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5 Common Houseplant Bugs

Houseplants are a great addition to homes. Unfortunately, you may not be the only one enjoying your plants. Some pests are attracted to plants, and these pests are often harmful to them. To protect your plants, you need to know what pests you’re up against. We’ve made a list of five pests that are likely to bug your houseplants. 

1. Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnat on flower

If you notice flies hanging around soil, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with fungus gnats. These pests are attracted to damp soil and are often a problem when overwatering occurs.  

What Do Fungus Gnats Look Like?

Fungus gnats resemble mosquitoes with their long legs and antennae. They have a grayish-black body and light gray or clear wings. These pests grow between 1/16"-1/8".

Why Are Fungus Gnats a Problem?

Adult fungus gnats are considered a nuisance and don’t harm plants. Their larvae are more problematic. Fungus gnat larvae live in soil where they feed on decaying plant matter and fungi. When infestations grow, larvae will feed on plant roots too. This can weaken and damage the plant, especially if it is a young plant.

2. Aphids


Aphids are another pest that can bug your plants. Different species of aphids are attracted to different types of plants.

What Do Aphids Look Like?

These pests are usually green, but species can come in a variety of colors including brown, yellow, white, and black. Aphids are small, growing up to 1/8". They are pear-shaped and have long antennae.

Why Are Aphids a Problem?

When aphids infest plants, they suck the sap from stems and leaves. This can weaken the plant and lead to curling, yellowing, or stunted growth. They also secrete honeydew, which can promote mold growth.

3. Spider Mites

Spider mites

Spider mites are arachnids that are known to infest a variety of plants. They are attracted to dry, warm soil.  

What Do Spider Mites Look Like?

Spider mites are reddish-brown and oval. They’re very tiny, less than 1/50", making it difficult to see them. They often appear as little red or dark spots on plants. Spider mites create white, silky webbing that will be easier to see.    

Why Are Spider Mites a Problem?

Spider mites like to hang out on the underside of leaves. They pierce the leaf and suck juices from the plant. This can cause white or yellow dots to appear on the leaves. When infestations are large, feeding can lead to leaves turning yellow or dropping.

4. Mealybugs


Mealybugs can also cause problems for your plants. They prefer plants that produce a lot of sap, but they will infest a wide range of plants.

What Do Mealybugs Look Like?

Mealybugs are oval and soft-bodied. They are small, growing between 1/10"-1/4". They have a white, waxy coating that gives them a cotton-like appearance.

Why Are Mealybugs a Problem?

Mealybugs attach themselves to plant stems, leaves, and fruit. They suck sap from the plant. When a large population feeds on a plant, it can cause curling and yellowing of leaves. Like aphids, they secrete honeydew, which can lead to mold growth.

5. Whiteflies


Whiteflies can also infest your houseplants. These pests are attracted to a variety of plants including flowers and vegetables.  

What Do Whiteflies Look Like?

As their name suggests, these bugs are white and have wings. They have a triangular-shaped body and grow to around 1/12". Despite their name, these pests aren’t technically flies. They’re actually closely related to aphids and mealybugs.

Why Are Whiteflies a Problem?

Whiteflies are often found on the underside of leaves. Adults and larvae can feed on plants. Their feeding can cause wilting, yellowing, and stunted growth. These pests also secrete honeydew, which can enable mold to grow.

Pests can become a serious problem for your plants. It’s important to quickly identify an infestation and take steps to protect your houseplants. If you’re dealing with a pest problem, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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