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Natural Ways to Get Rid of Houseplant Pests Safely & Easily Full Guide of 2023

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natural ways to get rid of houseplant pestsDo you want to know how to get rid of houseplant bugs naturally? You don’t need harsh chemicals or pesticides – there are simple and natural ways for controlling pests from your indoor plants.

In this article, we’ll discuss why houseplants have bugs, how they enter your home, different types of houseplant pests, and the best ways for removing them safely and easily. We’ll also cover preventative methods on avoiding infestations in the future, as well as which type of plants tend to repel these pesky critters.

So if you’re looking for a way out when it comes to natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests, then this article has got you covered! Get ready – let’s dive into all things bug-related!

Key Takeaways

  • Different types of houseplant pests
  • Prevention methods for avoiding infestations
  • Homemade bug sprays using baby shampoo, cooking oil, and essential oils
  • Plants that repel pests

Why Do Houseplants Have Bugs?

natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests 1
You may have noticed bugs on your houseplants and wondered why they’re there – but the answer lies in pre-existing knowledge of indoor plant care. Common pests that can infest household plants include aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies.

These tiny spiders enter through open windows or doors or hitch a ride with new plants into the home.

Cold temperatures combined with room conditions can make indoor plants more susceptible to bugs during colder months as well. To get rid of these pesky creatures without harsh chemicals, you could employ natural remedies such as homemade bug sprays using ingredients like baby shampoo, cooking oil, and essential oils; sticky fly paper for trapping adult bugs; removing the top layer of soil from infested pots and replacing it with fresh soil/fine sand; spraying/washing leaves with mild soap solutions or herbal sprays, etcetera.

Prevention is also important: check newly purchased plants before introducing them to other potted ones at home; inspect existing ones regularly for any signs of infection; avoid overwatering and fertilizing; look out for resistant varieties such as snake plant, coleus, basil, and jade which are known to fend off pests better than others.

Lastly, be sure the potting soil used is sterile and fresh, else this will only invite trouble in the form of larvae, etcetera.

All said, use neem oil when necessary, but remember prevention works best so keep an eye out always!

How Bugs Enter Your Home

How Bugs Enter Your Home
Beware of open windows and doors – they can be gateways for pests to enter your home. Spider mites, fungus gnats, aphids, thrips, and whiteflies are just some of the bugs that commonly attack indoor plants.

In colder months, when temperatures drop or rooms become more humid, these tiny creatures find their way in through any available doorways or windows.

To prevent infestations, it is important to inspect all incoming plants before introducing them into existing collections. Regularly check for signs of infection on existing ones. Avoid overwatering and fertilizing too much.

Opt for resistant varieties such as snake plant, coleus basil & jade rather than others which may be more prone to pest attacks.

When dealing with infected soil, make sure you start fresh by replacing top layers with new potting soil/fine sand mix while keeping it sterile at all times. This will go a long way in preventing larvae from breeding further inside planters! You could also try using sticky fly paper around pots & other surfaces where adult insects often rest.

This temporary measure traps those present quickly without the need for harsh pesticides or chemical treatments.

Lastly, allow soils to dry out between waterings whenever possible, especially if there’s an issue with fungus gnats. This helps kill off eggs laid by adults, reducing populations significantly over time.

Different Types of Houseplant Bugs

Different Types of Houseplant Bugs
Gardening indoors can be a challenge, as it’s easy for houseplant pests to take hold. Common bugs that attack houseplants include aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. Understanding how to identify and treat these insects is key in order to keep your plants healthy and pest-free.


Aphids are a common houseplant pest, and they can reproduce quickly – in fact, one female aphid can produce up to 80 offspring in just 7 days! To control aphids naturally without harmful pesticides, neem oil is effective.

Bug prevention also includes inspecting new plants before introducing them to existing collections. Vinegar sprays and dry soil conditions help reduce infestations by killing adults or eggs respectively.

Common bugs like these require natural bug sprays made with ingredients such as baby shampoo or essential oils since they feed on the sap of plants indoors.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are attracted to houseplants that require high humidity and moisture, so keep an eye out for them on your African violets and orchids. To prevent infestations, use a vinegar remedy or store sterile soil in sealed containers.

Neem oil with fatty acids can be used as a natural pesticide, while essential oils provide additional help against bugs. Diatomaceous earth is great for lacerating bug shells, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily.


Mealybugs can easily spread throughout your home, so check plants regularly for signs of an infestation. Controlling mealybugs requires a combination of preventative methods and natural solutions. You can use neem oil solution, vinegar treatment, or soil sterilization with rubbing alcohol or essential oils mixed in natural soap spray.

Neem oil is known to be effective against the insect while also promoting healthy root growth.

Regularly inspect plants and wipe away any visible bugs using cotton swabs saturated with rubbing alcohol or vinegar mixture to reduce population levels quickly.


Scale can be a nightmare to deal with, but don’t worry – you’ve got this! Prevention is the best method for dealing with scale infestations on houseplants. Set up sticky traps and use neem oil spray or herbal water solution mixed with dish soap as natural pest prevention methods.

Essential oils like tea tree and lavender, diluted in cooking oil, can also help control aphids.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are one of the most common pests to attack houseplants. To control them, use natural predators like ladybugs or beneficial bugs that feed on spider mites. Neem oil and vinegar sprays can also help get rid of these pests, as well as diatomaceous earth sprinkled around leaf branches and aphids’ webs.

Keep air circulation levels high by frequently pruning leaves and make sure plants receive enough light to discourage infestations.

Using Homemade Bug Spray

Using Homemade Bug Spray
When it comes to natural ways of getting rid of houseplant pests, there are a few homemade bug sprays that can help. Baby shampoo bug spray works by killing adult pests on contact, while cooking oil pest spray suffocates and kills the insects.

Herbal water sprays are also an effective solution as they act as a deterrent for many common bugs like aphids and spider mites.

Baby Shampoo Bug Spray

One of the most effective homemade bug sprays is baby shampoo mixed with water. This solution can be used to treat a variety of houseplant pests, such as aphids and spider mites. It’s best to use organic baby shampoo for this spray, as it has fewer chemicals than regular varieties.

Additionally, adding cooking oil or herbal water can provide extra benefits in controlling bugs on your plants.

For added protection from infestations, spraying or washing leaves with mild soaps solutions or herbal sprays can help keep them healthy and pest-free long-term.

Cooking Oil Pest Spray

You can use cooking oil to make a powerful homemade bug spray that will help keep your houseplants healthy and pest-free!

To do this, mix two parts water with one part cooking oil in a spray bottle. Then, apply the solution directly onto pests like aphids, spider mites, scale, or whiteflies.

Apply this mixture every three days for best results and vary the ratio depending on soil types. Additionally, adding dish soap or neem oil to the mixture can provide even more protection against bugs.

For extra prevention measures against infestations of any kind, try using rubbing alcohol or essential oils as these are known natural insecticides too!

With all these options available, you’ll have no problem keeping your plants safe from unwanted pests while maintaining their health and beauty long-term.

Herbal Water Spray

Spray your plants with a herbal water solution to keep away pesky bugs and maintain their beauty. Herbal water is an effective, natural bug repellent that can be used on houseplants.

To make the spray, mix two parts water with one part Neem oil or essential oils of your choice for added protection. Alternatively, you can use a vinegar solution mixed with baking soda to treat spider mites.

You can also create a baby shampoo bug spray by mixing dish soap and cooking oil in warm water.

Sterile soil should also be used when potting new plants as it reduces the risk of larvae infestations from occurring in future months! Simply add these ingredients into the same bottle and shake well before spraying onto leaves directly.

Additionally, herbs like basil are known to deter many kinds of bugs naturally, so having some around could help prevent them too! These homemade sprays are easy to make and provide great results against freeloading critters.

They give you peace of mind knowing that none will remain after application time has passed.

With proper care and prevention techniques, such as regular inspections for signs of infestation, coupled alongside using herbal sprays regularly, success is achievable against even the most stubborn pest problems quickly.

Getting Rid of Bugs in Plant Soil

Getting Rid of Bugs in Plant Soil
Checking the soil of your houseplants regularly is key to preventing and treating bug infestations, as pests can be hard to spot and remove. To start off, it’s important to use sterile potting soil when planting new plants in order to reduce the risk of bugs or larvae hitchhiking into your home.

If you suspect an infestation has already occurred, try removing the top layer of dirt from affected plants and replacing it with fresh soil or fine sand. You may also want to consider using a vinegar spray on spider mites. Mix equal parts water, mild dish soap, and baking soda for best results.

It’s also helpful to monitor humidity levels in your home. Fungus gnats are attracted by high moisture content, so keep these under control by ventilating living spaces properly.

Finally, neem oil is another great option for getting rid of bugs outdoors. Simply dilute some oil with warm water before spraying it onto leaves directly once every two weeks until pest numbers have decreased significantly.

Getting Rid of Pests on Plant Leaves

Getting Rid of Pests on Plant Leaves
Gently wipe down your plant’s leaves with a mild soap solution to rid them of unwanted pests, like wiping away dew from morning grass.

Different bugs can cause damage to leaves and roots as well as stealing essential nutrients from the soil.

  • Spray or wash the affected areas on plant leaves using a mixture of mild dish soap and water, or herbal sprays like neem oil for added protection against pests.
  • Use vinegar spray for spider mites by combining equal parts water, baking soda, and mild dish soap.
  • Isolate any new plants before introducing them into your home in order to prevent spread.
  • Allow soil to dry out completely in order to reduce the larvae population which may be present due to fungus gnats attracted by high humidity levels in indoor spaces.

With these tips combined with regular monitoring for signs of bug infestations–such as wilting leaves or brown spots–you’ll have an easier time keeping pesky insects off your precious green friends! Snake plants, coleus basil, and jade plants are all naturally resistant, so they’re great choices if pest prevention is a top priority when selecting houseplants.

Natural Methods for Controlling Specific Pests

Natural Methods for Controlling Specific Pests
Greeting! When dealing with houseplants, it is important to take steps towards natural pest control. Fungus gnats and mealybugs are common pests that can be treated naturally without the use of pesticides.

To manage scale, applying neem oil is an effective solution, while spider mites can be controlled through a vinegar spray mixture. Lastly, whiteflies may require spraying with a homemade bug spray or using sticky traps for adult bugs as prevention methods.

Controlling Fungus Gnats Naturally

You can help prevent fungus gnats on your houseplants by regularly inspecting new plants before introducing them, avoiding overwatering and fertilizing. For natural remedies, use a vinegar spray or neem oil to tackle whiteflies and mealybugs.

Ensure the soil is sterile with hydrogen peroxide solution or diatomaceous earth in humid environments where fungus gnats thrive. Scale can be treated through careful pruning of affected leaves; sticky fly paper also traps adults temporarily.

Controlling Mealybugs Naturally

Mealybugs can wreak havoc on your houseplants, but fortunately, you don’t need to reach for harsh chemicals to defeat them – try some irony instead!

Prevention is key. Inspect new plants and fresh produce regularly. Avoid overwatering and fertilizing too often.

To treat mealybugs, use a vinegar treatment or homemade bug sprays with essential oils as natural pest control solutions.

If scale is present, prune affected leaves carefully and ensure the soil is sterile by using potting mixes that have not been exposed to infestations in the past.

With these preventive measures in place, it’s possible to keep whiteflies under control without resorting to synthetic pesticides!

Controlling Scale Naturally

Scale, like mealybugs, can be a pesky problem for houseplants. To prevent scale infestations, inspect new plants and produce regularly. Avoid overwatering and fertilizing too often. Treatments include vinegar sprays or homemade bug sprays with essential oils to control pests naturally.

Clean potting soil helps reduce the risk of bugs or larvae. Sticky fly paper traps adult bugs as a temporary measure, while neem oil acts as an effective pesticide in preventing the spread of infestation.

Rubbing alcohol solutions also help kill off any existing insects on leaves, while dish soap spray aids in controlling spider mites by mixing it with water and baking soda.

Controlling Spider Mites Naturally

Spider mites can wreak havoc on your houseplants, but luckily there are natural treatments available to help keep them in check. To prevent the spread of infestation, neem oil can be employed as a pesticide. Snake plants and other resistant species may provide an additional layer of protection.

For existing pests, try spraying with hydrogen peroxide or dish soap mixed with water and baking soda for spider mites. Rubbing alcohol solutions work great for leaves too! Diatomaceous earth lacerates bug shells while leaving behind no sticky residue.

Controlling Whiteflies Naturally

Whiteflies can quickly infest your houseplants, but don’t despair! Natural predators, beneficial fungi, and nematodes are all effective at controlling whitefly populations. Additionally, spraying techniques with neem oil or essential oils mixed in dish soap and water can help deter them.

Sticky fly paper hung near the plant is another great way to trap adult flies. Beneficial bacteria such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) may also be used against whiteflies if necessary.

Preventing Bug Infestations

Preventing Bug Infestations
To ensure your houseplants remain free of pests, it’s important to practice a few preventive measures. Begin by inspecting any new plants you purchase for signs of infestation before bringing them indoors.

It’s also wise to isolate newly acquired plants from other houseplants in the home until they have been thoroughly inspected and deemed bug-free. Regularly check all plant leaves, stems, and soil to spot an infestation early on so that appropriate action can be taken swiftly.

Furthermore, provide comprehensive care such as avoiding overwatering or overfertilizing to make your home’s foliage less attractive to unwanted guests!

Inspecting New Plants

When introducing new plants to your home, be sure to inspect them thoroughly for any signs of pests before bringing them inside. Check the potting soil and leaves for sticky residue or damage from bugs. Inspect the undersides of leaves and stems closely as well, since this is where evidence of bugs can often be found.

To prevent a bug infestation in your houseplants, keep open doors and windows minimal when bringing in new plants from outdoors or other areas with possible pest infestations. Sterilize the potting soil by submerging it in warm water mixed with two cups of bleach per gallon or replace it entirely with fresh sterile soil plus fine sand if necessary.

Then place newly introduced plants away from existing ones until you’re certain they are free from pests!

Isolating From Other Houseplants

Once you’ve inspected your new plants, isolate them from any existing houseplants just to be sure; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Isolating your plants has pros and cons, with benefits including preventing the spread of pests like aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, scale, and whiteflies. However, this can also mean missing out on potential beneficial relationships between plant species.

Prevention strategies include keeping open doors/windows minimal when introducing new plants into the home, plus sterilizing potting soil by submerging it in warm water mixed with two cups of bleach per gallon or replacing it entirely with fresh sterile soil plus fine sand if necessary.

This extra step can protect against infestations before they even start – giving peace of mind for successful houseplant growth!

Checking Plants Before Bringing Indoors

Be sure to thoroughly check plants before bringing them indoors, as bugs can hitch a ride and quickly become an infestation. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or neem oil to inspect outdoor plants for unwanted pests.

The best solution is prevention: use natural pesticides, bug traps, and sterile soil from the start. This will save time and money in the long run! If you find any suspicious activity during an indoor inspection, it’s best to take immediate action.

Checking Plants Regularly

Check your houseplants regularly for signs of bugs, so you can take action quickly and avoid a costly infestation. Look out for tiny black bugs or white clustered specks that could indicate aphids, fungus gnats, or mealybugs.

Isolate new plants from existing ones until checked thoroughly and use natural sprays, such as baby shampoo in an ounce spray bottle, to target pests like whiteflies. Prevent bug infestations by using natural pest repellents and keeping the soil moist but not wet.

Regular checks will help ensure your home stays free from pesky intruders!

Comprehensive Plant Care

To keep your houseplants healthy and pest-free, comprehensive plant care is key! Composting Basics, Soil Nutrition, Plant Pruning, and Humidity Control are all essential components of a successful houseplant maintenance program.

Fertilizing Tips can be used to add nutrients to the soil while keeping an eye out for brown spots or a strong scent that could indicate something is amiss.

Best Houseplants for Repelling Bugs

Best Houseplants for Repelling Bugs
Looking for a natural way to get rid of houseplant pests? Certain plants are more resistant than others when it comes to infestations. Snake Plants, Coleus Blumei, Basil, and other herbs, and Jade Plant can help repel bugs from your home.

To ensure the healthiest environment for these plants – as well as those around them – preventive measures should be taken, such as regular inspections and proper care.

Snake Plant

You can help keep pests at bay with the resilient and low-maintenance snake plant.

Snake Plant Care:

  • Regularly inspect leaves, stems, and soil.
  • Check for infestations early on.
  • Use sticky traps to attract adult bugs.
  • Avoid overwatering and overfertilizing.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide to kill bugs.
  • Treat bug-infested soil with diatomaceous earth.
  • Plant sterile potting soil to prevent larvae growth.
  • Use organic insect repellent to provide assistance against invaders.

The best ways to control bug infestations in your houseplants is by taking preventive measures such as inspecting new plants and isolating them before introducing them to other plants. Additionally, provide comprehensive care that includes avoiding overwatering or overfertilizing so that your home’s foliage becomes less attractive to unwanted guests! Finally, planting sterile potting soils instead of using the untreated soils of new plants is also a great way to prevent potential pest problems.

Coleus Blumei

Coleus Blumei is a beautiful houseplant that not only adds color to your home but also can protect against pesky bugs.

Pruning Advice: Cut infected leaves.

Growing Tips: Avoid cold drafts in colder months.

Natural Remedies: Use homemade bug sprays for pest control.

Composting Benefits: Ensure flowering plants receive nutrients.

A sure sign of pests are yellow spots on the leaves or other damage, so be sure to check regularly!

With just a few tips, you can enjoy vibrant Coleus Blumei without fear of infestations and keep your home looking its best.

Basil and Other Herbs

Basil and other herbs can make great pest-repelling houseplants, helping to keep your home looking its best. Not only are they beautiful additions, but their herbal benefits can fight off mealybugs, scale insects, and fungus gnats.

Sterilizing the soil is key; neem oil or sticky traps can be used for extra protection. Try a vinegar spray to get rid of whiteflies – just mix it with water, then add mild dish soap and baking soda! Regularly inspect your plants for infestations as prevention plays an important role in keeping pests away from your houseplants.

Jade Plant

Jade plants are a great choice for repelling bugs, as their waxy leaves make them naturally resistant to pests. Preventive methods like neem oil and vinegar sprays can help keep infestations away, while sterile soil and dry conditions reduce the risk of larvae or eggs.

Mealybugs, scale insects, whiteflies, and thrips won’t bother your jade plant with these preventive measures in place! To ensure success when growing a jade plant indoors: inspect new plants before introducing them; isolate any suspicious ones; check regularly for pests; avoid overwatering and fertilizing too much.

Additional Tips for Managing Houseplant Pests

Additional Tips for Managing Houseplant Pests
Managing houseplant pests can be a tricky task, but there are several natural solutions that can help. Watering with hydrogen peroxide solution, using diatomaceous earth, allowing the soil to dry out, and preventing the spread of bugs are just some of the methods available.

Taking these measures will ensure your plants stay bug-free and healthy over time.

Watering With a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

You can help protect your houseplants from pesky bugs by watering them with a hydrogen peroxide solution, which kills off the larvae while also promoting healthy root growth.

Other natural insecticides include vinegar mix, neem oil, and baby shampoo spray.

A cooking oil spray or herbal water mixed with dish soap is effective for trapping adult bugs as well.

To keep soil safe from infestations, regularly check plants and isolate new ones before introducing them to others in your home.

Keep humidity low for fungus gnats-prone plants such as African violets and orchids.

Using Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is an effective way to lacerate bug shells and allow water to flow through the soil. It can be used around your houseplant’s base or in any areas prone to pests as a preventative measure.

To maximize safety, use neem oil as well and maintain humidity levels recommended by plant experts like Dominic Blackman. This combination of diatomaceous applications will help keep away aphids, mealybugs, scale, whiteflies, and thrips that may threaten your plants’ health.

Keep checking for signs of infestation regularly as these bugs can enter the home through open windows or doors with new plants too! Taking these proactive steps will ensure you have fewer problems down the road when it comes to keeping houseplants pest-free!

Allowing the Soil to Dry Out

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, as this can help get rid of pesky gnats and keep your houseplants looking their best. To do so, submerge it in warm water with mild dish soap and baking soda or use a vinegar solution.

Then let it air-dry on its own. Diatomaceous earth is also an effective way to lacerate bug shells and allow for proper drainage, while neem oil helps prevent infestations from recurring. For optimal results, combine these treatments with humidity levels recommended by experts like Dominic Blackman.

Preventing the Spread of Soil Bugs

To prevent the spread of bugs in houseplant soil, use a hydrogen peroxide solution to kill them and promote healthy root growth.

Utilize natural products like neem oil, vinegar solutions, bug sprays made with essential oils, or baby shampoo mixed with cooking oil as preventive measures against mealybugs, scale, whiteflies, thrips, and fungus gnats.

Potting soil should also be fresh and sterile when introducing new plants into your home to reduce the risk of bugs or larvae entering from outside sources.

Adopt these practices for best results!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I check my houseplants for bugs?

Check your houseplants regularly for signs of infestation to keep pests away. Inspect the leaves, soil, and potting mix for any evidence of bugs so you can take action quickly if needed.

What are the benefits of using natural insecticides instead of chemical ones?

Using natural insecticides instead of chemical ones can help reduce the risk of damage to your plants and the surrounding environment. Natural alternatives are often safer, more effective, and less toxic than traditional pesticides while providing a holistic approach to pest control.

Can I use vinegar to treat spider mites on my houseplants?

Yes, you can use vinegar to treat spider mites on your houseplants. Mix it with water, mild dish soap, and baking soda for an effective solution. Ensure to thoroughly spray the leaves and soil of the plant for optimal results.

What is the best way to prevent bugs from entering my home?

To prevent bugs from entering your home, regularly inspect new plants and isolate them before introducing them to other houseplants. Check for pests on existing plants often, and ensure doors and windows are closed tightly.

Maintain good indoor conditions by avoiding overwatering and fertilizing too much.

How can I safely remove infested soil from my houseplants?

Removing infested soil from houseplants is best accomplished by first submerging the pot in warm water. Then, thoroughly dry out the soil before repotting it with fresh and sterile material. Finally, inspect for any remaining bugs or larvae and dispose of them safely to prevent the spread of pests.


Houseplants are a great way to add color and life to any room, but they can also be a source of frustration when pests invade. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests safely and easily.

By understanding the different types of bugs that attack houseplants and taking preventative measures like inspecting new plants and isolating them before introducing them to other plants, you can keep your indoor garden healthy and pest-free.

Homemade bug sprays and natural insecticides, such as neem oil, can be used to control and treat infestations. Additionally, snake plants, coleus, basil, and jade plants are naturally resistant to pests, and potting soil should be fresh to reduce the risk of bugs or larvae.

With a little understanding and effort, your houseplants can remain safe and healthy all year round.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.