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Indoor plants can breathe new life into a dull space in your home and are a good way of incorporating more color into a room.
However, if you’re new to owning plants and you’ve noticed a bug problem inside your home you might be wondering: Do indoor plants attract bugs?
In this article, I will walk you through some key information about whether indoor plants attract bugs, including which types of bugs and how to treat them.
Keep reading to find out more.
Do air plants attract bugs?
Yes, air plants can attract bugs, but they are quite resistant to many pests and diseases. However, there are few different types of pests that can attack air plants.
A few common bugs that eat air plants include but are not limited to:
- Chiggers – Chiggers are the most common on outdoor or wild air plants.
- Aphids – Aphids are one of the most common garden pests. They can be challenging to spot because they’re often barely visible, but they make light work of slowly eating a plant.
- Mealybugs – If your air plant is infested with mealybugs it will have a waxy cotton-like substance on its leaves, when in fact it’s a colony of bugs! They are common to warm, moist climates, and feed off the juices inside a plant’s leaves.
A guide on how to treat your air plants if they get bugs
- Move the infested air plant away from any unaffected plants.
- Submerge the air plant in water or rinse the plant well under running water. Most often, these two steps alone are enough to dislodge and eliminate unwanted pests.
- Use insecticide to kill the bugs. Keep repeating the treatment as re-infestation can happen if you’re not mindful.
Do rubber plants attract bugs?
Rubber plants are unfortunately susceptible to bugs. A variety of bugs flock to the rubber plant’s thick, meaty leaves to feed and can be tiresome to get rid of.
The bugs that affect rubber plants include but are not limited to:
- Fungus gnats – Fungus gnats are a fruit fly–sized insect pest that primarily affects indoor houseplants. Attracted to the moisture of potting soil, adult gnats lay their eggs near the soil surface.
- Mealybugs – Mealybugs resemble cotton and are sap-feeding insects that are common to a variety of houseplants.
- Spider mites – Spider mites are a type of arachnid, which are relatives of spiders. Spider mite damage may include a telltale spider web type webbing on the plant.
A guide on how to treat your rubber plants if they get bugs
- Separate the plant from the rest of your collection so the pests don’t spread.
- Hose down the plant’s leaves with water.
- Take neem oil, and spray it all over the plant’s leaves. Allow it to sit, and keep your rubber plant isolated from the rest of your plants.
- Repeat the second and third steps, washing and spraying your plant for a second time and leaving it for another three days.
- Repeat the process once more, for a total of three applications of neem oil. Wait for another day or so before you move your plant back to rejoin your other house plants to minimize the risk of the bugs getting to them.
Do spider plants attract bugs?
Spider plants are a very common house plant and are fairly resilient to bugs. That being said, although this plant does not do anything to specifically attract bugs, like most plants, it can be bothered by insect pests.
Spider plants may suffer from infestations from:
- Mites – Spider mites are plant-eating mites that look like tiny spiders. Mites are tiny, and their webbing is a defense mechanism against larger predators. They feed on plant tissue, which commonly turns the plant’s leaves yellow.
- Aphids – Sticky spider plant leaves may also be caused by aphids. Aphids may escape notice initially because they gather in the folded recesses of leaves.
- Whiteflies – Whiteflies are tiny white flying bugs in houseplants, and they are very common plant pests
- Mealybugs – If you see little white bugs on plants, but they don’t fly around, then you may have mealybugs instead of whiteflies.
A guide on how to treat your spider plants if they get bugs
- Move the infested plant away from your other healthy plants to prevent the infestation spreading.
- Rinse your plant thoroughly with a stream of water that’s forceful enough to dislodge the bugs but doesn’t damage plants is the first control measure
- Cover all parts of the plant with neem oil or an insecticide depending on the bug, paying special attention to the underside of the leaves and the center of the spider plant.
- Repeat the process if needed.
Spider plants are resilient and will likely recover from this infestation if you apply the proper care and attention.
Notes on treating bugs
While I have provided general instructions to get rid of bugs, it’s important to note that the method or product used to treat bugs will differ slightly depending on the type of infestation.
Every bug will have slightly different methods and may call for different products for treatment. However, lots of bug treatments will require similar steps.
Once you have identified the bug that is affecting your specific plant, you can choose the appropriate product to help you treat the issue.
If your plant has been affected by mites, you might want to use a miticide formulated for houseplants to eradicate them. Other options for different pests include homemade treatments, neem oil, or pesticides, but this will depend on the infestation.
Yes, indoor plants can attract bugs, and this can be worsened if you’re not consistently examining your plant’s leaves and overall health.
That being said, with the right care and attention you should be able to keep plant bugs at bay. While taking preventative measures is easier than treating a plant that already has bugs, there are ways in which you can treat an infested plant.
Once treated, make sure that you are being vigilant of future infestations to maintain your plant’s health.