Thriving Botanicals Pest Tips 

It is no secret that keeping house plants is something that takes time and dedication.

You have to pay attention to the water, what nutrients your plant needs, as well as taking care of any “pests” that might hurt your plants. When I first got into plants I started noticing these tiny little black flies that were everywhere. One day it was a couple, the next it was a few, and soon I was swatting them left and right, they were everywhere. When doing research I found that they were fungus gnats and they are not harmful to your plants but boy are they annoying! I saw that almost every website had a different remedy for how to take care of them, and some of the lists were huge and expensive! I considered if I should even get into plants if taking care of them would be this much work. Thankfully, I tried two simple steps and it cleared the gnats up right away! In this blog post, I will give simple and helpful tips that myself and Joanne, our founder and owner, have used for our plants and the plants of our customers to get rid of some of the most common pests we encounter. 

Fungus Gnats: 

As said above, these little guys are not harmful to your plants but they just are annoying flying around everywhere. They thrive off of damp soil, but this can be used to your benefit! The larva and eggs of the fungus gnats live in the damp soil near the top of the pot. Knowing this, you have a few options. Number one, and one of the steps that I highly recommend, putting neem oil into your water when watering your plants. This is a safe and easy way to kill all of the eggs and larvae that are at the top of your plants. Neem oil is found at almost every plant store and even the big box stores! Neem oil is all natural so you do not have to worry about using any harmful chemicals on your plants, this can even be used on vegetables and herbs! This will get rid of the babies, but what about the adults? Yellow sticky traps! These come in a variety of different looks, but they all work the same. The gnats are attracted to the yellow color and will get trapped. Put the sticky traps on plants where you see the most gnats and soon you will not have a problem anymore! Another tip is to let the soil of your plant dry out more between waterings because the gnats need the damp soil, and letting the top solid dry out will stop the gnats from laying eggs. 

Spider Mites: 

I didn’t run into these until about a year after I got into plants. I started noticing small yellow spots in my plant’s leaves, it first started in one spot and quickly spread to the rest of the leaf and soon more and more leaves were getting these little yellow spots on them. When I looked at the leaves closer I saw webs and tinny white spots. Unlike fungus gnats, these do hurt your plants. They suck out the sap of our plant and eventually will kill the plant if you do not take care of them in time. These are slightly harder to deal with than the gnats, but not impossible! Once again I do recommend, and used, neem oil for these little pests. You have to make sure you get every inch of the plant though. Spray the neem oil on a rag and use it to wipe off every leaf and stem of the plant. It is time-consuming, but this will help if done correctly. A tip from Joanne is to use leaf shine, this will stick to the mites and kill them. Once again, with this, you will have to be sure to get every nook and cranny of the plant so that there is nowhere the mites can hide and survive. 

Mealy Bugs: 

The last of the three common pests that we will cover, is mealy bugs. These guys are the hardest of the three, but once again not impossible to get rid of. You will need to take extra care and time for these pests, but when done correctly it is possible. These, like the mites, suck the sap from your plant. If left untreated they will eventually take over and kill your plant in the process. Prevention and early detection are key to beating these. Whereas we recommended using neem oil for the last time, we once again suggest using it for mealy bugs. They are amazing at hiding, so instead of using just a rag, use a q-tip and make sure you get every inch of the plant. They love cacti, succulents, hoyas, and other waxy-like plants. Where a rag will not reach every spot, a q-tip will. When I got these on one of my cacti, it was a pain! They go by the thorns and hide, so learn from my mistakes and make sure you cover the plant with neem oil! 

One of the best ways to prevent all of these pests is prevention. Wiping down your plants with a mixture of neem oil and water, or even spraying them with leaf shine will help keep the plants clean and healthy. Getting pests doesn’t mean that you are a bad plant parent, everyone will get some pest at some point when they have plants. It is okay. Prevention and early detection will be your best friends, and once you see a pest do not panic! Use the tips we recommend or DM us for more personalized recommendations! We are always happy to help in whatever way we can. 


I am the Brand Manager here at Thriving Botanicals. I got into house plants back in 2020, and have never looked back. I love helping people understand their plants better, so please reach out if you have any questions or just want some advice about what is going on.


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