Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bugs On Houseplants

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The joys of indoor gardening are, however, accompanied by some challenges, like pests invading your beloved houseplants. These tiny invaders can wreak havoc on the health and beauty of your indoor garden, leading to frustration on your part. The unfortunate news is that bugs are often part of house planting.

The good news is that there are many proven chemical and natural ways to eliminate these unwelcome guests. Chemical solutions against bugs are often fast-acting.

However, instead of using harsh chemicals to protect your green companions, why not opt for natural and eco-friendly remedies to keep your indoor garden thriving and bug-free?

 Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bugs On Houseplants

 Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bugs On Houseplants

1. Neem Oil

 Best Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bugs On Houseplants

Neem oil has been an important resource in agriculture and traditional medicine for centuries. Hence, it is a powerful ally in your quest to eliminate bugs from your houseplants. Neem oil is rich in compounds such as nimbin, azadirachtin, and salannin, which gives it insecticidal, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Neem oil disrupts the insects’ life cycle, inhibiting their feeding, reproduction, and molting. Moreover, it provides a protective shield against fungi, which often gravitate towards weakened plants.

Aside from its effectiveness, neem oil doesn’t harm the plant’s growth, development, or overall health.

How To Make and Use Neem Oil As A Pesticide 

  • Mix a teaspoonful of neem oil with some mild liquid soap (to help the oil emulsify) in a quart of lukewarm water, transfer it into a spray bottle, then shake it well.
  • Lightly spray the neem oil solution on the affected plants, covering all the leaves’ surfaces. Do this, ideally in the morning or afternoon.
  • Reapply every 7-10 days until you get the infestation under control.

 Neem Oil is effective Against: aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers, thrip, and scale insects.

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2. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

How to get rid of bugs on indoor plants soil home remedies

While harmless to humans and pets, diatomaceous earth is deadly for many insects with exoskeletons. It physically damages the exoskeleton and dehydrates the pests.

DE is a natural and non-toxic substance, making it environmentally friendly. Moreover, it does not leave harmful residues, thus making it sustainable for pest control.

How to Use DE for Bugs on Houseplants

  • Wear a protective mask to avoid inhaling the fine powder. After that, lightly dust the affected houseplants with diatomaceous earth, covering both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves.
  • Sprinkle a thin DE layer on the soil around your houseplant’s base.
  • Reapply DE after watering your plants.

 Diatomaceous Earth is effective Against: ants, slugs, and snails.

3. Garlic Spray

How to get rid of bugs on plants naturally

Garlic’s active ingredient, allicin, is a natural deterrent capable of warding off pests from plants without harmful chemicals. This herb can protect your houseplants from bugs without compromising their health.

Besides repelling insects, garlic also has antifungal properties, which means it can protect your houseplants from bugs and fungi.

How to Make and Use Garlic Spray As Pesticide 

  • Crush a handful of garlic cloves and let them steep in hot water for some hours.
  • Strain the garlic-infused water to remove solid particles and make the solution concentrated.
  • Mix the garlic solution with more water to dilute the spray.
  • Add some mild liquid soap to the mixture to enhance its effectiveness.
  • Pour the solution into a sizeable spray bottle, and then lightly spray the garlic solution on the affected plants.
  • Reapply the remedy at intervals of 7 to 10 days until you eradicate the bugs.

 Garlic Spray is effective Against: beetles, whiteflies, aphids, slugs, ants, and caterpillars.

4. Hot Pepper Spray

homemade spray to keep bugs off plants

Your bug control arsenal for houseplants could always use a spicy twist. The heat in hot peppers offers a natural, fiery barrier that wards off bugs without negatively impacting the plants. Aside from being effective and eco-friendly, this is a readily available, inexpensive remedy.

How To Make and Use Hot Pepper Spray

  • Put on gloves, chop the hot peppers into tiny pieces, then put them in a food processor or blender.
  • Add water, then blend the mixture until it forms a liquid.
  • Strain the pepper-infused liquid to remove solid particles.
  • Mix the concentrated pepper solution with additional water. Adjust the ratio according to your houseplants’ sensitivity.
  • Add mild liquid soap to the mixture to increase its effectiveness.
  • Spray the solution on your houseplants.
  • Repeat the application after 7-10 days as needed.

Pepper Spray is effective Against: deer, aphids, and spider mites.

5. Vinegar

natural bug repellent for plants vinegar

Bid the bugs in your houseplants adieu with this sour, effective solution. Vinegar’s strong odor and taste, which bugs find less appealing, as well as its acidity, helps deter common pests. This natural substance is also an antifungal, helping combat fungal issues in houseplants, such as mold or mildew, that often accompany pest infestations.

Vinegar is readily available and safe on most plants, provided it is used in moderation. Use white distilled vinegar because it is clear and doesn’t have additives.

How To Use Vinegar on Houseplants

  • Mix vinegar with water (1:3 ratio), then add dish soap.
  • Transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray your house plants with vinegar spray, covering every part of the leaves.
  • Reapply as necessary.

Vinegar is effective Against: ants, slugs, flies, and snails.

6. Dish Soap

How To Get Rid Of Bugs In House Plants Home Remedies

The effectiveness of dish soap in killing bugs lies within its surfactants, which reduce the water’s surface tension, letting it spread easily. A mixture of dish soap and water creates a solution that forms a thin film on the insect’s body, covering its spiracles, hence disrupting the insect’s ability to exchange gases with its environment, effectively suffocating it.

Moreover, the soap molecules can penetrate the insect’s protective outer layer, disrupting their cell membranes. This causes the cells to leak and can lead to dehydration, further contributing to the insect’s demise. In addition, this remedy leaves a soapy residue on the plant’s surface, deterring insects from feeding on it.

How to Make and Use Dish Soap Solution on House Plants

  • Choose a mild and liquid dish soap that does not contain harsh additives or antibacterial agents. A simple, fragrance-free soap is perfect.
  • Mix dish soap with water.
  • Enhance the remedy’s effectiveness by adding ingredients such as neem oil, essential oils, or even vinegar.
  • Proceed to spray your houseplants with the mixture.
  • Repeat the treatment as needed- every 7-10 days.

Dish soap is effective Against: aphids, mites, whiteflies, and beetles.

7. Rubbing Alcohol

How to get rid of flying bugs on indoor plants

Swiftly evict the bugs on your houseplants with rubbing alcohol by harnessing its drying and suffocating properties. The risk of harm to your houseplants is minimal because rubbing alcohol evaporates rapidly, leaving little to no residue on plant surfaces.

It is also easy to apply, readily available, and cost-effective. Choose a standard rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70% or higher, as anything higher than that can be harsh on some plants.

How To Use Rubbing Alcohol on Houseplants

  • Combine rubbing alcohol with water at a 1:3 ratio. Adjust the concentration based on the pest infestation’s severity and the plants’ sensitivity.
  • Test the solution on a small area.
  • Pour the rubbing alcohol solution into a spray bottle.
  • Apply the treatment to your houseplants.
  • Reapply multiple times for optimal results.

Effective Against: mealybugs, aphids, and scale.

8. Beer

Are fungus gnats wreaking havoc on your house plants? Beer carries unexpected benefits against these tiny flies that typically infest the soil and feed on organic matter and plant roots. The fermentation and scent of beer attract these pests, leading to their demise through drowning or intoxication.

So, when fungus gnats strike, spare some of your beer to deal with them. Opt for non-alcoholic beer or stale beer since it is the scent and fermentation that attract pests, not the alcohol content. Non-alcoholic beer provides an eco-friendly choice without introducing excess alcohol to the soil.

How To Use Beer On Houseplants

  • Place small containers, such as shallow dishes or saucers, near the affected house plants. Next, pour enough beer to attract the gnats but not drown them completely into each container.
  • Position the beer traps strategically around the base of the infested house plants, ensuring the containers are stable and won’t tip over.
  • Check the beer traps and empty and refill the containers as needed.
  • When dealing with fungus gnat larvae in the soil, mix equal parts of water and beer, then water the affected plants with the beer solution, allowing it to soak into the soil.

Effective Against: fungus gnats, snails, and slugs

9. Essential Oils

Generally, essential oils are recognized for their distinct fragrances and therapeutic attributes, but some essential oils possess insect-repelling properties. Besides repelling insects, they also contribute to the overall well-being of plants by providing a therapeutic and aromatic environment.

Essential oils with bug-repelling properties include peppermint oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, and citronella oil.

How to Use Essential Oil on House Plants

  • Dilute the selected essential oil with water or carrier oil.
  • Add mild liquid soap, then transfer the solution into a spray bottle.
  • Spray your house plants.

Essential oil is effective Against: aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, ants, spiders, scale insects, and fungus gnats.


The above-discussed home bug remedies should equip you with sufficient arsenal to eliminate the bugs on your house plants. Choosing natural solutions over chemicals helps protect your plants and contributes to a healthier and more sustainable environment. Pick the solution based on the bugs you intend to eradicate.

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