Top Picks Roundup
Best All-Purpose - Natria Insecticidal Soap
Best Organic - BioAdvanced Organics Houseplant Insect Killer
Best Natural - Bonide Captain Jack's Neem Oil
Best Powder - Garden Safe Diatomaceous Earth
Best Traps - Mosqueda Sticky Traps
When protecting your indoor garden, the best all-purpose insect killer is one that is safe for the plant and easy to use. Natria Insecticidal Soap is safe enough even for edible houseplants, like herbs. Like other insecticidal soaps, the active ingredient is fatty acids taken from plants and turned into soap salts. This ready-to-use spray works on pests like spider mites, thrips, aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, fungus gnats, and many others.
Natria Insecticidal Soap
While many chemical insecticides are available in the market, they can harm both the environment and your health. With the increasing popularity of organic gardening, organic pest control has become increasingly popular due to its effectiveness and safety.
BioAdvanced Organics Houseplant Insect Killer uses soap salt and other organic ingredients to kill houseplant insects. It’s also a fungicide and can be used to control powdery mildew.
BioAdvanced Organics Houseplant Insect Killer
Neem oil has natural insecticidal properties. It works by disrupting the life cycle of houseplant pests and preventing them from reproducing. It will kill larvae, eggs, and adult insects and has the added benefit of acting as a fungicide as well.
1 teaspoon neem oil
1/4 teaspoon liquid dish soap (castile soap is also a good option)
1 quart warm water
Mix gently in a spray bottle
Neem oil also has some incredible health benefits when used on the skin. It’s anti-inflammatory and can help heal wounds and boost collagen production. If you don’t mind the distinct smell, purchase a cosmetic-grade neem oil and have it do double duty on your plants!
Bonide Captain Jack's Neem Oil
One of the best-powdered insect killers for indoor plants is diatomaceous earth.
This natural substance is comprised of fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. It works by dehydrating insects and disrupting their exoskeletons. When sprinkled on plant leaves or soil, Garden Safe Diatomaceous Earth can control any crawling insects with an exoskeleton.
Garden Safe Diatomaceous Earth
Yellow sticky traps use a non-toxic adhesive to catch insects as they fly or crawl around your plant. They’re easy to use and can be placed directly in the soil. If you have a gnat or fruit fly problem in your kitchen, the problem often originates in your houseplants. Gnats like to lay their eggs in moist potting soil, so try adjusting your watering schedule and letting the top inch of soil dry out between waterings so your plants are less appealing to these pests.
These Mosqueda sticky traps have the added benefit of being cute—they’re shaped like little suns and butterflies!
Mosqueda Sticky Traps
DIY Natural Insecticides
These natural ingredients can be used to make DIY insect sprays and insecticides.
Peppermint. Peppermint is a well-known repellent for many pests, including aphids, caterpillars, fleas, mice, and flying insects. Add 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil to 8-10 ounces of water, place in a sprayer, and use as a safe and natural bug spray.
Dish soap. Liquid soaps used for dishes can make an effective spray for controlling many pests like aphids and whiteflies. A natural soap like castile soap is the best choice as it’s free of harmful chemicals. Sprays made from liquid soaps won’t kill all insects, so they can be safely used on outdoor plants without harming pollinators like butterflies and bees. Insect spray made with dish soap needs to touch the insect to work. This means when using, you must spray directly on the plant pests to kill them. Often this will require spraying the undersides of leaves where pests like to hide.
Rubbing alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol added to water is an excellent DIY bug spray. It works by melting through the waxy protective coating that coats many insects and dries them out. This solution works best on adult insects rather than eggs or larvae. To control a pest problem on infested plants, you’ll need to spray weekly until the infestation is eliminated.
Vegetable oil. Most of us have some type of vegetable oil in the pantry. These food-grade oils can be used to manage many common pest problems. Applied to fruit trees or ornamental plants, they act as a miticide and control other detrimental pests like aphids or scales.
Tips for Preventing Pests on Indoor Plants
Proper plant care is the best way to keep your plants pest-free.
Keep your plants healthy and well-maintained. Healthy plants are better able to resist pests and can recover more effectively if infested. This means watering them regularly, providing enough light and nutrients, and keeping them clean.
Inspect your plants regularly for any sign of pests. Things like yellowing leaves or small holes in the leaves are a plant’s way of telling us something’s wrong. So, inspect your plants each time you water. If you do find any pests, remove them immediately using a gentle soap solution or insecticidal spray.
Avoid overwatering your plants. Overwatering is a death sentence for many plants. In addition to causing problems like root rot, it can also create a damp environment attractive to pests. Make sure the potting soil also has good drainage, and allow it to dry out between waterings.
Quarantine new plants before bringing them into your home to prevent introducing new pests.
By following these tips, you can enjoy beautiful indoor plants without worrying about pest infestations.
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