Do Indoor Plants Attract Bugs? How to Prevent Houseplant Bugs

Indoor plants are a beautiful addition to any home. They add a pop of color and greenery. You may have heard that if you keep houseplants around, they will attract pests. But is this true? Do indoor plants attract bugs?

The answer is yes—and no because it depends on the plant you're talking about. Some plants seem to draw more insects than others, but a few things can make your houseplants less attractive to insects.

The main reason insects are attracted to your house is that you provide the perfect environment for them. The light humidity, lack of air circulation, and warmth of your home provide the food and shelter insects need to survive.

Common insect pests found in houseplants and how you can reduce their numbers to protect your plants. This article will discuss what indoor plants attract bugs and how to prevent bugs?

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Let's Get started.

Reasons Why Bugs Attracted to Plants 

Reasons Why Bugs Attracted to Plants

Plants are beautiful, but they can also be a haven for insects. So, do indoor plants attract bugs? The answer is that plants attract bugs, but not all of them! Some plants are better than others at repelling pests, too.

Let's take a look at some of the reasons why insects are attracted to houseplants.

Here are some of the most common:

  • Bugs are attracted to plants because they offer shelter. Plants can provide a place for bugs to hide from predators and other threats, making them an ideal place to live.
  • Bugs are attracted to plants because they're easy food sources. Many bugs eat plants as part of their diet, so they'll naturally be drawn to them.
  • Bugs are attracted to plants because they contain nectar or pollen that is nutritious and delicious! Some bugs use these natural foods to attract mates, while others like the taste.

How to Prevent Bugs From Being Attracted to Your Indoor Plants?

How to Prevent Bugs

A collection of house plants can make your home prettier and more livable. Are you wondering if indoor plants attract bugs? 

The short answer is: yes. But that doesn't mean you need to be worried about it. Plants are like people—they need food, water, and light to grow.

And bugs are attracted to those same things, which means that insects visit your plants from time to time. However, there are some things you can do to prevent bugs from being attracted to your indoor plants.

First, let's take a look at what attracts insects to houseplants in the first place:

1. Moisture

Houseplants need water, meaning there will be moisture on them all the time. This is a problem for insects like aphids and mealybugs, who can't survive without it.

If you have an infestation of these pests, try using a spray bottle with water or a homemade insecticidal soap solution to kill them off.

2. Light

Houseplants love sunlight and usually grow best with plenty of it. Unfortunately, this makes them a perfect snack for beetles and moths looking for somewhere warm to lay their eggs.

If this happens in your home, try putting your plant under a lampshade or placing it in a darker corner where there's less light exposure.

3. Food

Plants need nutrients just like people do! This is why they're always hungry for fertilizer; however, insects will flock if there are too many nutrients around (like fertilizer) because they think something tasty is waiting inside.

What types of bugs are attracted to indoor plants?

What types of bugs are attracted to indoor plants

Bringing nature into your home with indoor plants is a wonderful way to make your home feel more like home. They help clean the air and make the space more welcoming and relaxing, but many people worry about whether or not their plants will attract pests.

The truth is that indoor plants attract bugs—but not necessarily the kinds of bugs you're thinking of. Some types of indoor plants repel insects.

Some common Bugs in Indoor Plants:

Let's look at some common insects that might appear around your houseplants and how they differ from other pests.

Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are just like fruit flies but smaller. The head and body of fungus gnats are dark brown or black. Their legs are a light brown color.

Fungus gnats will likely lay their eggs near the top of the soil of your indoor garden when they reach it. It is estimated that fungus gnats lay 200 eggs at a time, meaning you will likely have an infestation by the time the eggs hatch. Three days are necessary for this process.

How to Treat Fungus Gnats For House Plants

Larvae will dig into your soil and eat everything that's decaying. Afterward, when the larvae are large and strong, they emerge within two weeks as adult fungus gnats, thereby completing this vicious cycle. 

How to Treat Fungus Gnats For House Plants:

Allow the top 1–2cm (1/2–3/4in) of compost to dry out before watering – this suits most plants anyway. A yellow sticky trap will attract the insects away from your plant. Cover the surface of the compost with a mulch of fine gravel or
pebbles to prevent the gnats laying their eggs.

Thrips

There are a small number of tiny insects with fringed wings (rarely greater than 1/16 inch in length) known as Thrips. This species also consumes sap from indoor plants.

Plant injury symptoms appear as splotchy patches on leaves, which turn pale over time, become silvery in color, and eventually die. However, the plant viruses spread by thrips when they feed are much more harmful than tissue damage.

How to Treat Thrips For Indoor Plants:

 

Sticky traps – especially blue ones – can reduce their numbers and can help you monitor the problem. Spray your plant with insecticide or try a biological control.

Aphids

Now let's talk about aphids. Aphids are another insect that loves sap. Aphids are sometimes called blackflies or greenflies, but it's all the same. Aphids can appear in many colors and shades, so they're not always black or green.

Your houseplant's liquids also attract aphids, often those that contain the nutrients your plant needs to survive. It's possible that your houseplant can become damaged and weak if too many aphids gather.

How to Treat Aphids for Houseplants:

How to Treat Aphids for Houseplants

Rub them off by hand, dislodge with a spray of water, or spray with insecticide. Hanging a yellow sticky trap nearby can help.

Mealybugs

A mealybug has a pink, soft-bodied body usually covered in a white, cottony substance. White, cottony coatings protect them from drying out due to low humidity or excessive heat; however, they can be easily detected on houseplants due to their white appearance.

The mealybug usually lives in groups rather than individually and prefers protected areas of plants, such as where the leaves attach to the stems.

How to Treat Mealybugs for Indoor Plants

A Mealybug infestation can result in stunted or deformed leaf growth, especially on fresh leaves caused by the damage caused by their feeding on the foliage. Besides producing honeydew, mealybugs can cause a sooty mold to develop on your plant.

How to Treat Mealybugs for Indoor Plants:

Wipe off the insects with a damp cloth or cotton bud soaked with
insecticide. Alternatively, spray the whole plant with insecticide once a week. You could try a biological control. Mealybugs are hard to eradicate and it is often
simpler to throw away severely infested plants.

Spider Mites

Another bug quite prevalent in indoor gardens is the spider mite, which consists of 1,200 species. This spider mite isn't exactly something you'd want to see, as it's red with translucent/white legs and has many legs.

How to Treat Spider Mites

The spider mite will settle underneath the plant's leaves when choosing your houseplant as its home. The spider mite will weave fine silken webs beneath the plant's leaves. As well as eating your plant, the spider mite will create holes to get deep into the cells.

How to Treat Spider Mites:

Spray with an insecticide or use a biological control. Red spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions so mist your plants daily to raise humidity if the atmosphere is hot and dry. Be vigilant – use a magnifying glass to look for the mites on the underside of leaves.

Whiteflies

Often mistaken for tiny white moths or mealybugs, whiteflies are closely related to scale and aphids. The insects are almost translucent in color and have a powdery white wax covering.



How to Treat Whiteflies for House Plants

When disturbed, they flee and are difficult to treat. They both exude honeydew and sucking sap. Leaf drop, yellowing, and stunting are signs of infestation.

How to Treat Whiteflies for House Plants:

Take your plant outside and dislodge the insects with a spray of water; you could
also dunk the whole plant in a bowl of tepid water. A sticky trap hung near the plant will trap large numbers of insects.

What Indoor Plants Attract Bugs?

What Indoor Plants Attract Bugs

Bugs are attracted to various things, but one of the most common is plants. Because some plants need more water than others and thrive in high humidity, they are more prone to pests. 

Some plants can attract pests with their scent—like citronella or lemon grass—so while they're great for keeping mosquitoes away, they also attract other bugs, which will be drawn in by their scent. 

Here's a list of some common plants that attract bugs:

  • Alocasia Stingray
  • Calatheas
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Milkweed
  • Riddell's Goldenrod
  • Yellow Giant Hyssop
  • Cup Plant
  • Marigold
  • Ferns
  • Hoya Compacta
  • Peace Lily

What Indoor Plants Do Not Attract Bugs?

What Indoor Plants Do Not Attract Bugs

Some people are wary of having potted plants in their homes because they don't want to attract pests. So, What Indoor Plants Do Not Attract Bugs? There are many types of indoor plants that do not attract bugs. Some indoor plants do attract insects, while others don't.

These are a few examples of those that don't attract Pests.

  • Sansevieria
  • Aglaonema
  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Cast Iron Plant
  • Grape Ivy
  • Coleus
  • Dracaena
  • Aspidistra Elatior
  • Cissus
  • Coleus Blumei

Final Words

The short answer is that some plants do attract bugs. It isn't true for all plants, but certain groups of plants are more prone to attract insects than others.

After reading this article, we hope you will identify what indoor plants attract bugs and What Indoor Plants Do Not Attract Bugs? You don't have to worry about pests if you treat your plants properly and choose plants that thrive in your indoor environment. There is no denying that certain plants draw in certain bugs more than others.

FAQs

How do you keep away bugs out of house plants?

Keep your eyes open to get rid of pests on your houseplants. The indoor plants have insects, eggs, and nymphs that can be killed if just one treatment is applied.

Why are there bugs in my indoor plant?

Bugs are attracted to plants for various reasons, including the fact that they need water and nutrients to survive.

Do indoor plants attract cockroaches?

No, indoor plants do not attract cockroaches. Cockroaches are attracted to the food we leave out and the water we leave in our homes, not plants.


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