When it comes to home decor and interior decoration, one of the most attractive and appealing things you can do to your home is fill it with an array of different and wonderful houseplants. There are so many unique types of houseplants to choose from that picking the perfect species for your space is the hardest part of the process, but there is no doubting that the second hardest part is making sure that said plants stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible!
A large part of that maintenance routine is taken up with pest control. House plants tend to attract a number of different bugs to the inside your home, all very tiny, and all very irritating to discover! They might be just another part of the natural circle of life, but in an ideal world, they wouldn’t be living that life on your bought and paid for floral prides of joy!
With that in mind, here are some of the very best and most effective tips for getting rid of the various houseplant bugs that can cause chaos inside your home.
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Isolate The Affected Plant Immediately
The very first thing that you should do is isolate the houseplant that you notice has been affected by bugs. This is to give the rest of your houseplants the best possible chance of not being infected by the bug infestation.
Clean The Surrounding Area
Certain species of houseplant bug are able to leave the plant and hide in surrounding areas, biding their time until they can find another appropriate plant to move to, so cleaning the immediate and surrounding area from where you removed the plant to isolate it can be very helpful in making sure that no sneaky pests have been left behind. This can be done with rubbing alcohol if you want to really sterilize the area.
Wash With Insecticidal Or Mild Liquid Soap
Going back to the infected plant, one of the best ways to go about saving it from its bug invaders is by carefully washing it with either a dedicated insecticidal soap or simply a mild liquid soap. Soap has been proven to effectively kill houseplant bugs on direct contact, so the only thing you need to make sure of is the type of product that you use for the job. You want to avoid soaps that contain detergents and degreasers as they can harm particularly sensitive plants. As a sensible guide, it is always good to perform a plot test on a single leaf before diving straight in to the whole plant.
Wash The Pot Too
It is vital that you also wash the plant pot and any tray that it might have been standing in, because as previously mentioned, houseplant bugs can be very good at hiding under cracks and rims, ready to reestablish themselves after all of your hard plant cleaning work.
Cotton Swab Technique
If, by the looks of things, you only have a few houseplant bugs to deal with rather than a full blown infestation, then one way that you could handle the problem is the cotton swab technique. This involves taking a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol and directly dabbing the bugs to kill and remove them from the plant in question. This method does involve a lot of vigilance on your part to make sure no bug is left undabbed!
Natural Prevention With Neem Oil
If you are someone who does not want to use a lot of chemical products to treat your plants, then neem oil is a good answer to the problem. Neem oil is a long term option for indoor pest control. It is a natural insecticide that works to both kill the bugs that currently exist on the plant and repel any future bugs from making the plant their new home. If neem oil is unavailable, then further options in the same vein include things like hot pepper spray and horticultural oil.
Sticky Traps For Flying Bugs
If your particular problem is with bugs of the flying variety, then an effective form of battle against them is the installation of a number of yellow sticky trap strips in the close vicinity of the plant. These strips are non-toxic, and they will attract and capture any flying pests that get too close to your plant.
Use The Vacuum For Large Populations
If you suddenly find yourself overrun with houseplant bugs and need a large scale solution to start the pest control process, then don’t underestimate the power of the vacuum cleaner! An effective start to treatment is sucking up to immediately dent a large population, allowing you to engage in more delicate washing and spraying methods after the bulk of the bugs have been eliminated. It goes without saying, of course, be careful with your houseplants in the vicinity of a powerful vacuum cleaner!
These are ways to deal with bugs when the issue is resolvable. There may be occasions when the infestation is so severe that you need to call professional to deal with the problem.