How To Identify, Prevent, and Treat Common Houseplant Pests

How To Identify, Prevent, and Treat Common Houseplant Pests

Have you ever seen a mysterious pest attacking your houseplants? If yes, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Plant pests are a common problem faced by many plant owners. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent and treat these pests. In this blog, we’ll discuss how to identify, prevent, and treat the most common houseplant pests. So, let’s get started!


Common Houseplant Pests

Houseplant pests are small, creepy-crawly insects that feed on plants and can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked. Some of the most common houseplant pests include aphids, mealybugs, thrips, spider mites, and scale insects. These pests cause wilting, yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, and sometimes even the death of the plant.

If you have houseplants, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of plant pests so you can take action. It’s also important to understand the lifecycle of these pests and how they spread from one plant to another. In this article we will discuss how to spot, identify, prevent, and treat common houseplant pests. 


Identifying Common Houseplant Pests

The first step in dealing with houseplant pests is to identify them. Different pests will have different signs and symptoms, so it’s important to be able to spot them and differentiate them from one another. Mealybugs are small greyish blobs with tiny little legs that like to group together while thrips are crawly black insects that leave visible larvae on the leaves. Spider mites live up to their name by creating webs, especially on the backs of the leaves. Spider mites love living on Alocasia and Calathea. Here are a few signs that your plant is suffering from a pest infestation...

-Wilting or yellowing of leaves

-Stunted growth

-Discolored or spotted leaves

-Sticky residue or sap on leaves

-Tiny webs or webs of white silk on leaves

-Tiny insects crawling on leaves or stems

If you see any of these signs, it’s important to take action quickly. The sooner you identify and treat the problem, the better!


Common Houseplant Pest Prevention Tips

The best way to deal with houseplant pests is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. I spray my plants once every two weeks with my all-natural insecticidal soap mixture. Here are a few steps I take to prevent pests from invading my houseplants...

-Clean your plants regularly: As I said above, I spray my houseplants once every 2 weeks. Wiping them down not only prevents pests but also removes dust and enhances your plant's ability to photosynthesize. Make sure to check your plants for pests and remove any that you find.

-Isolate new plants: When introducing new plants to your home, be sure to isolate them from your existing plants for a few weeks to make sure no pests have been introduced. If you don't have a good space to put your new plant away from the others, you can place a clear plastic bag on top of it until you're sure it's pest-free.

-Check for pests before bringing plants inside: During the summer I put some of my plants outside. They thrive in the summer sun and humidity but they are also at much greater risk for pest infestation when outdoors. When bringing plants into your home, check them for any signs of pests. If you spot any, it’s best to leave the plant outside until the problem is dealt with. Always pre-treat before bringing your plants inside.

-Keep your plants in a well-ventilated area: Pests thrive in warm, moist environments. Keeping your plants in a well-ventilated area will help prevent an infestation.


Houseplant Pest Treatment Methods

If you’ve already spotted signs of pests on your houseplants, don’t panic! There are a few ways you can treat them. Here are some of my favorite methods...

-Physical removal: If you have a few pests, you can remove them. Using a pressurized sprayer in your sink or bathtub is an incredible way to knock the majority off. Q-tips and alcohol work well for mealybug removal.

-Insecticidal soap: Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to kill pests. I use an all-natural safe and effective mixture that I sell in my shop.

-Organic pesticides: There are a few organic pesticides on the market that can help control pests. Arber's Bio Insecticide is one of my tried and true favorites! Use code EASYGROWING10 for 10% off at Arber checkout.


Natural Solutions to Common Houseplant Pests

If you follow my Instagram, you know that I treat most houseplant-related issues naturally if possible. If you’re like me and prefer a more natural way to treat houseplant pests, there are a few options available. Here are some of the most common natural solutions:

-Diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny algae. Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect's exoskeleton. Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process. It is effective as long as it remains dry.

-Neem oil: Neem oil, though very smelly, is a good way to keep pests under control. Neem oil can be used for certain insect and fungal diseases. It kills insects by suffocating them. Neem oil is most effective against immature insects.

-Insecticidal soap mix: Insecticidal soap is a natural, plant-based soap that is effective at killing pests. Mixes usually consist of water, essential oils, neem oil, and pure-castile soap. This mix will also keep your leaves looking shiny! 


Pest Monitoring – What You Need to Know

Monitoring your plants for pests is an important part of preventing an infestation. If you can spot the issue early, you have an advantage.

-Check your plants regularly: Make sure to check your plants for any signs of pests.

-Be aware of the lifecycle of pests: Understand the lifecycle of common houseplant pests so that you know when they’re most active.

-Look for signs of pests: Be on the lookout for any signs of pests, such as wilting or yellowing of leaves, sticky residue, or tiny insects crawling on the leaves.

-Act quickly: If you spot any pests, act quickly. The sooner you take action, the more likely you are to prevent an infestation.


Houseplant pests can be a real nuisance, but with the right steps, you can keep them at bay. Be sure to identify any pests you see, take preventive measures such as isolating new plants and using natural pest deterrents, and treat any pests you find. And don’t forget to monitor your plants regularly for any signs of pests. Remember that all plant parents deal with pests at some point, so don't sweat it!

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1 comment

I bought Fiona plants. I’m not sure I’m saying that right peonia. Three of them and every one of them died. I planted them in the yard. One in the yard. Two and pots but they got black from the roots up. I live in Florida. Should I dare to try again? What should I do? I love the peonies

Bianca Powell

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