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How to Identify & Eliminate Houseplant Pests

Garden pests aren’t just a problem for your outdoor plants. Hungry bugs can attack your houseplants too. Knowing what to look for will make it easier to identify an infestation so that you can take steps to protect your plants. We’ve gathered information to help you identify and eliminate houseplant pests. 

How to Identify Houseplant Pests

Houseplant sitting near window

Though some pests can easily be seen, others are trickier to spot. Knowing a few warning signs of pest activity can help you when trying to identify an infestation.  

Spotting Pests

 Mealybug on plant

The most obvious sign of an infestation is spotting pests on or near your plants. When checking for pests, be sure to look at the stems and the underside of leaves.

  • Some pests, like aphids and whiteflies, can clearly be seen on plants. You’ll often notice fungus gnats hovering near plants too.
  • Spider mites are extremely tiny and will look like red or dark specks on leaves.
  • If you notice brown bumps on your plants, you could be dealing with scale insects.
  • Mealybugs have a fuzzy, cotton-like appearance.


Brown spots on leaf

Discoloration can also be a sign that pests are feeding on your plants. Different pests can cause different types of discoloration.

  • Pests often cause spotting, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for brown or black spots.
  • Yellowing of leaves can also be caused by pests.
  • If spider mites are present, you may notice white or yellow speckling.
  • When leafminers feed, they create white patches or tunnels on the leaves.

Changes in Appearance

Holes in plant leaves

In addition to discoloration, pests can cause other changes to the appearance of your plants.

  • Look for holes on the leaves of your plants. Holes can vary in size and shape.
  • Pests can cause leaves to drop or plants to wilt.
  • Stunted plant growth, especially with young plants, can occur.
  • Spider mites create white webbing that can be found on the leaves of plants. It will look similar to a spider’s web.
  • Some pests, like aphids and mealybugs, produce honeydew. This sticky substance can be seen on plants. It can promote black sooty mold growth.

How to Eliminate Houseplant Pests

3-in-1 Garden Spray

If pests are attacking your houseplants, you’ll want to act quickly to prevent any damage to your plants. After identifying an infestation, you should isolate infested plants. This will help to keep pests from spreading to your other plants. Treat your plants with a plant-based insecticide spray like our 3-in-1 Garden Spray or our Vegetable Garden Insect & Disease Control spray. They kill common plant pests on contact. You’ll want to thoroughly spray all parts of the plant, being sure to make contact with as many pests as possible.

Protecting your houseplants from hungry bugs is important. Quickly identifying and eliminating an infestation can help to keep your plants safe. If pests are bugging you or your plants, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.  

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