10 Common Houseplant Bugs and How to get Rid of Them

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at BalconyGardenWeb.com. With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Here is everything you need to know about the Common Houseplant Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them. Read everything in detail!

Pests can be a nuisance and eliminating them on time is essential for your plant’s good health. Thankfully, we have all the details about Common Houseplant Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them for you!

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Common Houseplant Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them

1. Aphids


Aphids are small sap-sucking insects and can wreak havoc on the plants by feeding on stems and foliage. They reproduce fast and eat plants in days.

REMEDY: This soft-body insect can be removed by a strong burst of water or spray of insecticidal soap. We also have a great article on getting rid of aphids here

2. Leafminers

Zigzag lines on the leaves are the sign that the plant is affected by the leafminer. They are the larval (maggot) stage of an insect family and feed mainly on leaves. Commonly leafminer harm edible greens like spinach and swiss chard, but on a houseplant, the damage is just ugly.

REMEDY: Simply crush the larvae with your fingers and remove the damaged foliage.

3. Scales

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Scales feed on the sap of the plant by penetrating into the plant tissue with their mouth, making the plant weak over time. They connect to the stem of the plant and coat themselves with an oval-shaped shell.

REMEDY: They can be easily handpicked. Also, dispose of infested leaves and stems. Spraying young scales with insecticidal soap.

4. Whiteflies


Whiteflies are a common houseplant bug that sucks sap on stems and foliage. They hide on the undersides of leaves, causing deformation, discoloration, and weakening of the plant. This bug reproduces fast, so if you find the infestation early, removing them will be easier.

REMEDY: To get rid of them, use yellow sticky traps and spray with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

5. Fungus Gnats

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Fungus gnats mainly impact indoor houseplants. The adult ones do not cause much harm, but in the larval stage, they feed on roots together with fungus and debris in the potting soil.

REMEDY: Get rid of adult fungus gnat with yellow sticky traps. Also, allow the soil to dry out between watering to eliminate the eggs.

6. Spider Mites

Spider mites are close relatives of spiders and wound plants by sucking their sap, rendering the foliage weak and yellow. When the infestation turns worst, the leaves become entirely fragile, pale-yellow, and die soon.

REMEDY: You can get rid of spider mites by spraying the infected parts with an insecticidal soap solution. We have a detailed article on getting rid of spider mites here.

7. Thrips

Thrips are little insects that can injure a plant a lot. They attack in groups and cause damage to the leaves, fruits, and flowers. This bug also weakens the plant and deforms the growth.

REMEDY: Use neem oil or insecticidal soap solution for repelling thrips.

8. Springtails


Springtails are small wingless, insect-like creatures that thrive in moist soil. They mostly feed on roots but don’t cause much harm. These bugs stay in groups and look like a small cloud whey all of them spring upwards together.

REMEDY: You can deter them by blowing a strong jet of air. A solution of neem oil or insecticidal soap will also do the trick.

9. Mealybugs


Mealybugs are soft-bodied wingless insects that look like tiny cottony white blobs on the stems, leaves, and fruits. They feed on the plant’s sap causing yellowing of leaves and curling.

REMEDY: If you notice the infestation early, cut back the affected branches. We have a very informative article on eliminating mealybugs here

10. Broad Mites


This common houseplant pest can do substantial damage to the tips of plants. Broad mites are too small to see with the eyes, but if the leaf tips start to appear deformed, stunted, or curled, then you can suppose its mites infestation. The plants that mostly get affected are begonia, cyclamen, African violets, and many tropical houseplants.

REMEDY: You can treat the issue by spraying the plant with a miticide, horticulture oil, or insecticidal soap. Normally, it is better to discard the infested plant so mites won’t spread.

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