There are different types of bugs such as aphids, white or red spider mites, mealy bugs, whiteflies and thrips that like to feed on houseplants. These bugs can suck the juices from plants, eat their leaves, and even feed on their roots, so it's important to be vigilant with your houseplants. Fortunately, there are home remedies that can help you keep your houseplants as bug-free as possible.
Non-toxic ways really are the best when it comes to getting rid of bugs on houseplants. The first thing to try is plain water on a damp cloth. Wet down a clean cloth and then wring it out until it is damp but not dripping. Next, wipe off all the leaves on your houseplants, both the tops and the bottoms, with your damp cloth. This will remove both bugs and their eggs from your houseplants' leaves.
If you find that a damp cloth is not enough to remove a bug infestation on your houseplants, next try a bucket of room temperature soapy water and a sponge. You want to make sure that soap is a mild detergent with no fragrance, or additives, both of which can be harmful to houseplants. Dip your sponge into the soapy water and then carefully wash your houseplants' leaves, tops and bottoms, as well as the base of the leaves where they meet with the stem, with your sponge.
Homemade Bug Spray
A final thing to try is a homemade spray. You need a clean spray bottle, vegetable oil and a mild detergent. Fill the spray bottle with room temperature water and then add a few drops of mild detergent, again making sure it has no fragrance or additives, and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Put the spray nozzle back on the bottle and shake it. If you spray your plants daily with this mixture, it will kill the bugs, and their eggs, as well as prevent bugs from coming back and infesting your houseplants again.
Regina Paul has been a full-time freelance writer and author for three years. She has published over 500 articles online and 10 books. Her articles are published at Associated Content, e-How.com, and The Fun Times Guide. Her books are published with Amira Press, Eternal Press, and Leap of Faith Publishing.