How To Get Rid Of Insects On Houseplants

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.

Why are there bugs on my houseplant?

Numerous little flying insects that resemble gnats have been seen all over a few of my houseplants. How can I get rid of them and what are they?

Most likely, they are fungus gnats. These naughty little creatures are a very frequent pest throughout the winter, and they are more drawn to the damp soil in houseplant containers than to the actual plants.

Most of the time, fungus gnats are an annoyance. The adults can occasionally hover around your face or at the very least give the impression that you live in a greenhouse overrun with insects.

Although the adults resemble little mosquitoes, they don’t bite, sting, or harm plants despite their appearance.

Actually, the larval stage of this bug—the two to three weeks of its life that you cannot see—poses a greater risk to plants.

How can I eliminate pests without harming my plants?

According to Jeff Gillman, author of “The Truth About Garden Remedies: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why,” commercial insecticidal soaps are safer for plants than homemade equivalents. Keep it mild if you want to try producing your own. 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing soap combined with 1 quart of water yields a 1 percent soap solution. Use a mild dish soap made for hand-washing dishes, not laundry or dishwasher detergent. Aphids, mealybugs, mites, and other soft-bodied pests respond well to soap spray. Additionally, Gillman adds that dish soap aids in preventing powdery mildew.

Basil and Mint

Delicious ingredients like basil and mint are ideal for your favorite Italian dishes or a cup of tea. They smell awful to insects, though. Keep a few pots of these herbs near your entryway or keep them flourishing in your sunny kitchen. Since ancient times, basil and mint have both been employed as a pest deterrent since they are both simple to grow. These strong plants will put the annoyance of house flies, mosquitoes, and fruit flies out of their misery.

Sage and Rosemary

Another two plants that are beautiful in and of themselves and may be effective mosquito repellents are sage and rosemary. You can include these zingy herbs in your favorite home-cooked dishes. However, the smoke produced when you burn their dried leaves can be quite helpful at keeping out creatures like flies, mosquitoes, and other annoyances. To deter silverfish and moths, you can also put tiny bundles of dried herbs in a sachet and set them in your dresser drawers.

Citronella Plant and Lemongrass

These green gems help to repel mosquitoes in a manner that is quite similar to that of a citronella candle. Citronella, which is present in both lemongrass and the citronella plant, is responsible for the citrusy aroma that both plants generate. Although the smell may be nice to you, bugs hate it. On your front porch or patio, grow this plant in pots. Then, as a natural mosquito repellent, crumble a leaf and massage it on your skin whenever you see pests flying around. To deter flying insects, you can also put these plants close to your windows or doors.

Marigolds

The common marigold is a gorgeous yet effective insect deterrent if you enjoy attractive flowers. Because of its peculiar perfume, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and midges abhor it greatly. To keep your cherished tomatoes a little safer, plant them next to your vegetable garden or place them near your entryways in pots. The vivid, lovely marigold serves as a natural insect deterrent.

Lavender

Long-stemmed, graceful, and revered for its captivating aroma, lavender has been used for centuries. This herb not only has a wonderful scent to humans, but it also works wonders to repel insects. Natural oils produced by the plant can ward off several species of flies, moths, beetles, mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects. Grow your lavender bush close to the door or on a balcony if you have a pollen allergy.

Catnip

When cultivated indoors, catnip is a plant that can serve two purposes. Not only will it make your cat very happy, but it also works wonders at warding off unpleasant pests. The essential oil that gives catnip its well-known aroma is nepetalactone, which can be almost as good at keeping mosquitoes away as DEET. Another very effective usage for catnip is as a natural cockroach repellent. To deter bugs, grow this plant in a pot and cut off little sprigs to scatter around your house. As a homemade bug spray, catnip can also be simmered in water.

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums make beautiful garden and house decorations, but they’re also an effective insect repellant that keeps ants, ticks, lice, fleas, bed bugs, silverfish, and cockroaches away. You won’t mind having a few colored mums spread throughout your home because of their lovely beauty.

Carnivorous Plants

The carnivorous Venus flytrap is an excellent way to lure insects to their demise, despite the fact that it may appear obvious. Numerous insects, especially flies and gnats, are drawn to the plant’s color and aroma. When they land on the leaves and move closer, they disturb the minute hairs that cause the leaves to curl into a trap, quickly capturing bugs.

How do I get rid of bugs in the dirt in my pots?

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 are the small insects in my indoor plants?

Many individuals have mistaken a fungus gnat infestation for a fruit fly infestation since fungus gnats and fruit flies have similar appearances.

They are not, however, the same kind of issue. In damp soil, fungus gnats deposit their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on fungus, tiny roots, and other organic matter in the soil. Fruit holds little appeal to them.

  • Fungus gnats are the tiny, black insects you may notice flying around your plants and in the soil.
  • Fruit flies are the gnats that are buzzing about the fruit or the garbage disposal in your kitchen.

If you’re still unclear, read this article to learn how to distinguish between the two so you can always make a correct identification.

Is vinegar safe to spray on houseplants?

According to the Alley Cat Allies website, white vinegar has a potent, repulsive smell and taste that can effectively keep cats away from sections of your home that you don’t want them to enter. Despite being harmless to humans and cats, vinegar is deadly to plants due to its 5% acetic acid content. According to the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, spraying vinegar on houseplant leaves will damage their cell membranes. As a result, the leaves are destroyed, and if the vinegar seeps into the plant’s soil, it will kill it by drying up the roots.

Does vinegar eliminate gnats from indoor plants?

She asked me to write about a true issue she was having with her indoor plants. Of course! I bet many of you are struggling with the same issue.

Have you ever purchased houseplants for your home or office with the intention of bringing some nature indoors but noticed after a week or so that obtrusive small black flies are darting in and out of your line of sight with your computer screen? Ugh! You have a problem with fungus gnats!

Although fungus gnats resemble tiny mosquitoes or fruit flies, they are unrelated and do not bite. They can be spread by cut flowers, especially those with stale vase water, or even by plants with unsterilized soil (poinsettias can be the worst).

In moist plant soil, residential drains, and sewage areas, fungus gnats can be found. In wet soil, fungus gnats lay their eggs. Prior to developing into adult gnats and flying out of the plant soil onto your face, their larvae, which are only one-hundredth of an inch long, are almost impossible to notice. They eat plant roots, soil-borne leaves, and decomposing plant matter. It takes them around 10 days to grow. Indoors, they can reproduce all year long.

This issue is being exacerbated by the gentle care you provide your indoor plants, including watering them. The fungus gnats will like staying in your home if the soil of your houseplants is continually moist. The growing medium used for houseplants is another factor. Numerous potting mixture types contain components that hold onto moisture, and everything that promotes moisture also promotes fungus gnats. To avoid potential pests, Good Earth Plant Company only purchases from nurseries that pre-treat the soil.

So what can you do to combat these annoying little gnats? You must approach the issue from many angles.

Start by starting to wait longer between waterings for your indoor plants. One to two inches of the surface ought to be entirely dry. Sub-irrigation functions well for this reason, among others.

2. Make careful to get rid of any fallen or decomposing plant materials (leaves and roots) as these serve as fungus gnat larvae’s feeding sources. Place a few slices of uncooked potatoes on the surface of the soil to see if you have them. Take a look at the bottom after a few days. Are they chewed-looking? Your plants contain fungus gnat larvae.

3. You can cover the soil with a quarter- to-half-inch layer of diatomaceous earth or horticultural sand (NOT playground sand) to control the larvae. If you water it, the plant will dry out more quickly and fool the fungus gnats into thinking it is not a good site to lay eggs. Additionally, they are actually cut to death if they crawl across the DE.

4. Add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap and one teaspoon of white vinegar to the water every other time you water. The fungus gnat larvae will eventually perish as a result.

5. You can remove the plant from the pot, remove as much soil as you can without harming the plant, and then repot it to expedite the process. Place all of the used soil in a sealed bag and discard it. It cannot be applied elsewhere because doing so will just exacerbate the issue.

6. You can create organic traps on your own to get rid of the adult fungus gnats. You can pour a few drops of liquid dish soap to the bottom of a deep bowl after adding apple cider vinegar or red wine. Put it next to the infected indoor plants. The gnats adore it and will suffocate in it if they fall in. Every couple of days, replace it.

7. You can either buy or manufacture some sticky insect traps. Use cardboard pieces that are a vibrant yellow color, and cover them with Vaseline. For optimal effects, place them horizontally over your plants. Use a card holder from your florist, or one that comes with a plant. Put the card holder with the sticky trap inside, then affix it to your plant.

8. Some backyard gardeners fervently advocate adding three percent hydrogen peroxide directly to the soil of your plants. I wouldn’t advise this as your first option if you have a plant that is very priceless or sensitive.

It could be extremely difficult to entirely eradicate fungus gnats on your own if they frequently infest your plants, especially those in your office. In one instance, the gnats were entering through the ventilation system from another office, as I’ve seen!

We only utilize plants from reputable growers, and our experts take great care to prevent conditions from becoming such that fungus gnats can easily reproduce. We quickly remove any infected plants from our care (which doesn’t happen very often) to prevent fungus gnats from spreading to the rest of your plants.

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.