How to Get Rid Common Bugs on Indoor Plants – Step By Step Guide

Just as other people love their children or pets, gardeners harbor their love for their indoor plants. And how can they not, when they take of the plants by feeding them, nourishing them and bathing them. How can you not grow attached to them?

Just like any other being you love, you want to take care of your plants as well. And so you need to know how to get rid of bugs on indoor plants. You don’t want the plants that you have grown with such care and effort to be fed to vicious bugs.

To save the plants from bug attacks, there are different techniques used by the gardeners to keep the bugs away while also making sure that the plant doesn’t get damaged. 

For the easy and efficient way, you can get Insect traps like Harris Potting Plant-Insect trap or an indoor plug-in trap like a plug-in zapper by Bug Zapper. But if you want to get rid of bugs on houseplants by home remedies here are some of the ways that you can use to protect your beloved plants.

Th Use of Real Soap

Since you are here, it is a given that you have or are simultaneously looking at them right now. They will probably have similar remedies about how to get rid of bugs eating plants, like using a soap solution? Here is the catch though, what most people don’t understand is the difference between detergent and soap.

A dishwashing liquid, as many blogs would have suggested using, is a detergent and not a soap. It doesn’t have the properties that you required to get rid of the bugs as suggested, and may also cause damage to your plant.

To avoid this situation, you can use castile soap or the dish-washing soap that is used in households every day.
Think of it as a homemade bug spray for indoor plants. Here is how you prepare it.
  • Get a clean spray bottle 
  • Mix one tablespoon of the soap
  • Shake it well to mix it up 

Spray it on one leaf to test it out, and leave for 24 hours. If it works the spray it on the rest of the plant, if not then try one of the other methods.

Neem Oil – The All-Rounding Champion

If you want to know how to get rid of bugs on plants naturally then Neem Oil is just the right partner for you.

Not only is it safe to use around your babies and pets, but it also helps get rid of almost a hundred different kinds of bugs including full-grown, larvae and even the eggs. 


Here is how you make this superpower spray. You will be needing 

  • Some kind of bucket to mix the spray 
  • A spray bottle
  • Cold-pressed neem oil (because it is known to be more potent) – 200 ml
  • Castile soap – 30 ml
  • Water – 10 liters
  1.  Start by adding the soap solution to the warm water.
  2. Start pouring in neem oil slowly while stirring constantly.
  3. Once you see that all ingredients have dissolved nicely, transfer the solution to the spray bottle.

This solution is only good for up to 8 hours, after that it becomes useless. This method is not an instant fix, it will need a week of repeating the process to show progress.


What are we thinking? Some wine, vodka, or whiskey? Here is a fun thought – don’t use either!

Full disclosure, this is a very limited remedy. Meaning this is only used to get rid of snails and slugs. It is most commonly known as the beet trap.

How to set it up: 

  1.  Add some stale beer in a shallow dish
  2. Place that dish close to the slug or snail infestation 
  3. Leave the dish overnight and clean up in the morning 

Slugs and snails have an irresistible sweet tooth. They can’t help but be drawn to the beer. And once they get drunk, they mostly drown. And hence you get a dish filled with drowning snail.

But can you use the alcohol on the plant? The answer is a flat no. Alcohol is just not how to get rid of bugs on indoor plants. Let’s take a quick look into why so that you don’t go experimenting on your own.

You get three different kinds of alcohol: methanol, ethanol, and isopropyl. From these 

  • Isopropyl is 70% in concentration and is used to clean wounds. Don’t even think about taking it near your plants.
  • Ethanol at any concentration can stunt the growth of the plant. And only about 25% concentration, it is fatal for your plant.

Garlic and Hot Pepper Spray – Loaded Bug Killer

Garlic Spray is capable of killing the bugs on its own. It can not only effectively get rid of the bugs but if you water your plants with garlic water then it will also get rid of your nematode or fungus gnat problem.

To make the garlic spray you need:

  • A blender
  • Garlic 
  • A jar with a capacity of at least two cups 
  • A container that can hold a gallon 
  • A spray bottle
  1.  Blend the garlic until it is smooth
  2. Add two cups of water and just pulse the mixture about two times
  3. Let the mixture sit in a jar for a day, more appropriately in someplace dark.
  4. Strain it and then add it to the container and add a gallon of water.
  5. Add to spray bottle for use.

Use it twice weekly until the pests are cleared out.

While this should be effective enough but if you want to make a stronger blend you can add hot pepper to the mix.

It is crazy effective but IT CAN BE DAMAGING TO THE PLANT. It can even be harmful to you so make sure to use gloves and masks when preparing it.

Here is how to prepare it:

  • Infuse pepper into the water
  • Heat the water and bring it to simmer – 15 minutes
  • Leave it to cool down and add it to the garlic solution.

Apple Cider Vinegar For the Win

Here is the thing – these gnat? Not so bright. Not the full-grown ones at least. All you need to do is set a good bait and they will show you how well a bug can drown.
And what is that well-set bait? It is right in your kitchen cabinet staring back at you – apple cider vinegar. For some reason, gnats can’t resist apple cider vinegar.
Here is how you set it up
  1. Add some apple cider vinegar to a dish
  2. Cover it up with cellophane paper and poke in tiny holes.
  3. Once they crawl into the bowl, it is game over.
And because – as already mentioned – gnats aren’t the brightest bugs so they will stay there trapped and ultimately drown.This is super effective to rid of the grown-ups but not the larvae and eggs.

2.Diatomaceous Earth – Kids and Pets Safe (Food Grade)

Best way to get rid of the bugs all the from the core i.e. getting rid of the bugs in the soil. There is no better option out there than this. Diatomaceous earth is fatal to all and every bug there can possibly be.

And it’s pretty fun to use as well!

Here is what you need to do.

  1. Get a plastic bottle.
  2. Add the powder to the bottle using a funnel.
  3. Close the lid and drill a hole into it.
  4. Sprinkle the powder all around the plant that you need to save.

How to get rid of fungus gnats?

Ammo: Feeding on the plant’s root causing incapacitation of the plant.

Damage Control: Drench the roots or rinse the plant with insecticide soap (get one now)


Ammo: drilling holes into leave – leading the plant to wilt or turn yellow

Damage Control: Use of insecticide soap on the leaves


Ammo: No damage – can be a sign of other infestations

Damage Control: using diatomaceous soil cleans them out


Ammo: Leaving holes in plant and eating fruits

Damage Control: Using hay to attract and trap earwig and releasing elsewhere.

Fruit Flies

Ammo: No damage – just nuisance

Gall Mites

Ammo: can lead to rust, leaving curls, and deformed buds

Damage Control: using neem oil, insecticide soap, and pyrethrin.


Ammo: Sticky honeydew – cause leave curling and yellow leaves.

Damage Control: spray with insecticide soap

Root Aphids

Ammo: spread quickly and are unseen by the eye – the plant will depict deficient in nutrients

Damage Control: Destroy the plant that is badly infected. Spray neem oil for light infestation.

Red Spider Mites

Ammo: leave sticky webs and whitish-yellow mottling on the leaves. Suck the sap out of the leaves.

Damage Control: Spray with neem oil or insecticidal soap

Scale insects

Ammo: hinders plant growth and turns leaves yellow

Damage Control: use insecticide soap


Ammo: Nibble at plant roots, leaves, and stems

Damage Control: make sure your plant dries out well after watering


Ammo: suck up sap, causes patches on petals and leaves

Damage Control: spray with insecticide soap


Ammo: suck the sap causing circles on the leaves

Damage Control: spray with neem oil

Wooly Aphids

Ammo: leave honeydew and suck the sap out causing sooty mold

Damage Control: Spray with neem oil


To Sum it all Up

 We love out plants like we love our babies, because we put in effort and watch them grow. And it is just as painful to watch them fall prey to the cruel bugs. So we must find out how to get rid of bug on indoor plants.
There are ways that you can amazingly get rid of the bugs. There are zappers and traps that you c
an set in order to get it done for you or you can use any of the natural remedies.
To point you in the right direction, neem oil and some insecticide spray won’t hurt anyone – expect the bugs of course. You now also have a small cheat sheet that can help you try out the methods according to the infestation that you have. If one way doesn’t do it for you, can always try another.