How to Kill House Plant Fleas & Flies

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House plants are often invaded by insects.
House plants are often invaded by insects. (Image: House Plant - Croton image by evillager from Fotolia.com)

Houseplants are vulnerable to attack by a number of insect pests. Some of these may cause considerable damage to the plant, while others are simply an annoyance. House plants that are under stress are particularly susceptible to injuries caused by mites and other insects. Numerous methods exist for killing fleas and flies on house plants . These range from the physical removal of the pests to the introduction of natural predators.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand held vacuum cleaner
  • Spray bottle containing water
  • Adhesive strips,
  • Green lacewings
  • Alcohol
  • Mineral oils
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Dilute insecticidal soap

Examine your plants for the visible presence of pests -- such as mealybugs -- and remove them by hand. Use a hand-held vacuum cleaner to remove other species of scaled insects, such as whiteflies.

Alter the amount of water that you give to the plants. Destroy fungus gnats by watering less, and allowing the soil to slightly dry out. Control spider mites by watering more frequently; these pests require very dry conditions.

Rinse or wash your house plants with a vigorous jet of water. This will physically dislodge and disturb aphids and spider mites.

Place adhesive strips -- such as yellow, sticky traps -- in the immediate vicinity of your house plants. This will help control winged pests, such as aphids, fungus gnats and whiteflies.

Use biological controls by introducing the natural predators of select pest species. Green lacewings, which are typically available from garden outlets, will prey on a wide variety of insects. Green lacewings may attack spider mites and mealybugs as well.

Sacrifice seriously infected plants which may never recover, and continue to act as a source of pests.

Remove all house plants for a period of time. This might help destroy any pests that are in the immediate vicinity, but not permanently living on the plants. Without their host plant, these pests will succumb.

Wipe down the plant leaves with alcohol, or spray alcohol onto the entire plant. Monitor the plants for any sign of leaf burn. Stop this specific treatment if damage occurs.

Spray mineral oils and petroleum distillates onto house plants to destroy spider mites, scales and whiteflies.

Spray dishwashing detergent -- or diluted insecticidal soaps -- onto the leaves,. Monitor the plant for leaf burn or other injuries.

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