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 eradicate bugs from my indoor plants?
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.
What can I apply to my indoor plants as a spray to deter insects?
When you are bitten by a mosquito, the itchy effects last for a few days before you may resume your normal activities. But when bugs come into contact with your prized indoor plants, the scenario can swiftly go from Zen garden to complete chaos. Fortunately, not all hope is lost when pests attempt to harm your young plants. You can produce a spray to kill everyone using just three basic materials.
All you actually need is some insecticidal soap to keep pests from taking over your healthy home (and your life!). According to Apartment Therapy, the nontoxic remedy eliminates tiny, soft-bodied pests like mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies while also preventing them from destroying your precious plants. Although you may buy insecticidal soap, making your own is so simple that you might as well do it yourself and save a ton of money in the process.
All you need is water, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap that doesn’t contain bleach, degreaser, synthetic colors, or scents, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil.
All you need is water, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap that doesn’t contain bleach, degreaser, synthetic colors, or scents, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Simple, huh? Fill a spray bottle to the brim with warm water and shake the contents after adding the dish soap and vegetable oil. After that, you can spray the mixture directly onto your plants once a week until all of those pesky crawlies have been completely eradicated.
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.
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.
How can you eradicate tiny gnats from indoor plants?
We plant lovers don’t want to witness plants being harmed by pests. The problem enters our homes, which is gross, therefore we especially don’t want to see pests in our houseplants! Fungus gnats are pesky, winged insects with little wings that resemble mosquitoes and are about the size of fruit flies. The good news is that compared to many other pests, these plant flies cause significantly less harm, and even better, they’re rather simple to get rid of.
Long legs, transparent wings, and a preference for nutrient-rich, damp soils are characteristics of fungus gnats. These little flies may be seen flying around plant containers, but unlike some more dangerous pests, you won’t observe them actually chewing on the plant’s foliage. However, you will see them in the soil, feeding on the organic matter and hairs from plant roots. Do not underestimate the damage that these bugs can still do if not addressed.
Even though adult fungus gnats only live for about a week, they can have a big impact in that short time by producing up to 300 eggs under the correct circumstances. With such a quick turnaround and a brief life cycle of about 3–4 weeks, populations can grow incredibly quickly.
It’s rather simple to tell if your plant has a fungus gnat issue. Since these plant flies can’t fly very well, they usually stay rather near to the plant. They’ll probably be moving in zigzag patterns while you watch them. It’s typical to witness all the different phases of this bug at once because they reproduce so quickly. It’s likely that some bugs still in their larval stage will be visible if you gently agitate the soil. They inhabit the earth where they eat organic debris and have translucent bodies and glossy, black heads.
Our plants are getting ready to settle in for the upcoming cold season as winter approaches here in North Dakota. Unfortunately, that signals that these pesky bug populations are about to reach their peak. During this time, dormant plants use less water, which causes their soil to stay moist for longer. Gnats thrive in moist soils because they promote root rot and fungus. Be cautious when bringing delicate plants inside to overwinter since you run the risk of inviting unwelcome pests into your house.
Your plants will start to exhibit signs of stress if ignored and neglected. Fungus gnats don’t directly harm plant leaves, but they eat the root hairs and deplete the soil of vital minerals. This may result in abrupt plant withering and yellowing of the leaves, sluggish development, and a general decline in vigor.
When tackling any pest, you should always start with natural management approaches. The least hazardous and disruptive to your plant and house are typically natural and organic remedies, while chemicals may occasionally be required as a second line of defense. Fortunately, most fungus gnat populations may be controlled and eliminated naturally provided they are discovered and dealt with in a timely manner. Remember that one plant container can hold three to four generations of bugs, so you’ll probably need to apply your favorite approach more than once. Gnats in your indoor plants can be managed in the following ways:
Do not overwater. Before watering your indoor plants, allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry up. This will not only stop fungus gnats from deciding that your plant would make the best place for them to live, but it will also interfere with their reproductive cycle and assist to reduce populations that have already moved in.
Activate sticky traps. Not just for mice, either! Sticky traps are easy fixes for many pest issues. Gnats that are moving will be caught if you place them immediately on the soil’s surface. To stop them from laying eggs, remove them from the trap, discard them, and replace it frequently (every two to three days). Particularly effective at drawing these insects, yellow traps are.
Create vinegar and cider traps.
Mix equal volumes of cider and vinegar in a shallow dish or can to act as a trap for fruit flies. Lay the trap on the soil surface inside the container or even next to the damaged plant. The concoction will attract the bugs, who will then fall into it and drown.
Bring in useful nematodes. Although it may seem counterproductive to introduce additional bugs into the equation, doing so is a simple way to reduce pest numbers. Nematodes are incredibly minute, worm-like insects that are frequently invisible to the unaided eye. In their larval stage, they attempt to infiltrate fungus gnats and other insects, releasing a bacteria that eventually consumes the pest from the inside out. When you think about it, it’s awful and disgusting, but not as disgusting as allowing gnats to devour your prized houseplants!
If all else fails, there are always insecticidal goods and sprays to keep pest numbers under control. There are many products available that either target the adult stage or the larval stage, but either is OK. You should be able to get rid of these unpleasant plant flies in a few of weeks as long as you successfully target one phase of their life cycle and reapply often.
Larvae are easily eliminated with hydrogen peroxide since it kills them immediately upon contact. Infuse your soil with a solution made of four parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide.
To destroy larvae, neem oil can also be put to the soil after being diluted with water. Neem oil can also be sprayed on surfaces to instantly kill adult flies. Last but not least, pyrethrin sprays contain extracts that are harmful to a variety of pests and can instantly kill flies and fungus gnat larvae.
Fungus gnats can affect the health of your houseplants even though they don’t transmit any diseases that are dangerous to humans. Your plants will thank you by giving off a lush, healthy appearance to enliven your home if you keep pests at away.
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.
Gnats in potted soil: how can I get rid of them?
Fortunately, there are several of organic and chemical-free ways to get rid of fungus gnats from your prized plants. You can use a traditional trap or common household goods like potatoes and dish soap!
Let the Soil Dry
It’s important to remember to let the soil dry out for a few days and refrain from watering your plant because fungus gnats and their larvae prefer to nest in moist soil. The gnats will be forced to live in an uninhabitable habitat as a result, and they will disappear in dry soil. Do not be afraid to skip your next watering in order to get rid of the gnats; your houseplant will be able to endure the dryness for a longer period of time than you might imagine.
The best advice is to take your plant out of the planter and drain any extra water from the bottom. Thus, there won’t be any dampness where gnats might deposit their eggs.
There are numerous traps you may employ to get rid of these bothersome bugs if you’re seeking for a speedier fix. You can choose to DIY these with a few common things or run to the store and buy specialist traps, depending on what best suits your needs.
- Pour a cup of white vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap onto a shallow saucer. The gnats will be drawn to the solution and fall into the trap if you place the bowl near your plant. Repeat the procedure until no more gnats are present.
- Sticky fly traps are an alternative if the smell of vinegar deters you from making your own homemade gnat trap. These little yellow paper sheets attract gnats and trap them with glue because of their brilliant hue. Although it might not be visually appealing, this procedure is simple and safe.
- Consider purchasing an indoor fly-catching gadget if you’re sick and tired of gnats in your plants and need an urgent fix. These are typically USB-powered and can be purchased locally or online. The blowers and LED lights draw the gnats, and eventually they are drawn into the trap.
- Are there any extra potatoes in the kitchen? Set a trap for them! Place the potatoes flesh-down on the ground after cutting them into little pieces. The fungus gnats will be drawn to the potatoes by their dampness. Just be careful that the parts don’t dry out otherwise it won’t operate.
Sanitize and Repot
Consider removing the plant from its planter and scraping out the soil if you want to take matters into your own hands. When doing this, take care not to disrupt the roots and take only what you can get rid of. Put the contaminated soil in a plastic bag and wash the planter with soap and warm water to sterilize it. Repot your plant into new soil after this is finished, then put it back into its planter.
Use a Spray Bottle
Take a spray bottle and combine water and dish soap in it. Repeat the technique until all of the gnats are gone by spraying the solution on the top layer of soil. If you’re seeking for a quick and natural solution to get rid of fungus gnats, try this.