If your houseplants aren’t looking as healthy as they once did, your houseplants might be infested with bugs. Examine the soil and the undersides of leaves, and look for telltale signs of insects. Look for the bugs themselves as well as tiny webs, cotton-like tufts, sticky residue, or scaly lesions. These are all signs of a bug infestation.
If you discover your houseplants have a minor bug problem, you can try home remedies to get rid of bugs before they cause irreparable damage. If your houseplants are severely infested, home remedies probably won’t help. Although you may not want to get rid of plants you’ve had for a long time, it’s best to dispose of them before the bugs spread to healthy houseplants.
Try the following home remedies for minor insect problems. These home remedies are safe around pets and kids, and they are an effective way to get rid of bugs on houseplants without harming the environment.
Precautions to Consider
Avoid using soap products on plants if your home isn’t air-conditioned during hot weather, and avoid placing plants in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight magnified by soap bubbles can burn foliage.
Also, don’t use home remedies that contain spice or rubbing alcohol on flowering indoor plants. These home remedies can damage delicate blooms.
After allowing these remedies to remain on the leaves and stems of plants for several minutes, follow up by misting them with clear water in an effort to prevent damage from soap scum, strong spices, and astringents.
Spice and Soap
If bugs on plants seem especially difficult to get rid of, try a mixture of hot peppers and vegetable oil soap. Puree a hot pepper in a blender along with a clove of garlic, and add one and a half cups of water and one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil soap. Put this mixture in a spray bottle, and spray the foliage of indoor plants. Don’t forget to spray the underside of leaves where bugs can hide.
Oil Soap Spray
Vegetable oil soap can be a very effective home remedy for getting rid of insects on indoor plants. Soap suffocates bugs. To make this solution, combine one tablespoon of vegetable oil soap with two quarts of water. Put this mixture in a sprayer, and be sure to cover the tops and bottoms of leaves as well as the surface of the soil. Since this is a mild remedy, it might be necessary to repeat the application in a few days.
Dry out bugs and eradicate them by coating stems and foliage with rubbing alcohol. Simply apply rubbing alcohol to cotton balls, and delicately clean the leaves and stems, but avoid using rubbing alcohol on young tender growth. Bugs that come in contact with the rubbing alcohol with dry out and die. Don’t forget the undersides of leaves where bugs tend to hide.
Soapsuds can be an effective home remedy for getting rid of insects on indoor plants. Simply squirt a little biodegradable dishwashing soap, not detergent, in a clean bucket or sink. Create soap bubbles with a strong steam of water, and cover indoor plants with the bubbles in an effort to suffocate harmful bugs.