How to Get Rid of Common Houseplant Pests

These common pests can wreak havoc on your favorite house plant ‘s stems, leaves, and nodes—but never reverence, our experts reveal how to get an infestation under dominance. In accession to the very welcome profit of purifying the air out in your dwelling, your houseplants give every room a morsel of life and fresh color. however, these green beauties besides tend to be adenine attractive to pests as they are to you, which can be a major problem for the plants ‘ appearance, growth, and overall health. To help keep your greenery in the best possible condition, we outlined the five most common houseplant pests—as well as the best tips for getting rid of them.


These bantam houseplant pests have easy green, yellow, brown, red, or black bodies and typically linger on the bottom of leaves, feeding on sap. Because of their diet, “ aphids excrete a sugary secretion called honeydew, ” explains Daniel Scott, associate director for gardening at the american Horticultural Society. Honeydew often promotes a black coal-black mold that grows on the surface of the plant. “ It does not infect the plant weave, ” says Scott, “ but a heavy coat can inhibit photosynthesis and not allow sparkle to penetrate the leaves. ” boastfully infestations can lead to scrawny plant increase and distorted, discolor foliation. They ‘re specially common in succulents. To get rid of aphids, rub or spray invade leaves with a solution of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent, or enlist the help of natural aphid predators, like ladybugs or lacewing. For plants that are heavily infested, carefully pinch off the stalk to remove pests from the plant. Because aphids are attracted to moist territory and high nitrogen levels, it ‘s a good idea to avoid overwatering and over-fertilizing your houseplants in order to prevent another aphid infestation once you ‘ve alleviated your trouble.


These small, wingless insects, which have a egg white appearance when group together, can normally be found on implant stems, leaves, and nodes ( the area where leaves meet the stalk ). “ Mealybugs are attracted to excessive lush growth, which can occur as a solution of overwatering and over-fertilization, specially with fertilizers high in nitrogen, ” says Scott. As they feed on the run down of plants, leaves tend to curl and turn slightly yellow, and plant increase becomes stunted.

You can get rid of the annoying insects by dabbing them lightly with a cotton swab dipped in 70 percentage isopropyl alcohol ( avoid touching delicate leaves ) or spraying with a dish-detergent and water system assortment ( one teaspoon of soap to one gallon of water ). Neem anoint, horticultural oil, and insecticidal soap are effective against mealybugs, excessively. To prevent outbreaks, “ follow a strategic fertilizer regimen as opposed to indiscriminate feed, ” says Scott. If caught early, mealybugs can simply be wiped away with your bare hands.


Moth-like whiteflies typically congregate in groups on the bottom of leaves, sucking on the run down of houseplants and causing stunt growth, yellow, and poor implant health. The houseplant pests are besides largely linked to the transmission of establish viruses. To detect and control whitefly populations, use scandalmongering gluey traps, but beware : “ Sticky traps are indiscriminate, ” says Scott, “ and will besides capture beneficial insects, a well as loose articles of dress ! ” One trap per room should be adequate. You can besides use a diluted neem oil assortment ( one ounce of oil per gallon of water ), insecticidal soap, or horticultural petroleum.

Spider Mite

technically arachnids as opposed to insects, spider mites are ace belittled, red pests that collect on the bottom of leaves, where they feed on plant fluids, leaving little dots behind with each prey. specially common in plants like English ivy, spider mites can cause plant leaves to yellow, dry up, and fall off. Webbing on leaves is besides a common sign of spider touch damage. The easiest and gentlest means to address the infestation is to plainly hose down the plant with lukewarm water, says Scott ; use a atomizer on small plants. “ Because spider mites prefer high temperatures and abject humidity, you may be able to manipulate the environment around your plants to discourage the infestation, ” he says. “ regularly misting the leaves of your plants with a spray bottle will help to increase the humidity. ”

Scale Insects

scale insects are modest, sap-loving bugs that attach to a plant ‘s stems, branches, and leaves. Some have a hard shell, others a softshell but both can threaten a plant ‘s energy or cause yellow or limp leaves. They ‘re often unmanageable to detect because their discolor is similar to that of a establish. When infestation is sparkle, use your hand or an old soup-strainer to rub off these houseplant pests or use a cotton swab soaked in 70 percentage isopropyl alcohol. horticultural oil and insecticidal oil study besides. Prune infested plant stems arsenic soon as possible to avoid a recurrence of bugs .

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