Finding bugs on your houseplants is always disappointing. You must act fast to save the beautiful plants you are caring for and fortunately there are some great ways to get rid of houseplant bugs. Read this article to learn everything you need to know about a houseplant pest and how to easily get rid of them without using any harmful pesticides.
Use these 8 methods to get rid of indoor plant pests naturally;
- Baby Shampoo Bug Spray
- Cooking Oil Spray
- Herbal Water Spray
- Dish Soap Spray
- Neem Oil
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Essential Oils
- Sticky Fly Paper
Use natural methods instead of pesticides and insecticides to eliminate bugs on your houseplants. The following areas will be covered in this article on how to get rid of houseplant bugs naturally.
- What types of bugs there are?
- The benefits of treating naturally.
- Learn how to create and use natural bug spray.
- Learn how to create and use natural soap spray.
- Tips to prevent bugs.
Why Do My Houseplants Have Bugs?
Your houseplants are just as vulnerable to pests and insects as those in your garden. In fact, your indoor plants often have more insects than those out in your garden. The reason for this is that your indoor plants don’t have the help of insects to control insect infestations, such as ladybugs.
During the colder months, your plants become more vulnerable to pests because they go into their dormant phase. Dormant houseplants are naturally weaker during this time.
The temperature and room conditions are ideal for indoor plants in colder months, so they are more susceptible to pests in those months. In the middle of winter, your home has less humidity and you may be heating it indoors. With that and reduced air circulation, you’ve got the perfect breeding ground for bugs.
How Bugs Infest Your Home
There are a variety of ways that pests infest your home, and it may seem like they appeared overnight. Here are some of the ways in which pests may enter your home:
- An open door or window is a perfect entry point for a pest.
- New houseplants from the gardening center pose a threat to your other houseplants. Bugs may have hatched on the leaves or in the soil of new plants without you being aware of it.
- The potting soil may contain insects and their eggs, so consider buying only top quality soil.
- Buying fresh produce or flowers can also result in you getting a bunch of bugs.
- Bugs can also come inside if you bring an outdoor plant in during cooler months!
What types of bugs there are?
It helps to know what bugs and pests are before you can start treating them naturally. By identifying different bugs and pests you can come up with a plan of action to eradicate them and take steps not to allow them to return. Here’s a list of the most common bugs and pests that attack indoor houseplants.
In the house there is a high probability of getting infested by aphids. Aphids may appear brown, green, or red when they appear on the flower buds or the newly growing plant. It’s easy to spot as clustered white specks on the soil.
A fungus gnat looks like a fruit fly cruising around the plant. On top of the plant and in the soil there will also be a lot of small white or black insects.
If you see white mildew on the leaves or if there is cotton sticking to the stem of the plant, it indicates that you have a mealybug problem. In addition to leaving behind sticky residues on the leaves and the area around the houseplant, mealybugs can also cause yellowing of the leaves.
You can identify scale when the stems and leaves are crusted or have brown spots or bumps. These spots can be easily removed by carefully scraping, but you are not limited to spots. You could also have sticky goo on your indoor plants.
The stems and leaves in a spider mite-infested houseplant will show either tiny spiders or webs.
Thrips are small, thin insects with small wings. By biting the stems and leaves of plants, they feed on the sap. Most commonly found on outdoor plants, these pests can also make their way indoors.
A whitefly is a small white insect that flies all over plants. They’re hard to spot unless they’re disturbed, so you won’t be able to misjudge these tiny flies as mere nuisances!
Natural is Always Better
Any time you see signs of bugs on your houseplants, you’ll need to take action immediately so that they don’t kill the plants or infest other plants in your home. The best way to get rid of bugs is to use natural methods. There are some great home remedies for treating and controlling bugs.
You don’t want to treat your plants with harsh chemicals in a confined space. Using chemical pesticides on your plants poses a health risk to you and your family.
Another reason to go organic is that many houseplants develop a resistance to chemical pesticides and develop immunity to them. This means that you’re not only using more harmful chemicals to cover up your pest problems, but maybe they’re even doing nothing at all.
Here are some natural methods to get rid of insects on plants.
Homemade Bug Spray
Safe to use, these homemade bug sprays can be used on a variety of different house plants. They’re much better alternatives than using chemical bug sprays in your home.
Test a test of the spray first on a small leaf to see how the plant reacts. Wait two to three days. If the plant appears to be “happy”, spray the entire plant.
The sun’s rays and the heat combined with the bug spray could cause the leaves to burn, so we recommend removing plants from direct sunlight and hot rooms after spraying them with natural bug spray.
Baby Shampoo Bug Spray
Some bugs, such as whiteflies and aphids, can be killed with a spray made from baby shampoo. Add one tablespoon into a 4-ounce spray bottle filled with water. Spray the houseplants every two days with the spray.
This spray doesn’t work well when applied to plants that have bristly leaves or leaves coated with wax. After spraying and waiting for 4 hours, I rinse the plant with clear water to get rid of the pests.
Cooking Oil Pest Spray
Spraying aphids, spider mites, thrips, scales, and whiteflies with cooking oil can be an effective way to control them. You can use any cooking oil that you have in your kitchen, such as olives, canola, or sunflower.
Pour 1 cup of oil with 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap into a sealed container. Store in a dark place when not in use. To use, mix 2 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of the mix into a spray bottle. Mist the plant once, then repeat.
Herbal Water Spray
Strongly scented herbs are an effective way to rid houseplants of spider mites, aphids, and other pests. Choose from basil, peppermint, lavender, sage, and rosemary. My personal favourite is the combination of peppermint and rosemary.
Take the crushed herbs, break them apart, and crush them into a large container with a lid. Add 3 cups of water, cover the container with a lid, and steep for at least 24 hours. Add 1 teaspoon of mild dish soap to the hot water, and shake to mix before using. Then spray the entire plant once a day with the herbal spray. Store the spray bottle in a cool and dark location when not in use.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Houseplant Bugs Using Dish Soap
Dish soap sprays and washes also work well for removing pests naturally on your houseplants. Test before applying one of these homemade soap sprays on your houseplants.
Mild Soap Spray
When treating your houseplants, use a mild soap such as dish soap and water in a 1-quart spray bottle. This solution is a 2 percent solution that will treat and control bugs, such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.
A leaf should be tested before spraying the entire plant. If the leaf reacts by curling up or turning yellow, switch to a 1 percent solution, adding just 2 teaspoons of mild soap. Do this once more.
Castile Soap Bug Spray
Various chemical insecticidal soaps contain the same fatty acids as Castile soap. Make this spray by mixing 1 tablespoon castile soap with 1 quart of water to make a 2 percent solution, cutting back to 2 teaspoons for a 1 percent solution if needed.
Use hard water if you have it to prevent soap layers from building on the plant. Spray both the plant and the soil with the soap mix, waiting one week before repeating the treatment if you don’t manage to eliminate all the bugs the first time.
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