9 Homemade Bug Sprays For Indoor Plants (2024)

9 Homemade Bug Sprays For Indoor Plants (2024)


Having indoor plants can bring life and beauty to your home, but they can also attract unwanted pests.

Homemade bug sprays offer a safe and effective alternative to commercial insecticides.

In this article, we will explore homemade bug spray recipes that you can easily make to protect your indoor plants from pests.

Common Indoor Plant Pests


These are small, soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from the leaves and stems of plants. They can cause yellowing, curling, wilting, and stunted growth of the plant. They can also transmit viral diseases to the plant. Aphids can be green, black, white, or pink in color and often cluster on the undersides of leaves or on new growth.


These are white, cottony insects that also suck the sap from the plant. They can cause similar symptoms as aphids and also secrete a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract ants and fungal growth. Mealybugs can be found on the stems, leaves, or roots of the plant.

Spider mites

These are tiny, spider-like creatures that feed on the chlorophyll of the plant cells. They can cause fine webbing on the leaves and stems of the plant and make the leaves look speckled, discolored, or dry. Spider mites thrive in dry and warm conditions and can multiply rapidly.

Scale insects

These are hard-shelled insects that attach themselves to the plant and feed on its sap. They can cause yellowing, wilting, and dropping of leaves and also secrete honeydew. Scale insects can be brown, gray, or black in color and look like bumps or scales on the plant.

Fungus gnats

These are small, black flies that lay their eggs in moist soil. The larvae feed on the roots and organic matter in the soil and can cause root rot and fungal diseases. The adults do not harm the plant directly but can be annoying and spread diseases.

How to prevent indoor plant pests:

  • Wash your plants with a gentle stream of water or wipe them with a damp cloth to dislodge any pests.
  • Prune any damaged or diseased parts of the plant and dispose of them properly.
  • Avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants as this can stress them and make them more susceptible to pests.
  • Provide adequate light, humidity, and ventilation for your plants as this can deter some pests and improve their health.
  • Quarantine any new plants you bring home for a few weeks before introducing them to your other plants.

Benefits of Homemade Bug Sprays

Homemade bug sprays offer several advantages over commercial insecticides.

They are generally less toxic and harmful to humans, pets, and the environment.

Additionally, homemade sprays can be cost-effective, as many ingredients can be found in your pantry or garden.

Safety Precautions

While homemade bug sprays are generally safer than chemical insecticides, it’s essential to take some precautions. Always test a small portion of your plant before applying the spray to the entire plant.

Avoid using homemade sprays on plants with sensitive foliage or flowers. It’s also crucial to label and store these sprays properly, out of reach of children and pets.

Homemade Bug Spray Recipes

Soap and Water Spray

Soap and water bug spray is a homemade insecticide that works by suffocating and dehydrating the bugs. It is easy to make and safe for your plants and pets. Here is how to make and use soap and water bug spray for indoor plants.


  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap
  • 1 quart of water
  • A spray bottle


  1. Mix the soap and water in a spray bottle and shake well.
  2. Spray the soil and the leaves of your indoor plants with the solution, making sure to cover all the surfaces where the bugs may be hiding.
  3. Repeat every few days until you see no more signs of fungus gnats.


  • Use a mild and biodegradable dish soap that does not contain bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals.
  • Do not spray your plants in direct sunlight or when they are stressed by heat or drought, as this may cause leaf burn.
  • Test the spray on a small area of your plant first to make sure it does not cause any adverse reaction.
  • You can also add a few drops of essential oil, such as peppermint, lavender, or rosemary, to the spray for extra bug-repelling power and a pleasant scent.

Neem Oil Spray

Neem oil helps to prevent fungal diseases, repel insects, and boosts growth.

To make neem oil bug spray, you will need:

  • A spray bottle
  • Water
  • Liquid soap
  • Neem oil

Use 1 teaspoon of neem oil per quart of water. You can also add a few drops of liquid soap to help the oil mix with the water. Shake well before using.

To use neem oil bug spray, follow these steps:

  1. Spray your plants thoroughly, covering both sides of the leaves and stems.
  2. Repeat every 7 to 10 days until you see no signs of bugs.
  3. Avoid spraying in direct sunlight or when the temperature is above 90°F, as this can damage your plants.
  4. Wash your hands after handling neem oil, as it can irritate your skin and eyes.

Garlic Spray

Garlic is a powerful plant ally that can repel and kill a variety of insects, such as aphids, mites, whiteflies, beetles, caterpillars, and more. It can also prevent fungal infections like powdery mildew and rust.

Garlic bug spray is easy to make and use. All you need is:

  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Water
  • Blender
  • Spray bottle

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Peel and chop one head of garlic and put it in a blender.
  2. Add two cups of water and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a glass jar and let it sit in a dark place for 24 hours.
  4. Strain the liquid and dilute it with six cups of water.
  5. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and shake well before using.

To apply the garlic bug spray, spray the leaves and stems of your indoor plants thoroughly, covering both sides of the leaves. Do this in the evening or on a cloudy day to avoid burning the plants. Repeat the application every few days or as needed until the pests are gone.

Essential Oil Spray

Essential oils can also help your indoor plants thrive by repelling pests, preventing diseases, and enhancing growth.

You will need:

  • A spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Witch hazel or vodka
  • Essential oils of your choice

The witch hazel or vodka is to act as a preservative and prevents mold or bacteria from growing in your spray.

You can choose any essential oils that you like, but some of the best ones for indoor plants are:

  • Lavender: This soothing oil can help your plants relax and cope with stress. It can also repel insects and fungi.
  • Peppermint: This refreshing oil can stimulate your plants and boost their growth. It can also deter pests like ants, spiders, and aphids.
  • Rosemary: This aromatic oil can enhance your plants’ flavor and aroma. It can also protect them from diseases and pests.
  • Tea tree: This powerful oil can fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can harm your plants. It can also improve their immunity and resilience.

To make your essential oil spray, follow these steps:

  1. Fill your spray bottle with distilled water until it is about three-quarters full.
  2. Add a teaspoon of witch hazel or vodka to the water and shake well.
  3. Add 10 to 15 drops of your chosen essential oils to the bottle and shake well again.
  4. Label your bottle with the name and date of your spray.
  5. Spray your indoor plants lightly once or twice a week, avoiding the flowers and buds.

Vinegar Spray

Vinegar spray can help you prevent and treat some common problems that affect indoor plants, such as fungal diseases, insect pests, and calcium deposits:

Making vinegar spray for indoor plants is very easy and inexpensive. All you need are:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

To make vinegar spray for indoor plants, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the spray bottle with water until it is about three-quarters full.
  2. Add white vinegar to the spray bottle until it is full. The ratio of water to vinegar should be about 3:1. You can adjust the ratio depending on how strong you want the spray to be. A stronger spray might be more effective against pests and diseases, but it might also damage some sensitive plants.
  3. Shake the spray bottle well to mix the water and vinegar.
  4. Label the spray bottle with a marker or a sticker so you don’t confuse it with other products.

How to Use Vinegar Spray for Indoor Plants?

Before using vinegar spray for indoor plants, you should test it on a small area of your plant to see how it reacts. Some plants might be sensitive to vinegar and might show signs of burning or wilting. If your plant does not show any adverse reaction after 24 hours, you can proceed with the following steps:

  • Spray your plant lightly with vinegar spray once a week or as needed. Avoid spraying too much or too often as this might cause leaf drop or discoloration.
  • Spray your plant from a distance of about 6 inches (15 cm) and cover all parts of the plant, including the top and bottom of the leaves and the stems. Avoid spraying the flowers or buds as this might damage them.
  • Wipe off any excess vinegar spray from your plant with a soft cloth or paper towel. This will prevent any residue from drying on your plant and causing stains or spots.

Chrysanthemum Flower Spray

Chrysanthemums are not only beautiful flowers, but they also have insecticidal properties that can repel and kill a variety of bugs, such as aphids, mites, caterpillars, and mosquitoes.

The active ingredient in chrysanthemum bug spray is pyrethrin, which is extracted from the dried flower heads of certain chrysanthemum species. Pyrethrin works by disrupting the nervous system of insects, causing them to die or flee. Unlike synthetic pesticides, pyrethrin is biodegradable and relatively safe for humans, pets, and beneficial insects.

To make your own chrysanthemum bug spray, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Dried chrysanthemum flowers (you can buy them online or at a health food store)
  • Water
  • A large pot
  • A strainer
  • A spray bottle

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Measure about 3/4 ounces of dried chrysanthemum flowers and place them in a large pot.
  2. Add about 1.5 gallons of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 3 hours, or until the water turns dark brown.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down completely.
  5. Strain the liquid and discard the flowers.
  6. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and label it as chrysanthemum bug spray.
  7. Store it in a cool and dark place.

To use your chrysanthemum bug spray, shake it well before each use, and spray it on your indoor plants, especially on the undersides of the leaves where pests tend to hide.

You can also spray it around your windows, doors, and other entry points to deter insects from entering your home.

Avoid spraying it on your eyes, skin, or mouth, as it may cause irritation. Also, keep it away from children and pets.

Your chrysanthemum bug spray should last for about two months before losing its effectiveness.

Citrus Peel Spray

Citrus peels contain compounds that repel insects such as aphids, whiteflies, ants, and slugs. They also add nutrients to the soil and give your plants a fresh scent.

To make citrus peel bug spray, you will need:

  • Peels from one or more citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruits)
  • Water
  • A pot
  • A strainer
  • A spray bottle

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Cut or grate the citrus peels into small pieces. You can use any combination of citrus fruits you like, depending on the scent you prefer.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the citrus peels. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the water turns yellowish.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down completely.
  4. Strain the liquid and discard the peels. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and label it.
  5. Spray your indoor plants with the citrus peel bug spray every 3-4 days, or whenever you notice pests on them. Avoid spraying during direct sunlight, as this may cause leaf burn.

Pepper Spray

Pepper bug spray makes the plants taste spicy and unpleasant to the bugs. The capsaicin in peppers, which gives them their heat, irritates the insects and makes them avoid the plants.

You can use any hot peppers you have, such as cayenne, jalapeño, or habanero, but the hotter the better.

To make your own pepper bug spray, you will need:

  • A blender or food processor
  • A strainer or cheesecloth
  • A spray bottle
  • Water
  • Hot peppers (about 10)
  • – Liquid soap (a few drops)

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Wash and chop the peppers and put them in the blender or food processor with a cup of water. Blend until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the seeds and pulp. You should have about a cup of pepper juice.
  3. Pour the pepper juice into a spray bottle and add three cups of water. Add a few drops of liquid soap and shake well. The soap helps the spray stick to the plants and also helps break down the waxy coating of some insects.
  4. Spray your indoor plants with the spray, covering all the leaves and stems. Avoid spraying the flowers, as it may affect their pollination.
  5. Repeat every few days or after watering or rain, as the spray will wash off over time.

Be careful when handling hot peppers, as they can burn your skin and eyes.

Eucalyptus Spray

Eucalyptus oil is a powerful insect repellent that can deter various types of bugs, such as mosquitoes, flies, aphids, and mites. Plus, it has a pleasant minty aroma that can freshen up your home.

To make your own eucalyptus bug spray for indoor plants, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap (without bleach, degreaser, synthetic dyes, or fragrances)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil
  • Water
  • A spray bottle

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Pour the vegetable oil, dish soap, and eucalyptus oil into the spray bottle.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with warm water and shake well to mix everything together.
  3. Spray the solution on your plants once a week until the bugs are gone. Make sure to cover all the leaves and stems, especially the undersides where bugs like to hide.
  4. Store the spray in a cool and dark place when not in use.

Some people may be allergic or sensitive to eucalyptus oil, so do a patch test on your skin before using it. If you notice any irritation or adverse reaction, stop using it immediately and consult a doctor.

Application Tips: When applying homemade bug sprays, it is vital to coat the leaves, stems, and undersides of the plant thoroughly. Repeat applications may be necessary


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