What Bugs Live In Indoor Plants? (Expert ADVICE)

Gain valuable knowledge about the tiny inhabitants of your indoor garden with our expert advice on what bugs live in indoor plants. Knowing the types of pests that can infest your houseplants will help you maintain a healthy, thriving indoor garden.

If you’re already dealing with unwanted critters, our post on how to debug a houseplant provides effective solutions.

For those battling flies around their plants, check out our guide on how to get rid of flies from indoor plants. Dive in and learn how to identify, prevent, and address common plant pests to keep your indoor garden flourishing.

Indoor plants can harbor a variety of bugs, including spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.
Identifying the specific pest is key to treating the problem effectively.
Preventing pests from infesting your plants in the first place is the best strategy.
Natural methods, such as insecticidal soap or introducing natural predators, can be effective in getting rid of pests.
Chemical pesticides should only be used as a last resort and with caution.


Aphids can be found on a wide variety of indoor plants, including succulents and cacti. They look like tiny green or brown insects and are generally about 0.1 inches long. 

Aphids do not bite humans or pets, but they can transmit diseases from one plant to another in the same room (or even from one house to another).

When you see an aphid infestation, there’s no need to panic! You can easily get rid of them by spraying your plant with water every day for a couple weeks until all the ants are gone. 

If this doesn’t work for whatever reason (you have too many or your plant is too big), try using soap instead of water; it’s usually more effective than using just water alone when dealing with these pesky bugs.

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Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny arachnids that live on the surface of plants. They are hard to see without a microscope, but their microscopic bites can cause leaf yellowing, stunting and even death in some plants. Spider mites are most commonly found on indoor plants in the fall and winter.

If you have an indoor plant that seems to be infested with spider mites, try this easy trick: place your hand over the top of its leaves so they’re completely covered by your fingers (but keep them still enough so they don’t get squashed). 

Then gently tap them against your other palm three times—you’ll probably hear many tiny bugs falling onto it! 

Once you’ve collected all those pesky little critters in one place (they’ll be stuck between your fingers), wash off any extra dirt or debris with water from a spray bottle before crushing them underfoot or dropping them into soapy water for disposal.


Mealybugs are small, white insects that can be found on the underside of a leaf or inside the stem. They feed by sucking the sap out of plants, which can lead to yellowing leaves and stunted growth. 

The best way to get rid of them is to carefully remove any larvae you see with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol—mealybugs are very weak fliers, so they won’t be able to make it far from their host plant once they’ve been disturbed.

To prevent mealybugs from multiplying and spreading across your indoor garden, avoid placing plants near those infected with mealybugs; if you do have an infestation on one plant, isolate it immediately! 

Also keep humidity levels low indoors—this will discourage these pests from taking up residence in your houseplants.

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Scale insects are tiny, soft-bodied insects that suck sap from plants. They are commonly found on citrus trees, palms, ferns and cacti. Scale insects can be identified by small, brown or black bumps on the plant’s leaves. 

These bumps may also appear on stems and roots of indoor plants. As they feed off of the plant’s tissue, they cause leaves to curl and sometimes fall off prematurely. 

In severe cases of infestation, you may notice a sticky coating on your indoor plants’ leaves that can be hard to remove with water alone; in this case it is recommended that you use insecticidal soap sprays as well as cleanliness measures such as removing dead foliage from your indoor plants whenever possible to keep scales at bay!

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are a type of fly that is attracted to the sweet sap that flows from the stems and leaves of plants. 

They can cause damage to your plant by eating the roots and stems of the plant. They can also carry plant diseases.

If you see little black insects flying around your indoor plants, it’s likely that they’re fungus gnats. These tiny pests have been known to ruin entire gardens in a very short time span, so it’s important for you to take action if you think these little critters might be hanging out near your houseplants!


It’s easy to spot whiteflies when you’ve got a lot of them, but it can be difficult to spot them when only one or two are flying around. 

They’re tiny, about 1/8-inch long and have clear wings. Whiteflies don’t bite or sting humans, but they do suck sap from plants and cause damage by doing so.

Whiteflies are attracted to warm, dry weather outdoors and indoors during the summer months (they’re active year-round). 

If you notice large numbers of whiteflies on your indoor plants, the best thing to do is inspect your plant for signs of damage caused by whitefly feeding: leaf stippling (tiny yellow specks or patches), wilting leaves and yellowing between veins on new growth. 

If these symptoms seem consistent throughout multiple plants in your home—or if only one plant has been affected—you probably have an infestation of some sort!

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Thrips are tiny insects that measure about 1/20 inch long. They’re not just a nuisance in your indoor plants, though; they can also cause damage to crops like tomatoes, peppers and strawberries by feeding on their leaves. 

Thrips can be white or yellowish-brown and have an elongated shape with no wings.

Thrips feed by using the serrated mouthparts to pierce plant tissue and suck out the sap. They typically feed on foliage but may also attack flowers, stems and roots of host plants depending on their location within the garden or indoor environment.

Thrips spread through movement from infested areas to healthy ones as well as mating flights when females need pollen from males to lay eggs


Leafminers feed on the tissue of leaves and leave behind characteristic mines. These are not serious, but can be confused with other plant diseases. Leafminer damage is most common in the spring and fall, when adult flies emerge from overwintering sites to lay their eggs on new leaves.

Adult leafminers resemble wasps or bees, but are actually flies that look for pollen as well as nectar sources to survive over winter. 

They lay eggs on young leaves where they hatch into larvae that burrow into the leaf tissue and begin feeding – leaving behind a mine like those shown here. 

When these larvae mature they leave tiny black dots in place of their mines which will drop off once they’ve pupated beneath the soil surface where they’ll complete their life cycle before emerging as adult flies again next summer (or fall).

Vine Weevil Beetles

You may not be familiar with the vine weevil beetle, but this small brown insect can wreak havoc on your indoor plants. 

It’s important to know how to identify and get rid of vine weevil beetles, so you can keep your indoor garden healthy and thriving!

Vine weevil beetles are brownish-black beetles that have long antennae and feed on the roots of plants like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. They will also often attack cacti or succulent plants like aloe vera. 

They’re primarily found in places where there is sandy or loamy soil that doesn’t drain well—so they’ll often come into homes through cracks in walls or pipes where they were able to find shelter from pesticides used outdoors. 

Once inside your home, these insects will make their way up through your houseplants’ roots where they lay their eggs before dying themselves shortly afterward. 

The young larvae feed off the plant’s root system until they reach adulthood; then they mate with other females before laying more eggs underground once again.

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Caterpillars And Worm-Like Larvae Of Moths And Butterflies

Caterpillars, which are the larvae of moths and butterflies, live in plants. Caterpillars are tough little bugs and can eat your plants from the inside out! 

If you see any of these green or brown hairy bugs on your indoor plants, there’s a good chance they’re caterpillars.

Slugs And Snails

Slug and snail damage can be devastating for your plants. If you notice that your leaves are being eaten, it could be an indication that slugs or snails have taken up residence in your home. 

To get rid of these pests, use a product like Sluggo or Ortho Home Defense MAX: Organic Slug & Snail Killer (which also works on other pests). 

You can also try an old-fashioned homemade remedy of beer and cornmeal together in a jar with holes poked into the lid. 

The mixture will attract any slugs and snails nearby, who will crawl into the jar to get at it—and then they’ll drown when they try to crawl out again!

If you’re looking for ways to prevent them from entering your house, keep all doors closed when not using them and seal off any cracks where they could get inside through windowsills and doorways with silicone caulk or steel wool insulation tape. 

Keep plants away from the floor so no one bumps into them when entering a room; this will prevent little critters from hiding underneath them overnight or during quiet times when nobody is home (such as during work hours).


Ants are one of the most common indoor pests. They are attracted to sweet things and they also eat other foods, like protein. Ants can damage your plants because they don’t have much control over their own population. 

Ants can be found in kitchens and bathrooms because those are places where food is prepared. They also live in bedrooms because we leave crumbs on our pillows and bedding every day which attracts them to our sleeping spaces!

“If your indoor plants are struggling, don’t give up on them just yet. Our expert tips on how to save your indoor plants can help you identify the problem and take the necessary steps to nurse your plants back to health.”


Mosquitoes are the most common indoor plant pest. They can be found in water bowls, and they lay eggs in these areas as well. 

Mosquitoes are attracted to light, so if you have a window near your plants that gets sunlight during the day and you see mosquitoes there often, it might be worth thinking about moving those plants away from that window or covering it up with blinds or shades.

Mosquito bites can cause itching and swelling for people who are allergic to them—but also more serious health issues including malaria (a disease carried by mosquitoes) and West Nile virus. 

These diseases are transmitted through mosquito bites so if you don’t want to risk getting sick while tending to your indoor plants this summer season make sure they’re not near any windows where mosquitoes could sneak inside!


I hope this article has helped you learn about some of the bugs that can be found in your indoor plants and what to do if you see one. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Further reading

If you want to learn more about houseplant pests and how to deal with them, check out these helpful resources:

Types of houseplant bugs: This article provides detailed information on the most common types of houseplant pests and how to identify and treat them.

Get Busy Gardening – Types of Houseplant Bugs: This article explains the different types of houseplant bugs, their signs, and provides natural ways to get rid of them.

Common Houseplant Pests: This comprehensive guide by Better Homes & Gardens covers common houseplant pests and how to prevent and treat them.


What are some common houseplant pests?

Some common houseplant pests include spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, thrips, and fungus gnats.

How do I identify houseplant pests?

Houseplant pests can be identified by the damage they cause to the plant, such as discoloration, spots, or webbing. You can also look for the pests themselves, such as tiny bugs on the leaves or soil.

How can I prevent houseplant pests?

Some ways to prevent houseplant pests include inspecting new plants before bringing them indoors, keeping the plant clean and free from debris, and avoiding overwatering.

What are some natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests?

Some natural ways to get rid of houseplant pests include using insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a mixture of water and dish soap. You can also introduce natural predators, such as ladybugs or predatory mites.

When should I use chemical pesticides for houseplant pests?

Chemical pesticides should be used as a last resort, after all natural methods have been exhausted. If you do use a chemical pesticide, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and keep the plant away from children and pets.