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How to Get Rid of Bugs on Indoor Plants

Getting rid of bugs on indoor plants takes little investigation, action plan for elimination, and consistent follow-up. 

Though it sounds daunting, it is a lot easier when done according to an indoor plant care guide, which you are now about to get.

Identifying the source to get rid of bugs on indoor plants

Isolate the already infected plants after detailed inspection. Also, identify the source of infestation as it plays a key role in getting rid of the bugs completely.

1. Potting soil

Check if the addition of new potting soil caused an outbreak. Replace the top inch of the soil in the pot with fresh potting soil. Use a soil cover such as fine sand to render eggs ineffective. Drench it with neem oil solution or insecticidal soap solution. Store the unused soil in an airtight container to keep it free from bugs.

2. Placement

Wind blowing from outdoors can carry spores. Position of infested indoor plants, help you determine the source. When infestation is through the air, plants near the doors and windows are affected.  Take necessary measures such as closing the windows or relocating the plants.

3. Blooms

Fresh flowering or fruiting of any plant can attract a few bugs.

4. New inclusions

Infections can spread from a new plant or a plant shifted indoors recently. Keep such plants under observation for two weeks to eliminate the infestation possibility. 

How to get rid of bugs on indoor plants

The key part is identifying the type of bug and the stage of infestation. Knowing the kind of pest helps you narrow down the treatment options. 

Care for pest-ridden indoor plants in isolation for containing the spread of bugs. 

1. How to get rid of crawling bugs

They keep moving all around on the leaves and soil.


Nip the heavily infested part of the plant. Wipe off the bugs on the indoor plant with a damp rag. Spraying them off using a garden hose will do the trick. 

Other methods include dabbing them with vegetable oil or alcohol and washing the plant with insecticidal soap.

2. How to get rid of flying bugs

These bugs depend on the plant for food and laying eggs. In addition, adult bugs create annoyance by flying around people.


The different forms of these pesky little bugs—such as egg, larva, and adult—necessitate a different treatment.  

Drying out the habitat of eggs and larva kills them. Instead, add diatomaceous earth to the top two inches of soil to act as a desiccant. Spraying insecticidal soap on the surface soil will create unfavorable conditions for eggs.

Use a vacuum to suck the adult flies carefully without damaging the plant leaves. Yellow sticky traps are commercially available to trap the flies. Also, making them is pretty easy. You need yellow paper thick enough to be sturdy. Apply Vaseline on these papers and hang them near the plant.

Adult flies are attracted to the bright colored paper. As they come near, their wings stick to the paper. If you use vinegar traps alongside, you get better results.

Arrange a natural trap using a bowl of apple cider vinegar. Cover the top of the bowl with cling film tightly. Poke holes into it using a fork. The flies struggle to reach vinegar inside through the tiny holes. Finally, they are trapped inside as flying out through the holes becomes impossible.

3. How to get rid of slow-moving bugs

You doubt they are alive as they seem just like fungus on indoor plants. You bet! They are very much alive and kicking and dangerous enough. These bugs usually appear as if covered in flour, and their eggs are like tiny tuffs of cotton and attract black sooty fungus.


The cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a dab of vegetable oil works wonders in this case—for instance, mealybugs.

Consistent treatment to keep the bugs in check

Well, you will need to treat them more than once based on the bug. So, here comes the consistency part. As tiny as these bugs may look, they are stubborn enough to annoy you to the core. Even for low-maintenance indoor plants, it’s super essential to be consistent with water and other treatment.

If left untreated, they can conquer your indoor plant, sucking the life out of it. The type of bug and level of infestation determines the number of treatments required.

Extra caution when implementing the measures

Insecticidal soap is the solution for those looking for a swift solution. But unfortunately, not all plants can tolerate the soap, even if it is mild enough. Instead, you can also use an aquaponics indoor plant care kit for insect bugs. 

Spot test your plant before using soap solution on the complete plant. Also, make sure to wash the plant tray and pot with soapy water. The places like the rim of the pot and the bottom are the favorite hiding spots for bugs.

When you find the bugs on leaves, you can dab them with a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton bud which kills them instantly. Dab the leaves such that you get rid of the pest simultaneously by loosening them from the leaf. 

Aftercare to prevent new infestations

Regularly check your plants for bugs while you water them. When discovering an infested plant, avoid spreading bugs to other plants by separating it. 

A hot pepper spray or neem oil is useful to eliminate bugs organically. Keep spraying them with preventive measures to safeguard them from further attacks.

Few more tips to keep in mind

  • Sterilize your plant cutting tools by washing them with soapy water and alcohol rub.
  • The same goes with your hands to avoid transferring eggs and spores to healthy plants.
  • Sometimes keeping it simple is enough. So, start with showering the plant with a garden hose and then up the game as necessary.

Go organic for best results

Make use of natural methods for a more environment-friendly approach. For example, go for pesticides only when it is absolutely necessary to get rid of bugs on indoor plants. 

When you discover an infested plant, avoid spreading bugs to other plants by separating it. 

Indoor plants act as stress busters in demanding spaces such as offices and enliven any interior landscape design. However, plant bugs destroy the soothing effect even the best indoor plants usually have on people around.

If you don’t get rid of bugs on indoor plants, they become a cause for concern which countermands the purpose. In the worst-case scenario, the plants can even die, and it is not a pleasant sight for plant lovers.

You may not have all the solutions for every plant, but you have us. Our Horticulture experts have lifetimes worth of plant knowledge and care greatly for the plants they look after. Contact us today!