How To Keep Bugs Off Houseplants

Act quickly and start treatment as soon as you discover any pests on houseplants.

To stop houseplant pests from spreading to your other plants, you should eradicate them as soon as you can.

It’s always advisable to stick with natural methods and products when it comes to pesticides.

All of the techniques I suggest for getting rid of pests on houseplants are all-natural or DIY solutions, and they are very effective.

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants Leaves

The majority of domestic plant pests eat on plants and can be found on leaves, flower buds, and/or stems. Here are some recommendations for naturally getting rid of pests on indoor plants.

1. Keep the plant alone

In order to stop the infestation from spreading to your other houseplants, quarantine the plant right away. For a few weeks, make careful to keep a close eye on the nearby plants for any indications of indoor plant pests.

2. A tidy environment

Some insects have a lengthy lifetime and can leave the plant and hide. So make sure to use soapy water to properly clean the place where the plant was sitting. If you’d like, you might also use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the area.

3. Wash plant leavesEither use a light liquid soap or insecticidal detergent to wash the infected plant. On touch, soap kills houseplant bugs. However, be cautious when choosing your type. Some of them have detergents and degreasers that can hurt delicate plants. Before cleaning all of the leaves on your plants, always test any type of soap on a small area first.

4. Wipe out the pot

Wash the plant tray and pot in soapy water as well. Pests of houseplants can readily conceal themselves on the bottoms of pots and trays as well as under their rims.

5. Get rid of the bugs

To destroy and get rid of the pests off the plant, dab them with a cotton swab that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol.

6. Care for the tree

Neem oil can be applied to the plant to prevent and control indoor pests over the long term. Natural insecticide for indoor plants, neem oil kills and deters insects. Here you can find detailed instructions on using neem oil as a pesticide. As an alternative, you might try using horticultural oil or a hot pepper spray.

How To Get Rid Of Tiny Flying Bugs On Houseplants

The majority of indoor plant insects fly at some point throughout their life cycle, making control much more challenging.

However, eliminating the flying insects by themselves won’t be sufficient to get rid of a pest infestation in houseplants. To completely get rid of insects on indoor plants, you must kill the eggs and nymphs.

Therefore, in addition to these actions, make sure to follow the instructions above for getting rid of bugs on plant leaves. Here are a few more suggestions for removing flying pests from indoor plants:

Use yellow sticky traps or sticky stakes for houseplants to catch and destroy tiny flying insects in houseplants. This will aid in their control, keep them from flying to nearby plants, and is non-toxic.

Utilize the vacuum cleaner to capture the flying insects. This is a good way to swiftly control a big population of flying indoor plant pests. Just be careful not to swallow any plant leaves while doing it.

How To Get Rid Of Bugs In Houseplants Soil

In particular, fungus gnats are one of several kinds of houseplant pests that can be found in potting soil. As a result, whenever you notice bugs on your houseplants, inspect the soil as well and treat it as necessary.

Replace the top inch of soil by removing and discarding it. Then add new potting soil or a soil cover in its place. Future infestations can be avoided by using a natural top dressing or a soil cover like fine sand.

2. Use an organic insecticide for indoor plants as a soil drench. You could employ a natural insecticide soap (I make my own using 1 tsp mild liquid soap to 1 liter of water). Alternately, try a neem oil remedy (which can work for systemic houseplant insect control). However, take care not to overwater your plant while doing so.

3. Use proper water

Make sure your indoor plants are receiving the right amount of water; the soil should never be wet. In addition to being harmful for houseplants, wet soil provides a haven for pests like fungus gnats. If you have trouble watering properly, I suggest investing in a cheap soil water meter to guide you.

4. Organize unused soil.

Since houseplant pests require oxygen to survive, store any unused potting soil in a bug-proof container. I employ a 5 gallon bucket with an airtight lid (this airtight seal lid is perfect).

How can bugs in a potted plant be removed?

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 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!

Japanese Beetle Prevention

Early in the morning, when the insects are least active, begin by shaking the insects off the plants. Spray down the plants with a homemade insecticidal soap once they have temporarily left. Use one tablespoon of dish detergent, one cup of vegetable oil, one quart of water, and one cup of rubbing alcohol to make a fantastic homemade bug spray for vegetable plants. Apply this spray in the morning for best effects, and be prepared to water the plants again if they begin to droop after the treatment.

Tarnished Plant Bug Prevention

By keeping your garden clear of weeds throughout the spring, at least to the extent practicable, you can prevent attracting these bugs in the first place. By doing this, you’ll reduce the number of locations for bugs to hide and lessen their appeal to your garden. But if you have a tarnished plant bug issue, find the nymphs and spray them with neem oil to get rid of it. Finally, encouraging natural predators of these insects is one of your greatest chances because they will do a large portion of your work for you.

Flea Beetle Prevention

Garlic-based products work well as natural insect repellents for flea beetles. A head of garlic, one tablespoon of dish soap without bleach, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and two cups of water are the ingredients for this cure. Peel the garlic, then blend it with the water and oil to create the spray. Before straining the mixture, let it stand the following day. Add the soap and carefully combine. Simply pour it into a spray bottle after that, then use that to cover the diseased plants.

Caterpillar Prevention

There are various techniques you might use to keep caterpillars away. The first step is to support native predators that will consume the caterpillars and eliminate them for you. Another approach is to mist the plants with a neem oil and water mixture.

Finally, you may attempt assembling a DIY chili spray. Blend three and a half ounces of dried chiles to produce this spray. Before adding half a gallon of cold water and a few drops of dish soap, add this powder to a half gallon of boiling water and let it boil for five minutes. Spray the caterpillars with this solution every morning until you stop seeing them.

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.