How to Control House Plant Pests Naturally

Overview

Simply from their indoor growing environment, houseplants suffer an increased likelihood of insect infestation, as opposed to plants grown outdoors. Because houseplants often have environments that are too moist or too dry for optimal growing, insects and pests can descend upon the plants and wreak havoc on their health. When you detect pests on houseplants, you have several options for controlling houseplant pests naturally. With basic eradication measures, you may be able to control pest problems and restore your houseplants to healthy and vigorous growth.

Step 1

Move the houseplants outside to enable you to use the garden hose on them to spray. Direct the spray of the hose onto the areas where you see aphids or spider mites. Look under leaves also because these pests often gather beneath leaves to hide. Continue spraying with the hose until you successfully dislodge all insects you can see.

Step 2

Pick the larger insects you can easily see and grab with your fingers. When you find these insects on your houseplants, pick them off and dispose of them or try sucking them off with a small rechargeable vacuum cleaner.

Step 3

Make a simple trap for some flying insects, including aphids and gnats. Cut a 3-inch square from the yellow card stock and coat one side of it with a 1/8-inch layer of petroleum jelly. Place this trap on the potting soil beneath the houseplants and the flying insects will find the color of the card stock attractive. When they fly to the card stock, the petroleum jelly will trap them.

Step 4

Spray houseplants with an insecticidal soap spray to kill insects. Make a homemade insecticidal soap spray by mixing 4 tsp. of dish-washing soap with one quart of cool water in a spray bottle. Coat the tops and undersides of the leaves evenly to kill flying insects and repeat this application two times per month.

Tips and Warnings

  • If a houseplant has a serious infestation that threatens to spread to other houseplants, you may opt to throw the entire houseplant away to stop the infestation.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose (with spray attachment)
  • Rechargeable hand-held vacuum (optional)
  • Bright yellow card stock
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Dish-washing soap
  • Spray bottle

References

  • Colorado State University Extension: Managing Houseplant Pests
  • Colorado State University Extension: Insect Control: Soaps and Detergents
Keywords: houseplants, pests on houseplants, control pest problems

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.