Gardening expert shares how to kill and remove houseplant pests using alcohol

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A recent study from Floral Daily found that houseplant sales have surged with some people spending up to £500 on a single houseplant. With the summer months approaching, houseplant pests can increase as the air in our homes becomes more warm and dry. Common houseplant pests include mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, fungus gnats, aphids, scale and thrips.

Getting rid of indoor pests can be more difficult, especially if you keep all your plants in the same place.

Gardening experts from Essential Living have shared their expert tips on how yo can remove houseplant pests.

Using natural methods is best when it comes to pesticides as there are many household remedies that work just as well and will cost you less.

1. Isolate the houseplant

The first thing you need to do when you see pests on your houseplant is isolate it from all your other plants.

Pests can spread quickly so you will need to monitor all your other indoor plants for three to four weeks for signs of pests.

2. Deep clean the area

You will need to clean the surrounding area where the plant was situated.

The best way to do this is with hot soapy water but if you want to be extra cautious, you can use rubbing alcohol.

Just make sure not to touch your eyes when using it and wash your hands afterwards.

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3. Natural soaps and detergents

The infected plant will need to be washed with insecticidal soap or a mild liquid soap.

The soap will kill houseplants and any other bugs on contact.

But be careful what soap you decide to choose as some soaps with degreasers and detergents can be sensitive to plants.

To make sure you’re not damaging the plant, you can dab the soap onto the plant gently before washing it fully.

4. Use alcohol

Using alcohol on plants may sound odd but it’s actually incredibly effective when it comes to killing and removing pests.

The best way to do this is by dipping a cotton swab in alcohol and dabbing it onto the bugs.

Wash the pot and plant try with soapy water too as houseplant pests can hide under the rim of the pot or tray.

5. Long-term pest control

The above steps will ensure that your plants are free of pests, however, you will need to avoid anymore infestations.

To do this, you can treat the plant with neem oil which works as a long-term indoor pest control.

Other alternatives are horticultural oil or hot pepper wax concentrate which can protect plants for up to two weeks per spray.

6. Trap flying bugs

Flying bugs can be just as destructive so try using yellow sticky fly traps to capture and kill them.

This can stop them flying to nearby plants too.

Another tip from Essential Living, is to use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up and get them under control as quickly as possible.

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