Are you tired of trying to get rid of bugs in your houseplants’ soil? This article is for you. Bugs can be a nuisance for your plants.
They hinder healthy plant growth whilst making your plants appear weak and dull. Luckily, there are several techniques you can incorporate to get rid of bugs in your houseplants.
Bugs like aphids, thrips, gnats and fungus can destroy your crops, also not forgetting insects such as ants. Consequently, you need to identify the best ways to get rid of them.
The most common Houseplant Bugs
Before identifying the best techniques to destroy houseplant bugs, let’s take some time to identify the common houseplant soil bugs. Some include scale, gnats, mealybugs, aphids, thrips, whiteflies and spider mites.
Each of these bugs thrives under certain conditions. For example, spider mites are more common in warmer conditions. On the flip side, gnats thrive in wet conditions. Once you identify the bugs infesting your plants, it will be much easier to deal with them.
What parts of the Houseplants do Bugs attack?
Generally, different bugs attack different plant parts. Some bugs attack stems, while others attack plant foliage. Regardless of the part affected, it is always advisable to get rid of indoor plant bugs as soon as possible.
Below, we look at some of the standard techniques used to eradicate bugs from houseplants soil.
Techniques used to get rid of bugs in houseplants soil.
- Removing bugs manually
Occasionally, you might be able to spot some bugs with your own eyes. Once you do this, you can use water to get them out of the plant. All you have to do is spray water using a hose on the affected plant.
Doing this helps you wash the bug out of the plant. If the bugs have heavily attacked your leaves or stems, remove the infested area by cutting it.
This way, you’ll prevent the further spread of the bugs. Ensure you dispose of the cut area safely and far away from the indoor plants.
- Using homemade solutions to get rid of bugs
Did you know that homemade solutions can help you get rid of bugs from houseplants? Create a mixture of soap using one liter of water and one tablespoon of soap.
Then, use a spray bottle to spray plants on the affected areas. The soap contains fatty acids that can disintegrate the external layer of the bug, hence killing them.
When you spray soap solution on the plants, avoid placing them under direct sunlight, leading to dehydration.
- Using natural treatment
You can also use natural solutions to get rid of bugs. One of the best natural solutions you can use is neem oil. Mix a gallon of water with two tablespoons of liquid soap and neem oil.
Mix thoroughly and insert the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the affected plants. Doing this helps you kill the bugs present on the leaves and stems.
Nonetheless, note that this solution usually contains a strong unpleasant smell. But it is very effective in getting rid of bugs in your houseplants. Gardening experts report that neem oil is very effective in killing bugs on houseplant soil.
- Systemic treatment for indoor plants
Another effective way of getting rid of houseplants is using insecticides. Synthetic insecticides are incredibly effective in getting rid of bugs from indoor plants.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions anytime you use insecticides. Some require to get mixed with water, while others work best when directly sprayed on the plants. However, you have to be careful not to overspray your plants.
Otherwise, you would kill them. Also, wear protective garments when spraying chemical insecticides on your plants. Gardening experts usually discourage the use of insecticides unless bug infestation is severe.
This is because insecticides contain toxic chemicals that can destroy your plants. It would be best to use organic insecticides; since they do not contain harmful ingredients.
Regardless of the method you use to eliminate bugs, always spray treatment solutions when the temperatures are cooler.
So, it would be best to spray your plants in the morning or the evening. Spraying plants with a treatment solution when it’s sunny can destroy your plants.
- Dealing with Fungus Gnats
Fungus gnats are black and resemble flies. Their larvae often look like grey worms, while their adult gnats can last up to a week. These bugs usually thrive in wet conditions; thus, overwatering the plants encourages their growth.
So, how do you get rid of fungus gnats in houseplants soil? One of the most common methods of getting rid of fungus gnats is by letting them dry out.
Fungus gnats can barely survive in dry conditions. Therefore, if you don’t water the plants, they will die.
Nevertheless, you can still water the plants from the bottom through a draining hole to prevent them from drying out. Another way to get rid of fungus gnats is by spraying neem oil solution.
Neem oil solution is an effective way of killing gnats. All you have to do is mix neem oil with liquid soap and water. Then, spray this solution on the affected area at least once a week. Do this repeatedly for about two to three weeks.
- Removing Scale
Scale is a common bug among indoor plants. You can identify this bug through tiny oval bumps on plant foliage. These bugs can be grey, brown or black. They usually look like a waxy substance stuck on the leaves.
If you want to get rid of scale on plants, the first thing to do would be to separate the affected plants from the unaffected plants. Doing this helps you prevent further spread of scale on the leaves.
Note that scale often attaches themselves firmly to the leaves; thus, washing them off using water is not effective for killing them.
Once you spot them, cut the affected area (either the leaves or the stems) using sharp garden shears. Keep monitoring the plant in the next few weeks to ensure the scale does not spread.
You can also use alcohol to get rid of bugs in houseplants soil. Dip cotton swabs in alcohol, then wipe the affected area. The scales won’t go away as you do this, but the alcohol will surely kill them.
Repeat this procedure for approximately three weeks at least once a week. Doing this helps you get rid of indoor plant bugs. You can also use neem oil to get rid of scale from plant foliage.
Eradicating Spider Mites from houseplants
Another common bug in houseplant soil is spider mites. Spider mites resemble tiny spiders and can be hard to spot with one’s eyes. You have to use a magnifying glass to notice these bugs.
Spider mites thrive in warm conditions and can be red, black, white, light brown, green or yellow. If you want to remove spider mites from your plants, consider cutting the affected area. Use sharp garden shears to cut the infected area.
You can also spray water across the infested area to wash away the spider mites. Insecticidal soap and neem oil are also suitable treatments for spider mites. These products usually destroy all eggs of spider mites.
Note that gardening experts highly discourage using synthetic chemicals on spider mites. This is because spider mites tend to develop a resistance toward them. When you spray synthetic chemicals on spider mites frequently, they won’t be affected by it.
Bugs can be a nuisance to indoor plants. There are different bugs that can affect your houseplants. Some include aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.
It is essential for gardeners to identify the best way to get rid of these bugs. This way, they’ll boost healthy plant growth.
Some ways to get rid of bugs in houseplants include spraying neem oil, insecticides and physical removal. Before using any technique, ensure you know the bug type you are dealing with.