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More Information ». When a houseplant looks less than healthy, most often, it is the result of improper care. Factors such as too much or too little water, light, heat, or fertilizer can cause many plant problems. However, in some cases, the problem results from a pest infestation.
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Last Updated: July 16, References. This article was co-authored by Chikezie Onyianta. With over 5 years of experience, he specializes in pest control in both residential and commercial spaces. A graduate of Essex County College, Chikezie and EcoFusion assist in rodent, roach, and ant pest control as well as bed bug services. This article has been viewed 85, times.
Houseplants offer an easy and relatively low-maintenance alternative to outdoor gardening, which is especially helpful for apartment dwellers. In general, taking care of houseplants does not carry with it all the risks and hassles of keeping outdoor plants healthy. However, you may still find yourself fighting a classic gardening battle when caring for your houseplants - keeping insects from destroying them. Gnats, aphids, fruit flies, and spider mites are all common insects that can attack your plants.
There are several steps you can take to prevent bugs in your houseplants, which will work best when used in conjunction. Support wikiHow by unlocking this staff-researched answer. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers.
Download Article Explore this Article Steps. Tips and Warnings. Things You'll Need. Related Articles. Choose houseplants suited for your available light conditions. The first step in preventing insects actually arises when you choose your plants.
Make sure each houseplant is well suited to the amount of light it will receive once in position. Plants in unfavorable light conditions are subjected to stress, which makes them more susceptible to insect infestation.
Make sure your houseplants are potted in sterile soil. While bacteria, fungus, and insects are a vital component of outdoor soil health, houseplants are better planted in store bought potting mix, which will generally be sterile. Using outdoor garden soil can introduce insect larvae into your houseplants. Poorly drained soil can saturate the roots, leaving them more susceptible to insect attack. Clean your houseplants regularly. Dust buildup on your houseplant leaves often contains organic compounds like skin cells or pet hair that insects can feed on.
Furthermore, insects like mites thrive in thick layers of dust and will be less likely to infest a clean plant. Use as nonabrasive a cloth as you can find; microfiber cloths work well for this task. Plants with many small leaves can be picked up and submerged into a sink full of lukewarm, slightly soapy water.
Swish the leaves around a bit and then turn the plant right side up to dry. Inspect your plants regularly for insect damage. This may sound obvious, but in fact most insect infestations can be mitigated if you are monitoring your houseplants closely enough to catch the early signs. Discolored, speckled, mottled, and chewed up leaves can indicate insect activity. Of course, you may also be able to see the insects themselves as well as their eggs, larvae, or cast off skins. Control existing insect infestations as well as possible.
Even if you take the precautionary steps above, you may still find yourself faced with insects in your houseplants. There are several method you can use to kill and remove insects.
These traps are usually yellow in appearance and can be hung near the infested houseplant. Pruning can help control isolated insect infestations. If you notice that most of the insects are concentrated on a few leaves of a plant, prune these leaves away and throw them out. Wash small insects away with soapy water.
Small insects like aphids and mealybugs can be removed by rubbing the plant's leaves with a cloth moistened with soapy water. Know when to give up on an infested houseplant. The unfortunate truth is that when a houseplant becomes badly infested with insects, it is near impossible to remove the insects and return the plant to health.
In bad cases, throw the entire plant away before the insects spread to other houseplants in your home. Did you know you can get answers researched by wikiHow Staff? Unlock staff-researched answers by supporting wikiHow. Yes No. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Lavender can help keep away moths, flies and mosquitoes. Mint can help repel the biting kinds of bugs. Chrysanthemum has pyrethrin, which commonly is used in commercial bug repellents, and can keep away mosquitoes, roaches, ticks, beetles and even silverfish.
Not Helpful 0 Helpful 3. Bedbugs live in beds and furniture and in cracks in walls and other dark hiding places during the day.
They sense body heat and are attracted to it and usually stay close to a food source ie. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 8. You have to change the soil to truly get rid of the fungus. If you treat it with something it will eventually come back. You also might want to change the pot. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1. It is possible. Low light is best and be sure to only water when the soil is dry and then not too much water.
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. If you place your houseplants outdoors during the summer, keep a look out for larger insects like caterpillars and millipedes.
These insects can be removed with tweezers or by hand. Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0. You Might Also Like How to. How to. Pest Control Specialist. Expert Interview. About This Article. Co-authored by:. Chikezie Onyianta. Co-authors: 8. Updated: July 16,Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 85, times.
Many people choose to bring their houseplants outside during the summer to bask in the sunshine and humidity… but, how do you bring plants back indoors without the bugs!? Summer is a wonderful time for growing plants. Two things that will help you avoid major problems with your plants later on are knowing when to bring houseplants inside, and also how to bring plants indoors without bugs. When to Bring Plants Inside One of the most common questions is when should I bring my plants inside for the winter? Plan to start bringing your houseplants back inside several weeks before cooler weather hits in the fall. If indoor plants are left outside for too long, cold weather could trigger them to drop their leaves. Or worse, it could kill the plant.
A spray made with baby shampoo works well to get rid of some bugs, such as aphids and whiteflies. Add 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo into a 4-ounce spray bottle.
Pests, be gone. It's a three-pronged approach to rid houseplants of bugs in my household. Here, the attack includes neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and hydrogen peroxide. Is it a bit overboard? But the last thing you want is the proliferation of bugs in your ever-growing houseplant collection. That's why I consulted lifehacker to see what their advice was for dealing with this pesky situation. Their verdict?
Sometimes even the word pest is enough to disturb the zen of our indoor garden. They can find their way onto indoor plants, too, and like to cluster around new leaves and flower buds. They suck the sap from the plant and excrete a sticky substance called honeydew. How to get rid of these bugs: Remove any heavily infested parts of the plant.
You can easily establish the identity of the bug by looking at its appearance.
You know the feeling. Could it be watering? A draft? Too much sun or not enough? While some issues are care related, like over- or under-watering, sometimes the culprit is a pest attack.
Some houseplant owners go years simply watering and fertilizing, without ever having to deal with pests. And then, they bring home one new plant, and suddenly find themselves with a huge infestation of spider mites or scales. Use the links below to skip through the article and learn how to get rid of bugs in houseplants. Aphids are tiny green, yellow, or white bugs that suck on the stems and leaves of your plants and slowly kill them. Luckily, aphids are soft-bodied and can be killed easily. Start by rinsing your plant thoroughly with a sink sprayer, shower, or hose. This will get rid of the majority of adult aphids present on your plant.
Don't wait until your houseplants are struggling. Check your indoor plants regularly for signs of the top 10 houseplant pests. 1. Aphid. Aphids.
Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List. Print this fact sheet. Houseplants are susceptible to attack by many insects and mite pests. Some of these houseplant pests can cause extensive damage to the appearance and health of the plant while others are simply a nuisance.
Most indoor plants require relatively little care and remain healthy with a moderate level of attention. Different pests sometimes attack indoor plants, however. The pests may come inside with outdoor plants or they are present on new nursery-grown plants. Once pests settle in, they are notoriously difficult to eradicate, often spreading to healthy, unaffected plants.
Figuring out how to get rid of indoor plant bugs is extremely frustrating, and it can be very difficult to control houseplant pests. One of the biggest frustrations an indoor gardener can face is finding bugs on a beloved houseplant.
If you notice that your plant looks like it is covered with snow or leaves have some white spots, your plant is under the attack of Mealybugs. Inspect all your plants regularly to ensure early detection. Isolate the infected plants from the rest of the plants. If you touch or treat this plant, make sure to wash your hands before touching any other plants. Dip cotton balls and swabs in alcohol and remove all visible mealybugs. Use balls to clean the leaves and swabs to clean inside the gaps.
But this process isn't as simple as simply carrying your plants back indoors. Here's how to get your plants bug-free and ready to come inside for the winter, including some tips from plant expert and lifestyle blogger Ren Lenhof. Meet the Expert.