Having plants inside your home can help bring a natural feeling to your living spaces. Indoor plants are an excellent way for beginners to get some growing experience as they require little maintenance and don’t tend to have many problems. However, a common question asked by growers is, do indoor plants attract bugs?
Growing plants indoors will attract bugs for multiple reasons, such as the lack of air circulation or high humidity levels. Common bugs you will find infesting your indoor plants are spider mites, aphids, white flies, and fungus gnats, among many others.
Do Indoor Plants Attract Bugs?
If your home lacks a certain natural feeling, a few houseplants are a great way to change the environment of your home. It can help give your living space a fresh feel and simultaneously add a little bit of color.
Indoor plants are great as they require very little maintenance, are easy to manage, and often experience little to no problems due to their sheltered environment. But they can attract many pests, such as aphids and fungus gnats.
A little effort is required on your behalf to stay on top of this problem. Firstly, maintain good growing conditions, give your plants regular watering, and inspect them for bugs from time to time, allowing you to stay on top of infestations.
Throughout this article, we will discuss what causes an infestation of bugs, what kind of pests will attack your plants, and how to prevent these problems. We will also go over what houseplants are the most resistant to pests such as aphids and fungus gnats.
Why Are Bugs Attracted To My Indoor Plants?
If you are beginning to notice that you have a small infestation of plants around one or more of your indoor plants, don’t panic just yet. There are multiple reasons why this is happening, with wet conditions being one of the largest problems. We will list a few of the main reasons below.
Problem #1 High Humidity Levels In Your Home
Bugs and pests tend to flock towards areas that have high humidity, as their small bodies need to stay moist, or they will die. This forces them to seek out humid environments constantly, and indoor plants often provide a sort of safe haven for them.
Humid conditions that attract bugs are brought on by the following two reasons:
Overwatering: If you are overwatering your plants regularly, this will increase the humidity levels around your indoor plants. Wet and damp soils will raise the surrounding humidity levels because the water will slowly evaporate from the soil’s surface. Thus, the climate you live in may not even play a part in the attraction of bugs.
Your Homes Climate: The second reason your indoor plants attract many pests is most likely your home’s climatic conditions. Suppose you live close to a large body of water, like in the pacific northwest, the South, or any coastal area. In this case, this will naturally have a higher humidity level and, thus, a climate that will attract a lot of bugs.
Problem #2 – No Air Circulation
If you live in a humid area or your home is prone to moist conditions, it’s essential to have a good amount of airflow to prevent high humidity levels. This will also attract fewer bugs, as increased air circulation promotes the drying of soil, and thus a decreased chance of fungal growth. This makes your plants a less likely place for pests to live and procreate.
A lack of consistent airflow around your home can happen for multiple reasons:
Plants Don’t Have Enough Space: When placing your plants around your home, remember that they need space between them to allow the air to pass through the foliage. Try to space your plants enough, so their leaves aren’t touching each other, but not too far, as keeping them grouped increases the natural humidity when needed.
A Lack Of Airflow: When placing your plants around your home, try to position them close to natural airflow sources such as windows, vents, and doors. If this is not possible, purchase a ceiling fan or electric fan and use this from time to time. It’s best to use a natural source, but a fan will do the job if the positioning of the plant is correct.
What Bugs Are Attracted To Indoor Plants?
When identifying the problem, you must first know which kind of bug is infesting your plants. Multiple pests could appear, and below is a list of the most common ones.
Spider Mites are one of the most common pests that will infest your indoor plants. These tiny bugs are often difficult to see with the naked eye but leave behind a trace of fine webbing on the foliage of your plants.
They feed off the fluid within your plants, and if done enough, your plants will begin to discolor, and the leaves will turn yellow. A close inspection of the plants will be necessary if you wish to find this culprit.
An easy way to get rid of these little pests is to clean your plant with water and alcohol. Get a spray bottle and mix 30 oz of water and 1 cup of alcohol, then spray it on the leaves of your pants and wide dry with a towel. This will kill the visible spider mites without causing any harm to your plants.
Aphids are another common pest that will thrive on your indoor plants and cause them extreme stress unless identified and killed. The tiny bugs will attach themselves to your indoor plants and suck the sap from them.
A standard indicator that your plants are infested with Aphids is by the honeydew they secrete. It’s a kind of sticky liquid, which will be seen on the stems and leaves. These pests will cause yellow foliage and deformed leaves on your plants if not treated.
A quick and easy way to rid your plants of these pests is to mix a little dish soap and water in a spray bottle and apply it to your plant’s stem and leaves a few times a day for three weeks.
Mealybugs are another common pest that loves to live on your plants. These tiny, white, soft-bodied insects will be found in groups on the area of your plant where the leaves attach to the stem.
These pests can stunt the leaf growth of your plant, especially on emerging leaves, as they slowly feed on the foliage. They also produce a sticky liquid that can indicate their presence, which can cause mold on your plant.
To get rid of these bugs, you first want to dip a cotton bud in alcohol and remove all visible clusters. Then mix a small amount of dish soap, alcohol, and water to clean the plant well. Repeat this process once or twice a week until the problem has disappeared.
The last pest on our list is the Fungus gnat, a bug that can be a genuine inconvenience that will feed on the roots of your plants. They are tiny, dark flies that will buzz around your indoor plants, and while these aren’t the most dangerous to your plants, they can still cause a few minor problems.
The larvae of these pests will develop in areas of fungi or decaying plant matter. They will eventually cause damage to your plant because of the pathogens they leave on the soil, as well as wounding the plant’s roots.
To rid your plants of these pests, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide and five parts water. Only apply this mixture when the top layer of soil is dry. This method is entirely harmless to your plants and will break down in the soil.
Tips on Preventing The Bugs From Living On Your Plants
Here are a few extra tips on ways in which you can prevent some of these bugs from living and feeding on your indoor plants:
- Set up a schedule where you check your plants for pests and bugs. If these infestations are detected early enough, it often means that it’s a lot easier to treat.
- If you’re bringing a new plant into your home, give it a good once-over to ensure it’s not carrying any bugs. Nurseries are hot spots for infestations due to their humid environment.
- Remember to leave space between your plants, as this will allow a good amount of natural airflow. This will stop the environment from being too humid.
- If you notice that some of your plant’s leaves have a disease or they’re dying, remove them as soon as possible. Do the same with anything that drops onto the soil, and this will stop fungal-loving bugs from choosing this as their home.
So, now that you know your indoor plants may attract bugs from reasons such as a lack of airflow, or humid conditions, you now know how to combat these pests and the best ways to prevent their appearance in the first place.