How To Kill Worms In Houseplants

You may start preparing to get rid of the worms once you understand what kind of worms are in your potted plants and why they are there. There are several ways to get rid of worms in potted plants, including:

  • Repot your plant and take the worms out by hand.
  • To remove the worms, soak the plant.
  • using an organic or chemical agent
  • Including wild predators


It’s possible that worms can go undetected until you repot your plants. Particularly earthworms will be hanging out near the bottom of the pot. Red wigglers tend to be more near the top of the plant, but you will see some wriggling friends when you repot your plant and give it new soil.

The first step in repotting is to get rid of any worms you discover. Either your fingers or a pair of tweezers will work for this.

Rinse the roots of your plants to remove any worms or their eggs before repotting them with fresh potting soil, compost, and fertilizer. You run the risk of having worms in your plant if you don’t rinse the roots of any potential eggs that may have been left behind.

When repotting your plant, especially if there is an invasive species infestation, it is advisable to discard the soil rather than compost it or use it again. Before planting again, you should wash the pot with weak bleach.

Soaking the Plant

Worms enjoy damp soil, but they dislike being immersed. If your plant has worms, you can take it out of its pot and soak the soil and plant base in warm water and insecticidal soap for 20 minutes. You can either capture the escaping worms and release them into the wild or put them in your compost bin.

Those nasty worms respond best to this. Since you can simply take beneficial worms outside and place them in the soil, you shouldn’t do this with them. This will kill the worms and their larvae if you use it on hazardous worms.

By soaking a plant in cool water, it is simple to eradicate the beneficial earthworms and red wigglers from the plant. The worms won’t get wounded; they’ll just run away. When they emerge, you can either place them on your yard or add them to a compost bin.

Chemical and Organic Agents

You can apply an insecticide or nematocide without risk if worms and other pests are seriously becoming a problem. These chemicals will swiftly eradicate your pest problems.

If your plants are indoors, make sure the insecticide you apply is labeled for indoor use. The same holds true if you have pets. Additionally, some insecticides are advised for use with particular plants. If you plan to apply the pesticide on non-ornamental plants, make sure it is acceptable to do so as well.

Neem oil is a great insecticide. Natural neem oil is derived from the tree, which is indigenous to India. It functions as a fungicide in addition to a pesticide. In addition to altering their hormones, it kills worms and other pests in a variety of other ways. It won’t harm earthworms and can be used on plants without risk. Against hornworms and grub worms, neem oil is incredibly effective.

In addition, hot pepper wax works well as a worm and bug repellent. If your potted plants are outside, it also discourages larger garden pests like rabbits and deer. Once the infestation is under control, you can apply it every few days, and then every few weeks for maintenance.

Worms in your plants: how can you get rid of them?

You can just give the container a brief soak in water if you are aware that the potting soil includes worms.

The worms emerge on the surface as a result since they don’t want to drown. After that, you can remove them from the ground and discard them.

  • Depending on the size of your plant, choose a bucket or something larger.
  • Cool water should be put in the bucket. You want it to be somewhat cooler than tap water, but not ice cold.
  • Dish soap should be added to the water. You don’t need a lot; a few drops will do the trick.
  • Just long enough for the potting soil to become wet before removing your plant from the water.
  • Once you spot the worms, capture them.
  • Use fresh potting soil before repotting your plant.

To repot your plant, you can use the same pot that you previously used; just be sure to clean it completely.

You can soak the pot in a solution made of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water for at least an hour. After a thorough water wash, set it out to dry.

This aids in clearing the pot of any unwelcome pests, illnesses, and worms. You can use the container again for growing your plants once it has dried out.

Why do my indoor plants have worms in them?

The tiny white worms you could discover in the soil of your houseplants aren’t even worms. They are the offspring of the fungus gnat, a tiny black fly that flies or crawls about the soil of plants.

What may eradicate worms from soil?

To get rid of the earthworms, use a carbamate insecticide. Propoxure, bendiocarb (Turcam), and carbaryl (Sevin) are some carbamate insecticides (Baygon). Use 4 to 8 kg of insecticide, which is typically how much is needed to kill grubs, to kill the earthworms.

Are worms OK in potted plants?

Because they can aerate the soil and convert organic materials, like leaves, into essential nutrients for plants to thrive, earthworms are helpful to plants. It could seem like a smart idea to add them to potted plants to encourage your plant’s growth.

The soil used to pot the plant may not have enough food for earthworms to thrive and proliferate like ground soil or in a vermicompost, thus they will eventually die or crawl away. Therefore, earthworms shouldn’t be added to potted plants. Use casting tea as a foliar application on the plant as well as on the soil of the potted plant.

The appropriate circumstances will allow earthworms to remain in a pot and continue to offer all the advantageous effects associated with their presence in the soil.

My plants stay healthy even after repotting thanks to the Miracle-Gro Potting Mix I get from Amazon. Clicking here will take you there.

What do the little worms in my soil represent?

These could be pot worms or the larvae of fungus gnats if you have discovered tiny white worms in your soil. These consume the soil’s organic matter and frequently don’t leave enough for your plant, which causes it to suffer.

Worms can vinegar be killed?

Because they lack lungs, earthworms breathe through their skin. Their skin needs to stay moist in order for their respiratory system to function. Vinegar is effective in killing weeds that are establishing themselves in brick patios, concrete or asphalt driveways because it causes the plants and animals it comes into contact with to expel moisture. So, yes, you can spray vinegar on earthworms and it will kill them. The problem is that if you simply spray vinegar on a lawn or sports field where you wish to get rid of worms, the grass will die as well.

How can worms in plants be avoided?

Natural predators of caterpillars include parasite flies and wasps, which frequently prevent them from overpopulating. Caterpillars are also a favorite food of birds, assassin bugs, lacewings, predatory ground beetles, and spiders. We can also take a number of steps to keep caterpillars out. Here are a few approaches:

  • Caterpillars should be plucked off your plants and thrown into a pail of soapy water. Be watchful of your plants and keep an eye out for eggs and caterpillars. Some eggs can be flushed away with water, while others might need a remedy like neem oil or a home-made insecticide.
  • To deter caterpillars, place cardboard or tin foil at the base of your plants. For some kinds, this can serve as an effective deterrent. Keep the area around your plants clear of any trash that could conceal eggs.
  • Buy benevolent insects In addition to happily eating caterpillars and using the caterpillar’s body as a nest for their eggs, parasitic wasps don’t strike humans. Clusters of eggs that resemble white rice almost identically are proof of parasitic wasps. Do your best to let them be.
  • Make use of a microbial insecticide that won’t harm wildlife, bees, or beneficial insects. The name of it is BTK, or Bacillus thuringiensis. When they consume treated leaves, it solely kills caterpillars. Treat your plants in advance if you spot any signs of caterpillars or are expecting them. Other organic insecticides for controlling caterpillars include those with Bt, spinosad, pyrethrin, neem oil, or azadirachtin as active ingredients.

Always make an effort to stay away from insecticides that could harm pollinators such as bees and butterflies and beneficial insects. For a healthy planet, we require them.

What is damaging my indoor potted plants with holes?

I used to see a mass of earth and dug-up potted plants on my porch every morning when I woke up. So I made the decision to undertake some study to identify the precise cause of the nighttime plant digging.

Your potted plants may be dug up at night by rodents, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, and domestic animals. The plants or insects crawling about in the potting soil may draw them in. You can deter them by adding a physical barrier, repellant plants, bonemeal, or cayenne pepper.

It’s better if you know precisely which animal is destroying your indoor plants at night. This will enable you to take the necessary precautions to keep them away from your plants and prevent them from disturbing the soil. Keep reading for some advice and strategies that I’ve provided.

How can millipedes on indoor plants be removed?

Start out by using the easiest method; simply use your hands or a pair of plant forceps to remove the millipedes from the houseplants.

The bravest people will undoubtedly choose the first alternative, manually eradicating the millipedes. For those who are not afraid to touch pests in their garden, it is a simple and quick decision.

Those who would prefer not to handle the millipedes directly might just pick them off using plant forceps or other gardening implements.

Although a little challenging, this approach is relatively safe and reduces the likelihood that you will experience any allergies.

As an alternative, you might buy a shop vacuum and utilize it to remove the millipedes from close proximity to your indoor plants.

Please be careful not to suck too much, and remove them from the shop vac as soon as you catch them.

Both direct physical contact and the use of plant tools are permissible. However, it is important to take precautions to avoid stressing or squashing the millipedes.

These pests produce an odd compound that has an offensive odor. Similarly, this offensive odor may cause allergies and a severe discomfort.

Occasionally, a millipede may bite your hand while in your possession. The bite may result in severe itchiness or even slight poisoning.

Therefore, using gloves and protective clothes when manually picking off any pests, including millipedes, is the best course of action.

I suggest wearing a mask or even pinching your nose shut for a while if you are easily offended by strong smells. Moreover, if necessary, put on protective clothes.

Plastic Bottle Trap

Gather the following to make it:

  • Capped plastic or soda bottle
  • pvc tubing (can be purchased from a hardware store)
  • Tape
  • Kitchen or pocket knife
  • ripe fruit fragment(s)

Place the ripe fruit inside the plastic or soda bottle to attract millipedes to it and keep them inside.

Take your vinyl tubing and place it into the bottle of plastic. Put it right inside the mouth of the plastic bottle if it is the same width.

If the bottle is a different size, however, you need use a kitchen or pocket knife to create a tiny hole in the top before inserting the vinyl tubing inside.

Put the vinyl tubing into the plastic bottle so that it is about two inches inside the bottle. Please make sure the vinyl tubing does not contact the sides of the plastic bottle.

Use some tape to affix the tubing to the bottle. This will keep the tubing inside the bottle and prevent it from protruding.

Place the plastic bottle trap with the vinyl tubing taped to it now in the potting soil that has been infested with millipedes or close to the infected plant.

The key is to continue laying the plastic bottle on its side with its mouth perhaps in contact with the ground.

The fruit piece is likely to attract the millipedes, who will then move inside the plastic bottle to enjoy the gift.

The millipedes can’t crawl back out once inside because of the narrow mouth.

Once all the millipedes have been removed off the plant, keep doing this. Take this plastic container containing the pests each day, and release the millipedes far from your plants.

Although it could take some time, this approach is reasonably inexpensive and effective in getting rid of a large number of millipedes.

LED Light Trap

This approach can work reasonably well for you on your yard or patio if your indoor plants are outside.

Because the millipedes are drawn to bright lights, you can capture them by taking advantage of this trait.

Collect these things:

  • a deep vessel (preferably, food container)
  • a container that can easily be covered by a bucket
  • a powerful LED light (preferably battery-powered)
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Couple of cutters

Use the shovel to dig a trench near the contaminated potted plants in your garden. The gap must be large enough to accommodate the food container.

Ensure that the container’s rim and the surface of the ground dirt are the same height.

Then, fill the sides of the container with dirt, making sure there are no gaps and that it is firmly in place. Fill the food container with water to the top.

Now take the cutters and cut a few small slits in the top of the bucket. The millipedes will use these slits as entrances to the bucket inside.

Next, using the tape, attach the battery-operated LED light to the bucket’s bottom.

Place the bucket over the deep water-filled container upside-down at this point. By effectively covering the container, this will stop the millipedes from escaping.

Turning on the LED light will draw millipedes to the warm glow during the night.

The millipedes will enter, fall into the container, and spend the night drowning.

Every morning, look in the food container for any drowned millipedes and drain the water. Till all millipedes are gone, repeat this procedure with new water that has been replaced.

Attract Animals to Feed on the Millipedes

Some animals enjoy snacking on millipedes, much as they enjoy eating plants.

The only inconvenience is having to move these animals close to your damaged houseplants in your garden. Outside plants respond well to this technique.

The millipedes are a favorite food source for many creatures, including toads, frogs, pigeons, and ravens.

Another choice is to acquire or breed chicken that consumes millipedes and other related pests. In addition, chickens are a fantastic supply of manure and eggs.

Put the proper animal food, like that for chickens or pigeons, in your garden and let the animals eat from it.

It seems likely that after the chickens and pigeons start consuming the scattered feed, they will discover the millipedes on their own and start consuming them. Continue using this procedure until the millipedes are gone.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth refers to microscopic animals called Diatoms that have fossilized.

These species can be found close to riverbanks, streams, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water.

Anthropods like millipedes are easily removed using Diatomaceous Earth in powder form.

Additionally to millipedes, aphids, mealybugs, mites, and Japanese beetles are also controlled by diatomaceous earth. Local garden centers and a few internet retailers carry the food-grade Diatomaceous Earth powder.

Diatomaceous Earth powder has sharp tiny edges that frequently encroach on the joints of these insects.

These pointed borders pierce through the Anthropods’ protective shell, injuring and drying their internal organs.

You can also spray it on your infested houseplants if you don’t want to disseminate the Diatomaceous Earth powder in the soil.

The deadly powder will cause the millipedes to die as soon as they come into touch with it. The Diatomaceous Earth powder is organic, so it can take a few days before it starts to hurt the millipedes.

Diatomaceous Earth powder is slightly poisonous, as was already established. You must thus only spray it when there are no children or dogs nearby, and you must remain away from it until the powder’s effects subside.

Please use a mask and refrain from breathing it when spraying the Diatomaceous Earth powder. Diatomaceous Earth powder can seriously irritate the lungs when inhaled, although not being lethal.

Spray the diluted Diatomaceous Earth solution after mixing it with water to prevent it from escaping the damaged plants or flying off in the air. The powder becomes concentrated and starts to work its magic as the water evaporates.

Boric Acid is an alternative that may be purchased in any shopping center’s laundry section.

Similar to this, the Boric Acid damages the Millipedes’ outer layer by slicing them with its razor-sharp tiny edges.

Only use the boric acid if there are children and pets present, in my opinion. In general, Diatomaceous Earth powder outperforms Boric Acid in terms of effectiveness.

Spray Chemicals

I advise leaving this procedure for last-ditch use when all other measures fail to adequately manage the millipedes and their population grows considerably.

The chemical spray can also contaminate your fruits and veggies if you are growing any in the same area as the infected plants, so please avoid choosing this option as well.

Put some chemical pesticides in the soil of your indoor plants. The millipedes will be quickly eliminated by the pesticides, but they will persist for some time in the potting soil mixture.

Some of the beneficial insects that live in the soil may also perish as a result of the pollutants.

Bendiocard, Cyfluthrin, Carbaryl, Propoxur, and Pyrethrin are among the substances that frequently show the greatest effectiveness against millipedes. So buy pesticides that include one or more of these substances.

I firmly encourage you to apply chemical pesticides in accordance with the exact directions provided on the packaging.

A pesticide applied in excess could deplete the soil’s nutrients permanently, kill helpful insects, worsen the plant’s condition, and even kill it.

Disposing of the Potted Soil

It is advisable to remove the infested potting soil itself if the millipede population has gotten out of hand and there doesn’t seem to be any efficient way to control it.

Transfer your cherished houseplant from its old container to a fresh, clean one after discarding the soil.

However, please be cautious to remove every millipede from the plant before moving it to a new potting container.

The new pot needs to be cleaned and the right size. Place the plant in this pot after adding fresh potting soil.

Holding the plant’s base, tap the pot lightly to dislodge the root ball.

Remove as much of the old potting soil from the roots of your plant as you can after taking it out of its old pot.

Make a hole in the middle of the new pot for the plant. Make sure the plant is standing straight after inserting the roots into the hole.

Drain the surplus water from the bottom after adding more potting soil and watering the plant.

Please be careful not to merely throw the used potting soil away since if it is too close, millipedes may start to move closer to your plants.

You can reuse the container, but you should release the contaminated dirt far away from your plants.

The pot should be cleaned by soaking it for at least an hour in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.

Wash it off after being thoroughly submerged for a sufficient period of time, then dry it off to reuse.