Homemade Insecticide for Indoor Plants


Several insect pests, like aphids, mealybugs and scales, can attack your indoor plant collection and cause your houseplants to wilt, turn brown and die. Before resorting to commercially prepared, chemical-based insecticides, mix your own homemade insecticidal soap spray. This gentler approach can effectively kill most types of soft-bodied insect pests without toxic chemicals, according to North Dakota State University.

Step 1

Fill a spray bottle with a quart of water.

Step 2

Add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap. This creates a soap concentration that's strong enough to kill pests without harming your houseplants, according to Iowa State University.

Step 3

Close the spray bottle and shake it vigorously to mix its contents.

Step 4

Spray the solution onto your indoor plants, focusing on areas that are troubled with insect pests. Apply enough of the soapy water to thoroughly moisten the plant's surfaces, but not so much as to cause runoff.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap


  • "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual"; Barbara Pleasant; 2005
  • Iowa State University: Wash Away Houseplant Pests with Insecticidal Soap
  • North Dakota State University: Houseplant Care and Management of Pest Problems
Keywords: kill houseplant pests, remove houseplant pests, homemade indoor insecticide

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.