Bugs on House Plants? Here's the Fix...

Getting Rid of Troublesome Plant Pests

Have you observed unwelcome visitors on your indoor plants? No need to fret; the presence of bugs doesn't necessarily indicate neglect of your plants. Insects are sometimes drawn to plants just as much as we are.

Before reaching you, all our plants undergo thorough inspections to ensure they are free of bugs. While new plants are unlikely to have pests, we advise conducting a plant check-up every three months. Detecting pests early makes the eradication process much simpler.

In the event that you discover any pests, remain calm. Infestations are typically manageable. The first step is to isolate the affected plant to prevent the bugs from spreading. Refer to the images below to identify the type of bugs present, as treatment methods vary. We do not endorse the use of harsh artificial chemicals. Now, let's identify and address your unwelcome critters.

Spider Mites

These minuscule red arachnids (picture from Paramecium) have a particular affinity for palms. They prefer the underside of leaves, where they feast on leaf cells, leaving your plant's foliage pockmarked with holes. The presence of their extremely fine webbing may be noticed before the actual bugs.

The most effective method for eliminating them involves using insecticidal soap (or use 1 drop of washing up liquid per 700ml of water ans spray the plant), which effectively suffocates them. Begin by meticulously wiping the plant or giving it a thorough shower to remove the webbing (essential for eradicating the infestation properly, as the webbing protects the eggs). Next, prepare the soap as per the instructions and saturate the plant with it. Ensure thorough coverage. Repeat this process weekly for three weeks, and the spider mites should be eradicated.

White fly

Resembling tiny moths, whiteflies pose a threat by feeding on your plants, oftenleading to yellowing and premature leaf drop. Swiftly isolate the affected plant upon detection, as whiteflies disperse rapidly when disturbed, and you wouldn't want them spreading.

Eliminate a significant number of whiteflies by washing them off with a hose or in the shower. Capitalize on their attraction to the color yellow by using sticky traps to catch and dispose of them. To eradicate young insects before they mature and develop wings, apply insecticidal soap thoroughly. Repeat this process weekly for three weeks to ensure effective control.


If you've observed white, fluffy spots on your plant, it's likely plagued by mealybugs. These cottony nests are their preferred hiding places, typically forming under leaves or at the junction where leaves meet the stem. If left unchecked, these pests can gradually drain the vitality from your plant, leading to its demise.

Effectively combating mealybugs involves employing insecticidal soap. Commence by thoroughly wiping the plant to remove the protective webbing (which shields the eggs, necessitating its removal to combat the infestation). Subsequently, prepare the soap solution as per the provided instructions and generously apply it to the entire plant. Ensure thorough saturation (go to town on it). Repeat this process once a week for a duration of three weeks.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats, small dark flies measuring 1-2mm, are common pests affecting indoor plants. They lay eggs in the soil, and their larvae feed on fungi, organic matter, and plant roots, completing their life cycle through pupation. Infestations are indicated by the presence of adult gnats, particularly during watering, and larvae in the soil, with potential symptoms of yellowing or wilting in plants. To prevent and control fungus gnats, it is advised to allow the soil to dry between watering (this is easiest if you water from the bottom too), avoid overwatering (in general), use yellow sticky traps to capture adult gnats, and apply organic solutions like neem oil or insecticidal soap to the soil. Additionally, selecting well-draining soil (see our range here) to avoid moisture being held in the soil for too long. Regular inspection and proactive measures are essential for effective management of fungus gnats in houseplants but if they do turn up, don't shoot yourself - these things happen.


Dealing with aphids on house plants can be concerning, but it's important to know that there are effective ways to address the issue and restore the health of your plants. Aphids are a common problem that many plant enthusiasts encounter, and with prompt action, you can successfully manage and eliminate them. Utilizing gentle remedies like insecticidal soap or neem oil, along with a simple, strong stream of water to dislodge the aphids, can be reassuringly effective. Regularly inspecting your plants, fostering a healthy environment, and promoting natural predators will contribute to long-term resilience against aphid infestations. Remember that with patience and consistent care, your houseplants can bounce back, thriving once again.


Scale insects on house plants can be a concern (picture from Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium), but addressing the issue is easily possible with the right approach. These small, immobile pests attach themselves to plant stems and leaves, resembling tiny bumps.

Scale insects feed on plant sap, and their presence can lead to yellowing, wilting, and overall decline in plant health. While their protective shells make them resistant to many treatments, you can effectively manage scale insects by using horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps. Applying these treatments helps suffocate and remove the scales.

Additionally, consider gently scrubbing the scales with a soft brush (like an old toothbrush) to enhance the effectiveness of treatment. Regularly inspect your houseplants, and if needed, repeat treatments to ensure complete elimination. With diligence and proper care, you can reassure yourself that your houseplants will recover and thrive once the scale infestation is under control.