How To Keep Bugs Out Of House Plants

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 do I keep insects away from my houseplants?

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.

What should I do about the bugs in my plant pots?

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!

Why do my plant’s small bugs exist?

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.

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.