How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

Last update: 2021-02-24

You’ll realize how much you fall in love with your indoor plants as long as whitefly, gnats, and other insects bug them. I know, it’s frustrating and disappointing, right? But don’t worry, here are some family-friendly, natural “insecticides” to get rid of them.

Sticky Flypaper

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

The most effortless method to get the infestation under control is using sticky flypapers. They are literally crafted from paper coated with a sweetly non-toxic adhesive fragrant (such as rosin) to trap flies and other insects when they come in contact with them.

Apple Cider Vinegar

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

If sticky flypapers aren’t available in your house, but apple cider vinegar, use it.

This is an effective eco-friendly way to eliminate adult gnats. They will be attracted by the fruit fragrance and drown themselves in the liquid.

Everything you need to prepare is just filling a small bowl with apple cider vinegar, then, cover it with sling film and pierce some tiny holes on it.

But apparently, these two methods have their own flaw and that is, they just work for adult insects.

It means if flies get a chance to reproduce before they’re trapped, you will have to face with some more frustrating visits soon. In short, I only recommend this method as an addition or a temporary measure.

Essential Oils

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

Yeah, you didn’t hear it wrong.

Essential oils, aside from being a great cooking ingredient or humans’ aroma treatment, are also a perfect deterrent and solution to get rid of bugs. They furthermore can treat many fungal issues in indoor plants.

Below are some common effective formulas to follow:

Kinds of bugs

Essential oils


Spider mites

Peppermint or spearmint

10 drops


Lemongrass, peppermint, or cedarwood

10 drops

Fungus gnats

Patchouli or spearmint

10 drops


Peppermint, spearmint, or cedarwood

10 drops

Mosquitoes, cabbage moths, & flies

Rosemary + clove + thyme + peppermint

3 drops/each

What you will need is a spray bottle (at least 4 ounces’ capacity), add essential oils in a certain amount then fill to the top with water. Give this mixture a good shake. Spray it on stem and leaves of your indoor plants.

Grow Fly-Repellant Herbs

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

Such as bay leaf, tansy, mint, pennyroyal, catnip, rosemary, lavender, and basil.

They’re all strong aroma plants that can repel flies and biting insects efficiently. Most of them are quite easy to grow and take care of while others can even add natural beauty to your house interior.

You can place some small pots near your current indoor plants or near kitchen windows. They would work their best when the foliage is moved about or bruises as this helps to release their essential oils.

Or, you can blend their fresh leaves with strain or vodka in a spray bottle and mist the areas. Take note that some plants might not be pet-friendly so if you have dogs or cats around the house, consider which ones can do best of both worlds.

Hot Pepper Or Garlic Spray

Use these kinds of spray on the indoor plant foliage will be an effective way to repel bugs while the ingredients can be easily found in any kitchen. Not to say that mixing garlic spray with soil plants also helps to treat fungus gnats and nematode problems.

You can use either garlic or hot pepper spray, or even both to double the results. Below is a short guide to making them.

What you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • 1 head of garlic
  • A blender/processor
  • 1 big container to hold 1 gal of water
  • 1 big jar to hold 2-3 cups of water

How to:

Use the blender to smoothen all garlic. Then, add in 2 cups of water and pulse it twice. Pour the mixture into the jar, cover closely, and let it sit in shadow areas for 1 day.

Next, strain the mixture and transfer it into the larger container. Fill water to the top, up to 1 gallon and fill it into your spray bottle.

To increase the result, you can add some spicy hot pepper, Habanero, jalapenos, or other spicy herbs.

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

To infuse them more easily, you can heat these additional ingredients up, bring them to a simmer, let alone 10 minutes, and cool them down before mixing with your garlic solution.

Apply this on your indoor plant foliage, soil plants, and stem weekly until all insects are gone.

But take note that even this mixture works greatly on pests and insects, it’s no exception to you, especially your throat and eyes. So be careful when making this and never touch your eyes to the eyes if they’re not well washed.

You’d better use a mask to cover your nose and mouth while wearing gloves.

Neem Oil

How To Get Rid Of Bugs On Indoor Plants?

90% of insect breeds hate this – which is kind of good news for us. Neem oil is organic, family-safe, pet-safe, and easy to find; it’s too good to be true.

For the best results, try to use only the cold-pressed neem oil extract. And as it doesn’t mix with water, you will need an emulsifier (such as trusted liquid castile soap). What you’ll need for 2 ½ gallons at 2% neem oil spray are:

  • 2 1/2 gallons of water
  • 200 ml neem oil
  • 6 ½ ounces neem oil
  • 1 ounce liquid castile soap

To put them together, you should add the liquid castile soap to warm water first and then, dissolve with neem oil. When finished, pour the liquid into the spray bottle and used it as the garlic spray.


Once finding out one or some plants of yours are infected by bugs and insects, isolate them from the rest right then. You can move them to a bathroom or any room with no other plants. I hope the quick guide above has been helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

Harry Ramos
Harry Ramos

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