Protect Your Houseplants With These Safe Pest Control Products

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The last thing any home gardener wants to find is their indoor plants suffering an infestation of pests. Although one would think houseplant pests wouldn't be a problem when growing indoors, common pests like mealybugs, spider mites and fungus gnats are just a few of the pests that can cause issues with your houseplants. Quick identification and treatment are best when dealing with any type of pest problem and can have you reaching for a pesticide to control the situation.


An untreated pest infestation can leave your indoor garden unhealthy and when severe enough and depending on the pest, can lead to your houseplant's death. Fortunately, you have a wealth of choices in chemical pesticides and natural insecticides that will treat your infested plants, killing and controlling the plant pests. Proper pest control leads to healthy plants and a thriving, lush indoor garden.

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Below, we cover some important considerations when selecting the best pest control product to treat your situation. We also offer our top picks of insecticidal options that provide insect control and keep your plants pest-free and flourishing.

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What to Consider When Purchasing Pest Control Products for Houseplants

Pest Identification‌: The first important step in how to get rid of an indoor pest infestation is identifying the targeted pest. This allows you to select an appropriate product that rids your ornamentals of the particular insect pests creating the problem. If you're unsure of what the particular pest is, you can take a photo and compare it to photos online, ask your gardening friends or check with your local extension service. Once you identify the pest, you'll be able to select an appropriate product to eliminate them.


Managing Minor‌ ‌Infestation‌ ‌Without‌ ‌Insecticides‌: Checking your plants regularly for pests lets you know as soon as a problem arises. Sometimes you can deal with a minor indoor pest problem without the need for pesticides by doing the following:


  • Place the pest-infested plants in quarantine, moving them away from your pest-free plants.
  • Move the infected plant to your sink and use the faucet sprayer to knock the insect pests off with a strong blast of water. You can also wipe the insects from the foliage, including the underside of leaves using a damp paper towel.
  • Trim off the infested leaves.
  • Moisten a paper towel with rubbing alcohol and wipe off pests like mealybugs.
  • Remove small infestations of scale insects by scraping them off using a fingernail file.
  • Repot plants into a clean planter with new potting soil if pests like fungus gnats are residing in the soil, and spread diatomaceous earth over the top of the new soil using it like mulch.



Use‌ ‌Insecticides‌ ‌Correctly‌: Read the product label and make sure the plant you are treating is safe to treat with the particular product to prevent damage. Make sure the plant isn't water-stressed before treating it. Water the plant one or two days before treatment. If a concentrate, only mix what you will use in one treatment and store it away from children. Only use the recommended amount and retreat as directed on the label.


Below, we cover some of the best safe pest control products for houseplants on the market:

1. Harris Neem Oil Spray

With this neem oil, you get three-in-one control as it works as an insecticide, fungicide and miticide, offering organic control of pests. The multi-purpose insecticide comes in a ready-to-use spray bottle so there's no mixing required. It's approved for organic gardening and safe for use on all types of plants like edibles, herbs and house plants. Additionally, it is safe to use up to the day of harvesting. Neem oil kills the insect's eggs, larvae and adults and also works as a fungicide.


You can also use it as a dormant oil protecting your plants through all the seasons. Pests like whiteflies, fruit flies, spider mites, caterpillars, aphids and beetles don't stand a chance when treated with the product. It also prevents fungal problems like leaf spots, rust, downy mildew, powdery mildew and scab.


2. Natria Insecticidal Soap

Natria's insecticidal soap comes in a ready-to-use spray bottle and its active ingredients are plant-derived fatty acids. It's approved for organic gardening. It's safe to use up to the day of harvest and can be used on all your plants, from house plants to vegetables, fruits, herbs and ornamentals. You can use it on all your plants whether they're located indoors or outside.

The insecticidal soap bug spray controls pests like scale insects, mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, leafhoppers, thrips, aphids and psyllids. The insecticide works on direct contact, so thoroughly cover the pests with the spray, making sure to treat the underside of plant leaves where many insects hide. When the insect is sprayed with insecticidal soap, it damages its cell membranes, leading to death. It's effective in killing adult pests and pests in the nymph and larval stages.


3. Garsum Houseplant Sticky Trap Stakes

If flying insects are a problem with your house plants, then these sticky trap stakes from Garsum will take care of the pesky problem. The package includes 21 sticky traps you stick into the potting soil, and you can easily conceal them among the plant leaves. Traps are effective and non-toxic, luring the insects to their death without using pesticides and reducing pest infestations. Some of the pests the sticky traps control are midges, whiteflies, fungus gnats, fruit flies, thrips and more.

The DIY traps are a breeze to use: After you stick them into the soil, you simply peel apart the yellow sticky traps and once they are filled with insects, you throw them in the trash and reinsert a fresh one in the soil, if needed. There is no need to worry about your children or pets becoming poisoned with these nontoxic traps.

4. Bonide Systemic Insect Control Granules

Bonide systemic insect control granules contain 0.22% imidacloprid insecticide and is ready-to-use and made specifically for potted plants. The insecticide is designed to kill bugs that feed on your plant's leaves and stems. It controls insect pests like whiteflies, aphids, termites, mealybugs, Japanese beetles, thrips and many more. The product is safe for use on all indoor and outdoor non-edible plants like fruits, herbs and veggies. However, since it can be detrimental to bees, it's safest for the environment when used indoors on your house plants.

It's easy to use, as you sprinkle the recommended amount over the soil, then work it into the top of the soil and water. The granules are absorbed by the plant's roots, working their way throughout the entire plant. The insects are killed when they start eating the plant. The granules offer insect control for eight weeks. There's no odor, so you don't have to worry about a pesticide smell overtaking your home.

5. Bayer Advanced 2-In-1 Insect Control plus Fertilizer Spikes

Bayer Advanced 2-in-1 insect control spikes also offer the added bonus of fertilizing your plants with an 8-11-5 slow-release blend at the same time. Each package includes 10 spikes that offer control for up to eight weeks. It's safe to use on all types of ornamental plants but shouldn't be used on edibles and contains 2.5% imidacloprid.


It is formulated specifically for use in potted plants, whether grown indoors or outside, and controls pests like aphids, whiteflies, thrips, leafhoppers, scales, mealybugs and more. The spikes are easy to use as all you do is place one in the included applicator, press it into moist soil and it slowly dissolves as the plant's root takes in the product, working its way throughout the plant. The targeted pest then starts eating the treated plant parts and dies.

6. Trifecta Crop Control Pesticide, Fungicide, Miticide

Trifecta ready-to-use Crop Control is a combination of a pesticide offering insect control, a fungicide that prevents fungal problems and a miticide controlling mites. It is made up of the all-natural, food-grade essential oils of rosemary, peppermint, thyme, clove, garlic and corn, as well as citric acid and geraniol.

The natural and organic product is safe to use on all types of plants grown inside and outside, including edibles. It offers insect control of various types of mites like spider mites, aphids and parasitic species. It also prevents and treats fungal problems like powdery mildew, gray mold and botrytis. It's a breeze to use as all you do is saturate the targeted plant with the product, being sure to spray the underside of the plant leaves. After 72 hours, there's no residue left on the plant.


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