7 Worst and Common Houseplant Pests

Common Houseplant Pests
Photo by Erik Karits

You probably enjoy having houseplants in your home because they’re beautiful, but you may be dealing with some nasty houseplant pests if they’re not thriving the way you expect them to. The good news is that these houseplant pests are relatively easy to get rid of. 

They can even be prevented from returning to your plants by following some simple guidelines about indoor plant care.

In this article well, we’ll tell you about the seven worst and most common houseplant pests and what damage they can do to your plants. Also, how to eliminate them or prevent them from coming back.

Common Houseplant Pests

1. Mealybugs

Mealybugs are small, wingless insects covered in a white, powdery substance. They feed on the sap of plants, which can weaken and even kill the plant.

Mealybugs also produce a sticky substance called honeydew, which can attract other pests and promote the growth of sooty mold. 

Mealybugs are one of the most common houseplant pests and are pretty tricky to get rid of. The best way to remove them is to remove them from your plant physically.

You can do this using a cotton swab, or a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Gently dab the mealybugs with the cotton swab until they’re all gone. 

Next, pour rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel and use it to wipe down your plant’s leaves. Make sure you get into any crevices as well.

After that, leave the plant alone for at least 24 hours before returning to it again. Repeat these steps as needed if you still have mealybugs after that period.

2. Aphids

These tiny black insects suck juices from leaves and leave behind yellow-orange trails as they move around. They spread quickly and will soon turn leaves brown if not dealt with quickly. 

Pinching off infested leaves is one way to deal with aphids. If this does not work, spraying with a solution of mild dishwashing liquid mixed with water may do the trick—make sure not to damage nearby foliage when spraying!

Other aphids include apple and cherry orchard, rosemary, plum trees, cucumbers, cottonwood trees, privet hedges, and grape vines.

3. Spider mites

Tiny spider mites feed on houseplants by sucking out their juices. Spider mites are common houseplant pests that often come into homes through cracks in doors or windows where people have planted houseplants outdoors during winter months but then brought them indoors once the weather turns warmer. 

There are two ways to treat spider mite infestations. One is to manually remove the pests by wiping them off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol; another is to spray your plant liberally with the pesticide neem oil.

4. Scale insects

Scale insects are one of the most common houseplant pests and are pretty hard to get rid of. They suck the sap out of your plants, weakening and even killing them.

Plus, they produce a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract other pests, like ants. Suppose you see any scale insects on your plants.

It’s best to remove them by hand. You can also try spraying them with an insecticide but follow the directions carefully.

5. Mites

Mites are tiny spider-like creatures that thrive in dry, dusty conditions. They attack indoor and outdoor plants and can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. Mites are difficult to control because they reproduce so quickly. 

Also, they can wreak havoc on your houseplants. These common houseplant pests are difficult to see with the naked eye, but you may notice stippling or discoloration on your plant’s leaves.

Mites thrive in dry, dusty conditions, so keeping your plants clean and free of debris is the best way to prevent an infestation.

If you find mites on your plants, you can do a few things to get rid of them. First, try blasting them off with a strong stream of water from the hose.

You can also try mixing water, dish soap, or neem oil. Be sure to spray the undersides of the leaves where mites like to hide.

6. Whitefly

Whiteflies are tiny white insects that congregate on the undersides of leaves. They feed by sucking sap from plants, which can weaken and even kill them.

Whiteflies also produce honeydew, a sticky substance that can attract other pests and promote the growth of sooty mold. 

Start removing any infested plants from your home to get rid of whiteflies. Then, treat the remaining plants with an insecticide or a natural remedy like neem oil.

You can also introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs into your home, which will help control the whitefly population.

7. Thrips

Thrips are tiny, winged insects that are attracted to light-colored flowers. They’reThey’re common houseplant pests commonly found in greenhouses and gardens, but they can also infest your houseplants.

Thrips damage plants by puncturing their leaves and sucking out the sap. This can cause the leaves to turn brown and curl up. 

Therefore, spray your plants with water to knock them off to get rid of thrips. Then, apply an insecticide that’s labeled explicitly for thrips. You may need to repeat this process several times to eliminate all the thrips.

8. Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are common houseplant pests that are small, dark-colored flies. They are often found near potted plants.

They’re attracted to moist soil, so they tend to lay their eggs in damp conditions. The larvae feed on fungi and organic matter in the ground, damaging your plants. 

To get rid of fungus gnats, you’ll need to dry out the soil and remove any larvae or eggs. You can also use traps or insecticides to kill them.

9. Root-knot nematodes

Root-knot nematodes are tiny, soil-dwelling pests that can wreak havoc on your houseplants. These common houseplant pests attack the roots of plants, causing them to become deformed and stunted. They can also spread disease from plant to plant. 

If you suspect your plant has root-knot nematodes, you should remove it from the soil and dispose of it immediately.

Keep your soil healthy and debris-free to prevent these pests from attacking your plants. It would help if you also avoided over-watering your plants, making them more susceptible to attack.


If you’re, you’re a plant parent. Chances are you’ve dealt with your fair share of common houseplant pests. From aphids and whiteflies to mealybugs and scale, these little critters can do a lot of damage to your plants. However, it’s not always easy to identify the right pest or how to best deal with them.

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