If your plants are experiencing a serious bug problem, but you hesitate to attack the bugs with chemical insecticides, you may be wondering if you will just have to settle for making friends with those annoying insects. Fortunately, you don't. You can take a series of escalating steps to get rid of bugs on plants naturally so your plants are healthy and you keep the environment and your family that way, too.
Hose down the plants with a moderate stream of water so you do not damage your plants with the water pressure. In many cases, you can wash the bugs right off. Of course, if you are dealing with houseplants or small, delicate plants, you may want to skip this step.
Mix a soap-and-water solution. In a spray bottle, combine 2 cups of water and five drops of dish soap. Swirl to mix. You can spray this solution on the tops and bottoms of leaves to make your plant taste terrible to hungry insects and to make aphids and other mites incapable of attacking the plant.
Set sugar traps. In butter tubs, combine a tablespoon of sugar and three drops of dish soap. Add water until the tub is nearly full, then set it out near your plants. This will attract wasps, beetles and other bugs. When they land on the surface, attracted by the sugar, they will fall into the water and drown.
Prune away pest problems. If you have mites or caterpillars, you can often literally prune them away. Mites often cause small, brown, raised bumps once they have laid their eggs, while aphids tend to congregate in focal areas. Caterpillars often create webbed areas where they lay metamorphose. Removing these problem areas from the plant will often prevent a second generation of insects from becoming a problem.