Insect Control on Houseplants

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This article will teach you how to control insects on houseplants.
by Brett · All Zones · Insects · 0 Comments · June 28, 2010 · 6,510 views

We are limited when it comes to solving insect problems on house plants growing inside the home. Unless you like breathing fumes from chemical pesticides all night, during your sleep, there's only a few other solutions. You can pick the insects off by hand, use houseplant sprays containing insecticidal soaps, or you can use homemade remedies.

HOMEMADE REMEDIES

Soft-bodied Insects (mites, aphids, mealybugs): Mix one tablespoon canola oil and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Shake well and pour into a spray bottle. Spray plant from above down, and from below up to get the underside of the leaves. The oil smothers the insects.

Mites & Other Insects: Mix two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper with a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Let stand overnight, then stir and pour into a spray bottle and apply as above. Shake container frequently during application.

Insects and Fungal Diseases: Combine one tablespoon of cooking oil, two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and apply as above.

Potato Starch Spray: Mix two to four tablespoons of potato flour in one quart of water. Add two to three drops of non-detergent liquid soap. This will also protect the plants from insect that feed on liquid, also called sucking insects, in the plants.

Rodale's All-purpose Spray: Chop and grind one garlic bulb and one small onion. Add one teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper and mix with one quart of water. Let steep for one hour and strain through cheesecloth. Next add one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap to the strained liquid. Mix well and spray plants thoroughly. This kills the sucking insects.

Garlic Spray: Blend 1/4-pound of strong garlic for five to 10 minutes with a quart of water and one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and collect the liquid. Next dilute the solution with one part per 10 parts water before spraying. This solution will last about one month if refrigerated. It will repel ants, mole crickets and sucking insects.

Hot Dust: Not sure if you really want to spray this one inside the home? Grind dried homegrown red or chili peppers or dill weed (including seeds) to dust. Sprinkle along seeded rows of vegetables to repel ants. Store-bought black pepper, chili pepper, dill, ginger, paprika and red pepper all contain capsaicin, which repels ants.Note: when using red peppers or chili peppers take care not to get the dust in your eyes or on your hands!

Lemon Dish Soap (Not sure if this is a totally "natural" solution, however, this homemade remedy was given to me by L. Babb of McDonough, Georgia. She says she has successfully used this product for this purpose for at least 10-15 years. Here are her instructions:

The product is AJAX LEMON DISH LIQUID SOAP. It comes in ANTIBACTERIAL also, but I do not use that one. I only use LEMON. I mix the soap and water in a 1-1.5 gal bug sprayer bottle that comes with a wand attached (The smaller ones are easier to handle). I mix the soap mixture with a strength that is orange to amber in color. Amber is stronger which you need if you intend to spray outdoor insects such as yellow jackets, wasps and ant beds. Mix roughly 17 ounces of soap to a gal of water to have a solution strong enough to kill fire ants, wasps, hornets, spiders, red bugs. These are the insects I have used the mixture on with good success. Be sure you can protect yourself with some type of cover or keep your distance so you are not exposed to a attack from the stinging or biting insects. I have poured the mixture directly into ant mounts. The mixture penetrates deep into the mound.




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