How to Get Rid of Small Flies on House Plants


Flies can arrive seemingly overnight on your house plants, rising up in a swarm of tiny bodies when you brush against the plant or water the soil. Whiteflies commonly infest foliage plants, hiding under the leaves or along the stem. There are many different types of whiteflies, all of which are sucking insects and can severely damage a house plant, according to information published by the University of California. Monitor your house plant carefully for these destructive pests and take action immediately upon noticing their presence.

Step 1

Remove the infested plant from other, nearby houseplants to isolate the whiteflies.

Step 2

Examine the undersides of the leaves for severe infestations. Pluck off any leaves that are heavily covered with whiteflies.

Step 3

Rinse the plant off, or use a syringe to squirt on individual whiteflies and small groups of the insects. Washing the plant once a week can help control infestations, according to information published by the Kearny Agricultural Center.

Step 4

Vacuum the remaining whiteflies off the leaves. This can be very effective, according to information published by the University of California. Vacuum early in the morning, on a cool day. Whiteflies are less active when it is cool. Freeze the vacuum bag overnight to kill the bugs.

Step 5

Spray the plant with an insecticide or wash it with an insecticidal soap. Be sure to target the whiteflies underneath the leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Syringe
  • Small vacuum
  • Insecticidal spray or soap


  • University of California: Whiteflies Management Guidelines
  • Kearny Agricultural Center: FAQs About Whiteflies
Keywords: rid of whiteflies, house plant flies, kill small flies

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.