How to Control Houseplant Pests Naturally

Overview

While an indoor container garden can be a wonderful addition to your home, some common houseplant pests will do their best to ruin the health and beauty of your houseplants. Yet, if treated upon detection, these insects can be controlled without the use of chemicals. Not only is it possible to naturally treat houseplant pests, but doing so avoids introducing a new set of problems that can arise as side-effects of chemical treatment.

Step 1

Use an insecticidal soap to naturally control spider mites. Mix a 1 to 2 percent solution with water in a clean 1-gallon spray bottle. Take the plant outdoors to treat it. First spray the plant with water from the garden hose to remove the spider mite webs. Follow with a thorough spraying of the insecticidal soap. Reapply the water and soap at least every other day until the infestation is gone.

Step 2

Keep small populations on aphids under control by using your fingers to squash the insects. For a larger population, take the houseplant outside and place it under a stream of water. Prepare a solution of 2 teaspoons mild detergent and one gallon of water in the spray bottle. Spray the plant with the solution, using a soft brush to thoroughly clean the undersides of the plant's leaves.

Step 3

Control fungus gnats, which thrive in moist houseplant soils rich in organic matter, by allowing the soil to dry thoroughly between waterings. Repot plants that have become infected into sterile growing medium, discarding the old, infected soil.

Step 4

Include a pot of sprouted wheat, which fungus gnats are attracted to, among the houseplants you want to protect. Give the female gnats 3 or 4 days to lay their eggs on the wheat sprouts, then take the pot of wheat sprouts outdoors and carefully discard it.

Things You'll Need

  • Insecticidal soap
  • 1-gallon spray bottle
  • Garden hose
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft brush

References

  • Least-Toxic Control Methods to Manage Indoor Plant Pests
Keywords: natural houseplant pest control, natural aphid control, natural spider mite control, homemade houseplant insecticide

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.