6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Houseplant Pests - Backyard Boss
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6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Houseplant Pests

It’s important to care for your houseplants and make sure they are pest-free. But you also do not want to damage your plant while getting rid of them, so you may be wondering if there are safe, natural ways to get rid of pests on your houseplants. Well, thankfully, there are several!

Here are six natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests.

Cooking Oil Spray

Image credits: Adobe Photo Stock

Cooking oil is something that most families already have in their homes so it is easy to make a spray with it. What you will need to do is get a large spray bottle (at least 1 quart). Add 1 cup of cooking oil with 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Then, add 2 teaspoons of this mixture to 1 quart of water, mix well and then spray your plants.

The texture of the spray is a great way to get rid of pests, such as aphids and mites and it makes your plant look shiny and picture perfect. Just make sure to use your oil spray during a cooler time of day — you don’t want to fry your plants.

Dish Soap and Water

Little girl's hands holding spray bottle, she is sitting on a window sill. She is taking care of plant seedlings.
Image credits: Kuznetsov Dmitry via Shutterstock

Diluting a gentle liquid soap into a spray is probably the simplest solution on this list. Soap kills bugs right away. And if applied correctly, it won’t damage your plants at all.

A teaspoon or two of soap in a big spray bottle filled with water is all you need. Spray the solution directly onto any infected areas. Wait a few minutes for all the pests to die off and then wipe the stems and leaves to remove the dead bugs. A soap solution works great for aphids, beetles, mites, and whiteflies.

Neem Oil

neem oil and beans
Image credits: Ninetechno via Pixabay

A neem oil home solution is very effective against pests on the leaves of your indoor plants. You can use neem oil for problems with spider mites, aphids, thrips, mealybugs, whiteflies, and fungus gnats.

When making your neem oil solution all you need to do is mix ½ teaspoon of organic neem oil, a few drops of liquid soap, and a spray bottle’s worth of warm water. Add this solution to your spray bottle and mix it up.

You can use this solution all over your plant without harming it. Keep using this solution once a week to get rid of bugs and keep them away.

Rubbing Alcohol

spraying hands
Image credits:rubbing alcohol spray- Adobe Stock Photo

If you have rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab in your home, then you have everything you need for this tip. All you need to do to protect your plant from pests is dip your cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and then gently apply it directly to the bugs. The alcohol will kill the bugs right away and prevent more from coming.

You want to make sure you aren’t breaking the stems or leaves while applying the cotton swabs.

Soil Covers

Person repotting a houseplant into a larger pot
Image credits: vadim kaipov via Unsplash

Soil covers are safe for you, your children, your pets, and of course, your plant. Many pests don’t just live on the stems and the leaves, but also live in the soil, so placing a cover over the soil will protect them.

Sand and cinnamon are good household items to add to the top layer of your soil. But the option that protects the soil best is diatomaceous earth, a soil mix-in that contains microscopic fossilized sea critters. That might sound out there, but it will keep most pests away.

Essential and Non-Essential Oils

thyme essential oil
Image credits: cgdsro via Pixabay

Essential Oils

Orange, peppermint, clove, thyme, rosemary, and lavender oils smell beautiful and can be repellent, but do not necessarily kill off existing pests. So, if your infestation is ongoing, you may want to look at some other options to kill them first before adding these wonderful smells for future prevention. Lavender oil is more effective when dealing with ants in your houseplants.

Non-Essential Oils

Now, these do not smell nearly as nice but they work very well. Garlic and onion have proven to be effective at preventing insects and spiders from infecting your houseplants. Just place them in the soil around your houseplant and let them do their job.

You will need to change out your non-essential oils as they will eventually go rancid, leaving behind an unpleasant smell.

Wrap Up

Well, there you have it: six natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests. They are easy, cheap, and will not harm your plants at all. Some even have the bonus of having a lovely smell. Pest control is important when maintaining the overall health of your indoor houseplants.

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