Pests, be gone.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
May 21, 2021
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It's a three-pronged approach to rid houseplants of bugs in my household. Here, the attack includes neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and hydrogen peroxide. Is it a bit overboard? Perhaps. But the last thing you want is the proliferation of bugs in your ever-growing houseplant collection.

That's why I consulted lifehacker to see what their advice was for dealing with this pesky situation. Their verdict? Neem oil is the way to go. First, a bit of background from writer Aisha Jordan: "Whiteflies are in the same family as cicadas and shield bugs, and love to make home underneath the leaves of your plants. Spider mites operate the same way and have red bodies and translucent legs. Mealybugs also enjoy the houseplant environment to nest, but mealybugs will also drink your plant dry straight from the roots."

lifehacker shares that the natural pesticide neem oil is an excellent antidote to rid your plants of these bugs as it prevents them from laying eggs and thus can eliminate the problem. "For whiteflies and mealybugs, mix one ounce of neem oil with a gallon of water and spritz your plants with the solution. Use diluted neem oil or the powdered version against spider mites. You can also trim the plant where you see evidence of pesky spider bugs," Jordan recommends. Instead of making the diluted mixture yourself, our vote is to buy a convenient spray like Bonide Neem Oil (BUY IT: $30.41; Amazon.com).

If you're dealing with gnats, bless you. But in all seriousness, to get rid of gnats for good, be sure to keep your home as clean as possible and wash your fruits and veggies as soon as possible after purchasing and then store in the fridge. Then, try fly paper, a wine trap, or an apple cider vinegar solution to keep your problem at bay. These handy ALLRoad yellow sticky traps ($5.99; Amazon.com) also do a great job at catching gnats and the like. Admittedly, the aesthetic appeal of having a bright yellow butterfly-shaped cutout in your houseplant or potted tree is minimal, but sometimes, it's whatever gets the job done.

Are you experienced with getting rid of bugs in and around your houseplants? What's your tried-and-true strategy?