Garden-fresh offers are one step away
Sign Up & Get $5 Off

Opt-in to mobile texts to receive money-saving, project-inspiring alerts. Redeemed in stores only.

Just For You

Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Bug Off. Check for Pests Now to Keep Your Houseplants Healthy.

Home Depot
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Difficulty: Beginner

gardening tips by region houseplant bugs

Your home is a nice, warm place to live. But you’re not the only one who likes it.

Many insects make your home theirs, too. Scale, mealybugs and spider mites are some of the most common indoor pests. They live in houseplants, drinking the sap until the plant wilts, turns yellow, and dies.

The good news is that you can banish the bugs and save your houseplants.

How to Check and Treat for Houseplant Pests:

See tiny bumps?

Scale are hard-shelled insects that look like tiny bumps on your plants. Sometimes you see a black, sooty mold where they’ve fed. To treat:

  1. If there are just a few insects, scrape them off with a wet paper towel. 
  2. If you have an infestation, wipe off the bugs with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Then rinse the plant thoroughly with lukewarm water.

See cottony spots?

Mealybugs are tiny pests with soft bodies that look like cottony spots on plants. They suck plant juices, causing leaves and buds to drop.

See tiny webs?

If you see tiny webs on your plants, suspect spider mites. Sometimes the mites hide under or on leaves. They can kill your plants or leave them wilted, holey, and deformed.

To Treat Mealybugs and Spider Mites:

Use a damp sponge to wipe them off or spray your plants with water in the sink or shower to knock them off.

Tip: If pests return, spray with an insecticidal soap or Neem oil, following label directions.

Product Checklist:

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!