It’s great to grow a variety of houseplants to decorate and enliven your home. Many of these can become long-time residents, growing to great heights and sizes. They can become impressive features in your home in and of themselves. However, keeping houseplants healthy can be challenging. Even if you get the watering, fertilizing, and light conditions correct, insects can often invade. Since they don’t have any natural predators indoors, indoor insects, such as whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale can proliferate in your home. Left unchecked, they can harm or even kill your plants.

924Of course, you don’t want to spray harmful chemicals in your home to control insect pests. Luckily there are some alternatives. Keeping plants healthy, cleaning up dead foliage, and discarding heavily infested plants are all ways to keep your houseplants safe. Biological controls and organic sprays can also help control pests without harming pets and people. Many of these are specific to the pest you have.

Organic sprays, such as Gnatrol (a form of bacteria), can be used to control fungus gnat flies in the soil of your houseplants. Simply drench the soil with this bacteria and it will kill the fly grubs in the soil. Horticultural oil can be used to coat and kill scale insects on the branches of figs, hibiscus, and other houseplants. Move your plants to a garage or even outdoors on a warm day to spray them without causing a mess in your home. Small mealybug infestations can be controlled with rubbing alcohol. Simply place the rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and dab the mealybugs to kill them. If you want a more sophisticated approach, you can release parasitic and predatory wasps in your home that won’t harm people or pets but will kill your insects. Whitefly parasite is a common biological control used against whiteflies in greenhouses, and it can be employed in homes, too. Predatory mites can be sprinkled on spider mite