Checking for pests

Most houseplant pests are extremely difficult to spot as they are so small, so look out for signs of leaf damage or if

Common pests

Sciarad flies/fungus gnats 

These don't usually cause too much damage to your plants they are just very irritating. You will know if you have them as you will see them flying around your plants, or in your face! They are attracted to moist soil so i would advise leaving the plants soil to dry out between waterings. I also put gravel or grit on top of my plants soil as i have read that this can prevent them getting into the soil to lay eggs. Cinnamon is another natural treatment i have seen used, this also prevents the top of your soil from getting mouldy. Sticky fly traps, though unsightly are a very popular choice to assist with dealing with gnat problems. 

Spider mites 

Spider mites damage will appear as small yellow or brown spots and they will leave fine webs across your plants. They can also cause yellowing leaves but if caught and treated early their will be no major damage to your plant. 


These are the worst pest i have had to deal with so far, I found them extremely difficult to deal with. They are tiny winged insects that feed on the sap of plants. Unfortunately if you find thrips on your plants the problem is likely to be quite extensive. The females also lay their eggs in leaves, making them difficult to get rid of. The damage they cayse look like white and black spots. They can also spread diseases from plant to plant. 


These are tiny white bugs, they usually look like white fuzzy lumps on the leaves and stems but can look brown and waxy. They suck the sap out of your plants which can cause leaf drop and deformed growth. If left untreated they will eventually kill your plant. 

Treatments will always depend on what pest you are dealing with. Natural pest control would always be the first recommendation to treat any infestation. 

Always quarantine any plants that have or you think may be infested to prevent the spread to other plants. 

Shower off your plants to try and physically remove as many bugs as possible. you can also use a cotton bud to remove any bugs. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton is one treatment I have read used on the removal of mealy bugs.

Diluted soap water can be used to spray or wipe down your plants.

Nematodes can be used for the specific pest you are dealing with. They come in a sachet which you mix with water and you water the affected plants. They are microscopic creatures which will eat the larvae in the soil. This is a very effective treatment.


Often these treatments made need to be repeated to ensure complete success.