Using natural pest control for houseplants is much healthier for us and our plants. There are lots of home remedies that work great to kill bugs on houseplants! So skip the toxic chemical pesticides, and try these methods instead.
It can be frustrating to find bugs on a beloved houseplant. But if you have indoor plants, at some point you will likely have to deal with houseplant pests. It’s no fun – trust me, I know!
But there are lots of natural home remedies you can use to kill bugs on indoor plants, so you can skip the harmful chemical pesticides.
First, let’s identify which pests are bugging your houseplants, then we’ll look at some methods of natural pest control for houseplants.
What Are Those Bugs On My Houseplant?
Before you start treating an infested plant, it’s important to know which type of bug you’re dealing with.
That way, you can get rid of them as efficiently as possible. So, here’s a quick list of a few of the most common to help you figure it out…
- Mealybugs are soft bodied scale insects. A mealybug infestation looks like cotton or white powder on the stems, leaf joints or along the veins of leaves.
- Spider mites are tiny and difficult to see. The telltale sign of a spider mite infestation is spider webs on the underside of leaves, or between newly formed leaves. Look closely and you can see the tiny mites moving around on the fine webbing.
- Scale can be very difficult to notice on a plant because they don’t look like bugs. Houseplant scale looks like small brown or greyish colored dots or bumps along the leaf veins, stems, and leaf joints of the plant.
- Fungus gnats, also known as soil gnats, look similar to fruit flies and are just as annoying. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in moist soil, where the larvae will hatch and feed on small roots, fungus, and other organic matter in the soil.
- Whiteflies are easy to identify, the adults will fly around when the leaves of an infested plant are disturbed. Whiteflies lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves.
- Aphids are usually green, but can be just about any color. They are small, fat, and juicy. Many times aphids will blend in with the foliage of the houseplant, making them hard to spot until the plant is infested.
Natural Pest Control For Houseplants
Don’t use synthetic chemical pesticides (also known as insecticides) to try to kill bugs on houseplant.
Not only are they dangerous to you, your family, and your pets; they’re expensive, and don’t always work to kill bugs on indoor plants anyway.
Some common houseplant pests are resistant, or can quickly build up resistance to chemical pesticides.
So, try these safer, more effective natural remedies for bugs on plants instead…
- Soapy water – Soap kills bugs on contact. It’s easy to make your own natural bug killer for indoor plants. My homemade bug spray recipe is one teaspoon mild liquid soap to one liter of water. Use it in a spray bottle, or to wash the leaves of heavily infested plants (test it on a leaf first to make sure the plant isn’t sensitive to the mixture). Organic insecticidal soap also works great as a natural insecticide for houseplants.
- Rubbing alcohol – Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill and remove insect pests from the plant. This can be a bit tedious, but it works great to remove large clusters of pests like aphids, scale, or mealybugs from a plant.
- Neem oil is a natural pesticide for indoor plants, and it’s very effective for controlling and eliminating common houseplant pests. It also has a residual effect, so you don’t have to treat the plant every day like you would with other methods. If you have issues with recurring infestations, I highly recommend buying some organic neem oil. Learn how to use natural neem oil insecticide here.
- Soil toppers – Top the soil of an infested houseplant with a product like Gnatnix or a sand soil cover to control fungus gnats. Topping the soil with diatomaceous earth could also help control fungus gnats and other pests that live and breed in houseplant soil.
- Yellow sticky traps – Yellow sticky traps are inexpensive, non-toxic, and work great to capture adult flying houseplant bugs like fungus gnats, aphids and whiteflies.
It will take several treatments to eliminate any houseplant pest infestation, so persistence is key. Once you start treating a houseplant for bugs, continue to treat it at least once a day until the infestation is under control. Don’t despair, we can win this battle and keep our houseplants naturally pest free.
Up next, learn exactly how to get rid of houseplant bugs naturally.
If you’re tired of battling bugs on your indoor plants, then you need a copy of my Houseplant Pest Control eBook. It has everything you need in order to get rid of those nasty bugs FOR GOOD! Download your copy today!
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- Natural Garden Pest Control Remedies And Recipes
Leave a comment below and share your favorite home remedies and methods of natural pest control for houseplants!