Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Kill Insects in Plant Dirt on House Plants

...
mosquito image by Martin Sevcik from Fotolia.com

Houseplants fill a home with beauty and life, but if not monitored carefully, insects can establish themselves in the soil and invade your home in no time. Some bugs that are found in the dirt, such as springtails, can just be irritating, while others insects like mealybugs are known to seriously injure the roots, leaves and overall health of your plant. By using a combination of tactics, kill the insects found in the dirt and other areas of your houseplants so that they continue to thrive.

Allow the soil of your plant to dry out as much as possible between each watering. Insects, such as fungus gnats and springtails, thrive in moist soil conditions; therefore, withholding this moisture helps get rid of the bugs.

Mix 1 tsp. of white vinegar with a pint of water before hydrating your plant. The vinegar kills any gnat larvae and springtails in the dirt.

  • Houseplants fill a home with beauty and life, but if not monitored carefully, insects can establish themselves in the soil and invade your home in no time.

Spray an insecticidal soap over the soil and all areas of the plant. This process, known as “washing,” extinguishes any larvae and suffocates adults insects including mealybugs.

Remove your plant from the existing soil and replant it in sterilized potting soil. Trashing the old dirt gets rid of any eggs and adult insects that are residing there.

Kill any bugs that you spot on the stems and leaves of your plant so that they do not have a chance to lay eggs in the soil. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wipe down the tops and bottoms of the foliage every five days. Further, remove any insects that you can hand pick off of the plant.

  • Spray an insecticidal soap over the soil and all areas of the plant.
  • Further, remove any insects that you can hand pick off of the plant.

Tip

Watch your plant closely after you water it to see if you find any insect activity. For example, springtails bounce around after being disturbed.

Rub a small area on your plant with rubbing alcohol as a test before performing step 5. Some varieties are sensitive to this ingredient.

Warning

Never use a duster to clean your plant because existing dust can transfer minuscule insects and/or eggs.

Never use garden soil with your plants because the dirt can harbor adult insects and their larvae.

Related Articles

Tiny Flying Bugs in House Plants
Tiny Flying Bugs in House Plants
How to Kill Fleas Outside in Patio Areas
How to Kill Fleas Outside in Patio Areas
Homemade Bug Spray for House Plants
Homemade Bug Spray for House Plants
How to Wash the Roots of House Plants
How to Wash the Roots of House Plants
How to Make Homemade Insect Plant Spray
How to Make Homemade Insect Plant Spray
How to Kill Roaches in My Potted Plants
How to Kill Roaches in My Potted Plants
Home Remedy for How to Kill Japanese Beetles
Home Remedy for How to Kill Japanese Beetles
Why Are My Leaves Turning Yellow on My Plant?
Why Are My Leaves Turning Yellow on My Plant?
How to Get Rid of Scale & Mealy Worms on Jade Plants
How to Get Rid of Scale & Mealy Worms on Jade Plants
Lawn Treatment for Mange Mites
Lawn Treatment for Mange Mites
How to Save a Dying Indoor Lucky Bamboo Plant
How to Save a Dying Indoor Lucky Bamboo Plant
Garden Guides
×