Homemade Bug Spray for Houseplants [Complete Guide]

So, you’ve added some houseplants to your home, wondering how to take care of them. Perhaps you are wondering why there are so many bugs surrounding your houseplants. Bugs can be a menace, especially if you have spent considerable time working on your home’s interior.

Bugs don’t just ruin the way your house looks. They can reduce the life of a houseplant by a large margin. If you get a bug allergy through a bite, it is far easier for you to recover than when your houseplant goes through the same ordeal.

Don’t worry! We have just the solution for you. Homemade bug sprays are easy to make if you want to skip the chemicals. Make sure you stock up on bug spray if you are taking care of houseplants, and avoid the substances that can harm these indoor plants.

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Make your own bug spray! It is quite easy!

Why Homemade?

Homemade bug sprays are far better than synthetic ones because they are better for our health as well as the health of our houseplants. Toxic sprays can cause a stench that makes it hard for you to exist in the same place.

These synthetic sprays are also not easy on the pocket. If you are a new houseplant owner, you may not have the money to invest in bug sprays. Some synthetic sprays do not work on indoor plants, and others are ones that bugs can quickly become immune to.

However, even if you opt for homemade bug sprays, look for the root of the issue while administering the solution. Try to create an ecosystem by introducing different plants that eliminate harmful bugs.

Houseplants in the USA can be quite expensive. Make sure you don’t only have one expensive plant in your home, left unprotected. Invest in a couple of houseplants that you can place around it to create a system so that bugs don’t just accumulate on one plant. 

Since you aren’t an expert, you should always test your homemade bug sprays in the US before applying them to your plants.

Avoid using them if they cause damage to the leaf. Whenever you spray your bug sprays on plants, treat them gently for the next few hours and avoid the sun.

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How to Make Homemade Bug Sprays in the US

Here are some of the ways in which you can easily make homemade bug sprays. All the listed ingredients are easily available throughout the USA.

1. Soap-Based Bug Spray

To remove bugs surrounding your plants, you need to introduce some alkalinity to the plant. This can be done through soapy water. The following recipe is the number one solution to bugs on houseplants.

When bugs come into contact with soap, they succumb to it. This is because soap causes dehydration for bugs and doesn’t harm the plant in any way. If you are still wary of the mixture, try applying it to a plant leaf before using it on the entire plant.

Ensure you cover the plant adequately to avoid skipping an area that might have been infested.

Ingredients required:

  • Liquid dish soap: You only need two tablespoons, so make sure it’s a good quality mild soap that won’t irritate your plants.
  • A gallon of water
  • Bottle with a spray nozzle (clean the bottle before use).

Method:

  1. You can increase the quantity of water as needed. Ensure that you mix only two tablespoons of soap with every gallon of water.
  2. Add the mixture to a spray bottle.
  3. Spray it onto the infested plant once for an entire week or until the infestation is solved.

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2. Herbal Spray

Another great way to fight an infestation is by using a herbal spray. You can get this from the market or make it yourself if you want to save some money

Ingredients required:

  • Half a cup of a herb with a potent scent.
  • Half a gallon of water.
  • Some drops of mild dish soap.

Method:

  1. Start by grinding the herb and adding it to a mesh cloth. Tie the mesh cloth with a string.
  2. Add half a gallon of water to a pot and add the mesh cloth with the herbs.
  3. Leave the herbs to seep into the water for less than a week (you can leave it for three to six days).
  4. Add the water to a spray bottle, mix in some dish soap, and shake before use.

3. Pepper Spray

Unlike what most people might think, pepper spray is not only commonly used to defend oneself. The potent mixture can also become a natural bug spray for houseplants.

Pepper spray can prove to be quite effective. The mix of black and chili pepper, paprika, and ginger is quite effective for mites or other bugs.

Ingredients required:

  • Two tablespoons of red pepper
  • Five to six drops of gentle dish soap.
  • A gallon of water.

Method:

It is easy to make the spray. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and add them to a spray bottle which can be sprinkled onto houseplants.

It is also easy to make this spray by mixing tabasco sauce with dish soap and some water. Maybe you can try this out if you don’t have red pepper. This hot liquid discourages insects as it irritates their skin.

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4. Pyrethrum Spray

This spray is made from Chrysanthemums and can smell great. It is unlike the strong smell of toxic chemical-based bug sprays. This is also quite easy to make, and the ingredients can be found in supermarkets across the USA.

This spray can bring bugs out of their hiding spots and eliminate them effectively.

Ingredients required:

  • Half a cup of chrysanthemums (dried and ground).
  • Five to six drops of gentle dish soap.
  • Five glasses of water.

Method:

  1. Add water and dish soap to the dried chrysanthemums and add the mixture to the spray.
  2. Spray it onto the leaves and cover all parts so as not to leave a leaf untouched.

5. Neem Spray

This naturally effective spray can do wonders for houseplants infested with bugs in the US. Neem spray is made from neem oil and targets common houseplant bugs.

It confuses the bugs and alters their brain chemistry, reducing their food intake, need to reproduce, and eventually disposing of them.

This spray is effective as it removes bugs and stops them from reproducing, thus reducing the chances that they revisit your houseplants.

Make sure you do not smother your plant with the spray, as it is very potent. Try to spray occasionally and be patient.

Ingredients required:

  • 0.5 ounces of premium neem oil (organic)
  • Three to four drops of gentle dish soap
  • Half a gallon of water (lukewarm)
  • A bottle with a spray nozzle

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stir till they are combined. Be gentle.
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bottle.
  3. Spray it onto the plant and make sure you are thorough.
  4. Repeat till you see results.

One great way to eliminate bugs is also to use baking soda. Mix one tablespoon of cooking oil, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one tablespoon of dish soap into a gallon of water to create a mixture. Add the mixture to a spray bottle and spray the concoction onto plants every week.

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If you are looking for easier and simpler ways to make bug sprays, we have some suggestions!

Read Are Earthworms Good for Houseplants

Homemade Bug Sprays You Can Buy

Some sprays are a little easier to make and a lot less expensive. Here are some of the best bug sprays you can easily buy near you.

1. Diatomaceous Earth

This is an excellent spray for bugs on houseplants that are edible. Herbs and other edibles cannot be subjected to harsh sprays are these plants are usually consumed later. Diatomaceous earth is completely safe as it is made from fossilized algae.

This pesticide is natural and can be added to the soil in plants or leaves.

2. Tomato-Based Natural Bug Sprays

This is one bug spray that you can make yourself. As tomatoes are alkaline like soap, they can be a great way to kill bugs. Aphids or other bugs can wreak havoc on your carefully maintained houseplants. Fortunately, there is a cure.

Ingredients required:

  • Two to three cups of tomato leaves.
  • ¼ gallon of water.

Method:

Add two to three cups of chopped tomato leaves for every one-fourth gallon and let them steep overnight. Remove the leaves from the water and add the water to a spray bottle after eight to ten hours. Spray onto plants to kill the bugs.

3. Garlic Pesticide

There are many ways that you can use vegetables in your kitchen to eliminate pests in your houseplants. One way is to use garlic. Garlic is safe to use, no matter what the quantity. This is because it is organic.

Ingredients required:

  • One bulb of garlic.
  • One onion.
  • One teaspoon of black pepper.
  • One tablespoon of dish soap.

Method:

  1. Make a paste of the garlic and onion and mix them with the pepper. Allow them to marinate for an hour before straining the water into a spray bottle.
  2. Add soap to the bottle and shake before use.

If you want to understand how different insects react to various sprays, here are some unique sprays you can use to target specific bugs.

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Read Houseplants Safe for Rabbits

Bug Spray for Unique Bugs

Here are some homemade bug sprays that you can make to target specific bugs.

Slug Spray

If you want to remove slugs from your plants and have failed, this might help. Try using beer and add it to an old can or saucer. Situate it within the soil so that it is out of sight. The slugs must drop into the dish before moving to the plant to hydrate themselves.

As an alternate, you can even use citrus peels liked by slugs and snails. These peels usually attract the bugs which swarm to them. You can find them covered with bugs for some hours. Throw the bugs away with the peels and repeat the process.

Earwig Spray

Earwigs are nasty as they can be hard to get rid of. They look disgusting and snack on your plants, depriving them of the nutrients they need to flourish.

If you spot earwigs in your plants, you can trap them by spraying water onto a newspaper. Tie a string to a wet rolled-up newspaper and place it in the infestation area.

In some hours, pull the newspaper out and put it in a bag. Seal the bag and throw it out.

Yellowjacket Trap

You don’t need to invest much money in traps or sprays. You can make your effective sprays at home. All you need is sugar and an empty bottle. Cut out a quarter part of the bottle and place it with the spout downwards.

Fill it with some sugary liquid with vinegar to avoid insects beneficial to plants. This will attract yellowjackets which you can remove at night.

Homemade Bug Spray for Houseplants
Homemade Bug Spray for Houseplants

Final Thoughts

Taking care of houseplants can be quite hard. You may have a lot of chores to do around the house. Houseplants infested with bugs can be a nuisance. However, taking care of this early on can ensure long-lasting plants.

Make sure to judge your home’s occupants before making a homemade bug spray, as allergies can get worse with some of the ingredients mentioned above. Moreover, some elements may also be harmful to pets, so make sure you use ingredients that are pet friendly if you have tiny creatures at home.

It is best to exercise caution when introducing any ingredient to your home, as you don’t know how you or your plants will react to it. Chemicals are a much bigger gamble, so you are better off testing your luck with homemade bug sprays! Try to ensure the safety of your houseplants and yourself. The rest is up to you!

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