined in a shallow dish (Blue Dawn is best).

Because apple cider vinegar is slightly sweeter than white vinegar and has an orange tint that also attracts pests, you must use it.

Use Yellow Sticky Traps

These sticky traps also work great if you don’t have apple cider vinegar or don’t want to deal with the vinegar scent. The gnats are drawn to them because they are yellow.

However, whether you employ the sticky traps or the apple cider vinegar approach, they only offer you a general idea of how terrible your gnat problem is. You must employ these techniques in addition to addressing the larvae issue.