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What is Living in My Houseplant?

To keep your houseplants healthy, you need to protect them from hungry bugs. When pests start popping up on your plants, it’s important to identify them quickly. To do this, you need to know what these pests look like and signs of an infestation. Check out which bugs are likely to live in your houseplants and how to identify an infestation.

Spider Mites

Spider mites on leaf

Spider mites are extremely tiny arachnids that like to hang out on houseplants. They are reddish-brown and have an oval-shaped body. These pests feed on plants, which can be harmful to your houseplants.

Signs Your Plants Have Spider Mites

Because spider mites are so small, it can be difficult to see them. They often appear as small specks on plants. An easier way to identify an infestation is to look for webbing on stems and leaves. Spider mites can also cause light spots on leaves, yellowing of leaves, and dropping leaves.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnat

Fungus gnats are small, black flies that resemble mosquitoes. Adults aren’t harmful to plants, but their larvae can be problematic. When infestations are large, larvae can feed on plant roots if other organic matter isn’t available.

Signs Your Plants Have Fungus Gnats

These small flies can usually be seen walking on damp soil. If larvae are chewing the roots of your plant, you may notice wilting and yellowing leaves. Their feeding can also result in poor growth of plants.


Aphids on leaf

Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects with long antennae. They come in a variety of colors including green, black, brown, and yellow. These pests like to feed on plant sap.

Signs Your Plants Have Aphids

Aphids are often spotted in groups on the underside of leaves. Their feeding can cause leaves to curl as well as stunted growth. They also secrete honeydew, so you may find a clear, sticky substance on plants. If aphids are present, there’s a chance ants will show up since they like to eat honeydew.

Scale Insects

Scale insects

Scale insects can also cause problems for your plants when they feed on them. These pests can be brown, black, or white, and they have a flat, oval body. Their protective shell gives them the appearance of small bumps on plants.

Signs Your Plants Have Scale Insects

To identify a scale insect problem, you’ll want to look for a cluster of little bumps on the underside of leaves and on the stem. Their feeding can cause yellowing and withering of leaves as well as stunted growth. Like aphids, scale insects secrete honeydew too.



Mealybugs are another pest that like to feed on plant juices. These pests are small, oval, and soft bodied. They have a waxy coating that gives them a cotton-like appearance.

Signs Your Plants Have Mealybugs

If mealybugs are present, you’ll likely notice fuzzy patches on your plants. These pests can be spotted on stems, leaves, and fruit. When they feed on plants, they can cause plants to yellow or wilt. They also secrete honeydew, which will be visible on your plants.



Whiteflies are tiny and resemble moths. They have a white, triangular-shaped body. Though they’re called whiteflies, these pests are actually related to aphids and mealybugs. Like other plant pests, they feed on the sap of plants.

Signs Your Plants Have Whiteflies

Whiteflies cluster together on the underside of leaves. When disturbed, they will scatter. Their feeding can lead to wilting, dropping, and yellowing of leaves. They can also hinder your plant’s ability to grow. Whiteflies can produce honeydew as well. 



Thrips are tiny pests with a narrow body and fringed wings. There are several species of thrips, and they vary in color. These pests can be yellow, black, or brown. Thrips are known to suck sap from plants.

Signs Your Plants Have Thrips

Thrips are difficult to spot and typically look like dark specks on plants. Their feeding can cause yellowing and curling of leaves. Discoloration can also occur in the form of streaks, silver dots, and white patches.

Knowing what pests are likely to live in your houseplants can help you to keep your plants safe. After identifying an infestation, you can take steps to get rid of these pesky bugs. If you’re dealing with a pest problem, we’re here 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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