Bye bye bugs 🕷
Dec 09, 2020
09:28 PM
Photo by <a href="">Severin Candrian</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>


Figuring out how to get rid of indoor plant bugs is extremely frustrating, and it can be very difficult to control houseplant pests. In this post, I’ll show you how to identify the most common pests. Then you’ll learn how to get rid of bugs on houseplants naturally, and get tons of tips for how to keep bugs off indoor plants, for good.

Words by: GetBusyGardening


If you suspect that you have indoor plant bugs, below is a quick list to help you with plant pest identification.

Photo by <a href="">Emilia Wronowska</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

• Spider webs or tiny spiders on houseplants – If you see spider webs on the leaves or stems of your plant, that is a sure sign of spider mites. If you look closely you may even see microscopic bugs crawling around on the webbing. Yuck!

• Tiny white flying insects on indoor plants leaves – If there are small white bugs that look like tiny flies that flutter around the plant every time it’s disturbed (cough, cough), that means your houseplant has whiteflies.

• Small, slender black, brown, or green bugs with pointy tails – Are there tiny, long and skinny bugs scatter about on the leaves of your houseplants? Ack, those are thrips.

• Clusters of fat, juicy brown, red, or green bugs on plants, flower buds or new growth. You may also notice tiny white flakes or specks on and around the plant. Gross, those are aphids.

• Hard crusty bumps or brown spots on houseplants leaves or stems – Spots or bumps on the stems and leaf joints that can easily be flaked off with a fingernail is houseplant scale. You may also notice a sticky substance on indoor plants leaves, or around the area where the plant is sitting. Ewe!

• Tiny bugs in houseplant soil – Do you see tiny black or white bugs in plant soil, or gnats that look like fruit flies flying around your houseplants? Yep, those are fungus gnats.

• White fluffy stuff on houseplant stems and leaf joints – If there’s white stuff on plants that looks like cotton or mildew, then it has mealybugs. You may also notice sticky leaves on houseplants, or the area around the plant may be covered in a sticky residue. Ick!

Words by: GetBusyGardening

Photo by <a href="">Katie Harp</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash


If you find any pests on houseplants, it’s important to act fast and begin treatment immediately!

You want to control houseplant pests as quickly as possible to prevent them from spreading to your other plants.

When it comes to pesticides, it’s always best to stick with natural methods and products.

All of the methods I recommend for controlling houseplant pests are all-natural products or home remedies, and they work great!

Words by: GetBusyGardening


Photo by <a href="">Stefan C. Asafti</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>


Most common houseplant bugs feed on plants, and will be found on the leaves, flower buds and/or the stems. Here are some tips for getting rid of bugs on indoor plants naturally…

• The first thing to do is immediately isolate the plant to prevent the infestation from spreading to your other houseplants. Also be sure to monitor the surrounding plants closely for signs of indoor plant pests for several weeks.

• Some bugs can leave the plant and hide for a long time. So be sure to thoroughly clean the area where the plant was sitting using soapy water. You can also sterilize the area with rubbing alcohol if you want.

• Wash the infested plant with insecticidal soap, or use a mild liquid soap. Soap kills houseplant bugs on contact. Be careful with the type you use though. Some contain degreasers and detergents that can harm sensitive plants. Always spot-test any type of soap on your plants before washing all of the leaves.

• Wash the pot and plant tray with soapy water too. Houseplant pests can easily hid under the rim of the pot or tray, or even on the bottoms of them.

• Use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol and dab it on the bugs to kill and remove them from the plant.

• Treat the plant with neem oil for long-term indoor plant pest control and prevention. Neem oil is a natural insecticide for indoor plants that works to kill and repel bugs. You can learn all about how to use neem oil insecticide here. Alternatively, you could use horticultural oil or try using a hot pepper spray.


Most indoor plant insects fly at some point in their lifecycle, which makes them even more difficult to control.

But killing the flying bugs alone isn’t going to be enough to eliminate a houseplant pest infestation. You need to kill the eggs and nymphs in order to get rid of insects on indoor plants all together.

So be sure to follow the steps above for getting rid of bugs on plant leaves in addition to these steps. Here are a few additional tips for getting rid of flying houseplant pests…

• Use yellow sticky traps or houseplant sticky stakes to capture and kill little flying bugs in houseplants. This will help to control them, is non-toxic, and can prevent them from flying to nearby plants too.

• Suck the flying bugs up with the vacuum cleaner. This works well to get a large population of flying indoor plant pests under control quickly. Just be careful not to suck up the plant leaves in the process.


Many types of houseplant pests can be found in potting soil, especially fungus gnats. So any time you find bugs on your houseplants, be sure to check the soil too, and treat it if necessary.

• Remove the top inch of soil and throw it out. Then replace it with fresh potting soil or a soil cover. Using a soil cover like fine sand or a natural top dressing can help prevent a future infestation.

• Drench the soil with an organic pesticide for houseplants. You could use an organic insecticidal soap (I make my own using 1 tsp mild liquid soap to 1 liter of water). Or try a neem oil solution (which can work for systemic houseplant insect control). Be careful not to overwater your plant in the process though.

• Ensure you’re watering your houseplants properly, the soil should never be soggy. Wet soil is not only bad for houseplants, it’s a breeding ground for pests like fungus gnats. If you struggle with watering, I recommend getting an inexpensive soil water meter to help you get it right.

• Store your unused potting soil in a bug-proof container, houseplant pests can’t live without air. I use a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid (this airtight seal lid is perfect).

Words by: GetBusyGardening

Photo by <a href="">Scott Webb</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


In order to get rid of houseplant pests, you must be vigilant in fighting them. You can’t just treat the plant one time and expect to kill all of the indoor plant insects, nymphs and eggs.

It can take several treatments to eliminate them for good.So once you start treating a plant, inspect it daily and continue treatment until all signs of the infestation are gone.

Most common houseplant pests multiply very quickly, and it takes several treatments to control them, and eventually get rid of them completely.

Words by: GetBusyGardening


Once you get rid of bugs on houseplants, you don’t want them to come back, right!? The best long-term defense against any houseplant infestation is preventive pest control.

Photo by <a href="">Prudence Earl</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

So here are a few more tips for how to keep indoor plants pest free and healthy for the long run.

• Always clean and disinfect pots and plant trays before reusing them. You can wash them with soapy water or, if they are sturdy enough, run them through the dishwasher.

• Check your plants on a regular basis for signs of indoor plant pests. I usually do this each time I water my plants.

• Never repot a plant just because it has a bug problem. Repotting can further stress an unhealthy houseplant, which could end up killing the plant.

• Always use fresh, sterile commercial potting soil to repot plants – and never, never use garden soil! If you’re repotting a houseplant that doesn’t have any bugs, it’s fine to reuse the soil in the new container for the same plant. But you should never reuse potting soil from one houseplant to repot another plant.

• Whenever you bring home a new plant, make sure that you inspect it closely for any signs of bugs. It’s also good to isolate new houseplants for a few weeks to make sure no bugs show up.

• Sterilize your pruning shears and other tools every time you use them. You can wash them with soap and water, or dip them in rubbing alcohol between uses.

• Always wash your hands after handling an infested plant.

• If you put any houseplants outside for the summer, be sure to debug them before bringing them back inside in the fall.

Words by: GetBusyGardening

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