Herself's Houseplants

Killing plants so you don't have to

Common house plant pests




Aphids – tiny white, yellow or green bugs about the size of fleas
Spider mites – super tiny bugs sometimes you’ll see webs in bright sunlight, bleached or yellow spots appear on leaves
Mealy bugs – look like tufts of cotton
White fly – tiny white flies – sticky leaves on plant
Scale – dark brown shells – sticky leaves on plant
Black flies – small black flies
Thrips – thin light brown bugs – silvery areas appear on leaves

The first thing to do is give your plant a thorough scrubbing in the sink using soap. For scale, white fly and mealy bugs you’ll want to wipe the plant down with rubbing alcohol then rinse it again.

If you have black flies you are over watering – replant the plant with new soil. Give the roots a thorough rinsing in water between pots, and water less.

For aphids, thrips, mealy bugs, white flies mix some liquid dish soap with water and spray on all parts of the plant. ( 1 tablespoon soap to 1 gallon of water )

For spider mites, scale, thrips, white flies spray the plant with a thin coating of oil. There are insecticide oils you can buy, but anything in the kitchen that is handy will work. Spider mites on your plants are a sign of low humidity.

Separate infested plant from other house plants and repeat the washing, alcohol, soap or oil as recommended above until plant is free of infestation.

See also:
Photos of various types of scale insects
Go organic on house plant pest removal
Plant Oasis – Common Houseplant Pests
Insects, Bugs and Pests that invade your house plants
Control or Pests on House Plants

Mealy Bugs

Aphids ( Aphid photo from yamada )