Do Seedlings and Indoor Vegetation Entice Bugs? – Tiny Backyard Behavior

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Indoor vegetation do appeal to bugs, however these bugs are hardly ever dangerous to people, and comparatively unintrusive to vegetation. Whether or not you’re rising seedlings indoors, on a windowsill, or below warmth lamps, they are going to at all times be an area the place bugs congregate. 

These bugs may be aphids, thrips, whitefly, spider mites, spiders, slugs, or the rest. If it may get in, it can discover your vegetation. On this article, we’re going to share some suggestions for decreasing bugs on indoor vegetation, and doubtlessly cease them altogether.

Do indoor vegetation appeal to bugs?

Indoor vegetation appeal to bugs. There’s no light option to phrase it. Any insect, pest, bug, no matter you would possibly name it, sitting in wait in your house is successfully ravenous, ready for any meals supply it may discover. So, as quickly as you introduce vegetation to your property, it stops being an arid, lifeless area and makes it potential for bugs to outlive.

Nonetheless, indoor vegetation in good situation are hardly ever overcome by pests, and can generally fully keep away from them altogether, however that is normally right down to luck moderately than planning.

Are you able to stop bugs on indoor vegetation?

Fortunately, you may actively discourage, and cut back bugs in your indoor vegetation, so you may breathe that sigh of reduction now. 

With natural sprays, intelligent companion planting, netting, and some DIY hacks, these bugs will likely be a factor of the previous.

The most typical indoor plant pests

Indoor pests are a lot the identical as outside pests, however the smaller ones are a lot simpler to identify inside and up shut. So these irritating spider mites that always go unnoticed on mature backyard vegetation could be a massive downside, notably for younger tomato and pepper seedlings, that are powerful sufficient to develop at the very best of occasions.


Aphids are sufficiently small to get in wherever. Grownup females can fly in by way of a window, and larvae can reside in your compost by way of winter, and hatch when the soil warms up. For seedlings in propagators, that’s typically all it takes for a brand new infestation, so hold a continuing eye out for younger pupating bugs crawling out of the soil onto tiny seedlings.


Whitefly are even smaller than aphids and are drawn to brassicas particularly. If you happen to’ve grown younger brassica seedlings indoors over winter, it’s a good suggestion to take them exterior as early as potential in spring. Most brassicas are frost-hardy, so will desire to be outdoor anyway.

As soon as whitefly are in the home, they are often very arduous to eliminate with out utilizing pesticides.


Thrips are extra widespread on mature vegetation, so could be a downside for houseplants. I’ve heard tales of gardeners having thrip infestations on indoor seedlings, however have by no means discovered it to be an issue myself. If you happen to do discover the small inexperienced bugs, or the black adults on seedlings, attempt to rinse them off each few days to scale back the issue. Utilizing insecticide or rubbing alcohol is just too potent for vegetable seedlings, so ought to be averted till your vegetation are at the least 3-4” tall.

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Mealybug & Scale

Mealybug and scale are a aspect impact of getting houseplants. They received’t select vegetable seedlings over different kinds of indoor vegetation, however can generally find yourself there by mistake. If you happen to’ve received a robust abdomen, one of the best ways to eliminate mealybug and scale is to squish them, one after the other. 

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are tiny black bugs, lower than 1/8”. They transfer shortly and trigger probably the most harm whereas consuming roots, notably of younger seedlings. Their eggs reside in soil and compost by way of winter, so cleansing seed compost is crucial, in addition to disinfecting any pots or seed trays earlier than planting.

Spider mites and Spiders

Spider mites are tiny arachnids, however have barely totally different life and life cycles than their bigger cousins. Nonetheless, each will spin webs and make properties on humid trays crammed with seedlings. Spider mites profit from the younger vegetation, full of vitamin chlorophyll, whereas spiders thrive on this heat indoor nook, understanding that aphids, whitefly and gnats are about, proving all of the meals they want.

Their presence can enhance humidity, and stunt plant development, so take away them nonetheless you see match.


The concept of slugs in the home isn’t overly interesting, so it’s essential to watch out when rising seedlings. Slugs can carry illness, micro organism, and even poison into your property relying on the place they’ve been. Hold home windows and doorways shut and shut off any gaps the place they might get in.

If you happen to discover slime trails verify the bottom of pots, and below the rim, the place slugs can conceal in the course of the day.

Natural pest prevention for indoor vegetation

Indoor plant pests aren’t a part of a wider meals chain. As soon as they enter the house and settle in your vegetation they don’t have any pure predators, so the widespread recommendation of utilizing prevention moderately than treatment is much less applicable. If you happen to’re not squeamish about useless bugs, killing them is the one option to fully eradicate an indoor infestation.

Nonetheless, in case you desire to make use of much less hands-on strategies, there are some efficient deterrents. Sprays, pesticides, and chemical therapies ought to be used with excessive warning as seedlings aren’t but sturdy sufficient to deal with these strategies.


For extra mature seedlings which might be virtually able to be planted exterior, there are some wonderful natural pest management measures that work simply as effectively for seedlings as they do for houseplants:

  • Neem oil
  • Horticultural cleaning soap
  • Castile cleaning soap
  • Lemon
  • Eggshells

Neem Oil, Horticultural cleaning soap, and Castile cleaning soap all work in the identical means. They suffocate and dehydrate bugs utilizing naturally occurring chemical compounds. Younger seedlings received’t have the ability to address the gentle toxicity, however older vegetation with fairly well-developed roots may be handled commonly with these sprays.

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Eggshells are a helpful option to each stop pests and assist seedlings as they develop. Be sure to clear them totally, as soiled egg shells will appeal to pests, not stop them! Gently crush the eggshells, so they’re in giant items, and sprinkle the whole thing over the floor of your seed trays after germination. The calcium may also help to help the event of tomato and pepper seedlings whereas maintaining slugs at bay.

When you have any leftover lemons from cooking or cocktails, depart the empty hull close to your vegetation. Citrus places off most flies, and actively deters others. Recent lemons work higher than used ones, however in case you’ve used the zest, or juiced it already, it can nonetheless work.

Pest repelling vegetation

The three finest common pest repellents are mint, lavender, and chrysanthemum. Any member of the mint household will work, however lemon balm is the best because it additionally comprises citronella. 

Clearly, planting herbaceous perennials and woody shrubs in the home is extra prone to promote bugs than stop them, so utilizing dried stalks is a smart various. 

On the finish of summer season, harvest a big bunch of mint, and any lavender cuttings you’ve pruned after your vegetation have completed flowering. Cling them up someplace brilliant, dry, and ventilated, then seal the dried herbs in an air-tight bag. In spring, they’ll be prepared to hold up round your seedlings, with the added bonus of their wealthy natural fragrance.

Chrysanthemums ought to be handled identical to lavender, however are normally completed with flowering in early winter, so ought to be in the reduction of after that. The leaves and flowers are equally helpful when dried.

Releasing ladybugs

It would sound excessive, however releasing ladybugs into your property will shortly eradicate houseplant pests. You’ll have ladybugs round for per week, however they are going to shortly discover the door after they’ve eaten what they’ll.

Are natural pest controls protected for pets?

Most natural sprays are protected for pets, and those who aren’t, normally odor so unhealthy that pets received’t go close to them till they dry anyway. We’ve received 4 cats and two rabbits, and so they all reliably hate neem, Castile, and horticultural cleaning soap a lot that they received’t even go within the room.

Some although, like citrus sprays, concentrated menthol important oils, or chrysanthemums may be harmful for pets. Whereas most pets are predisposed to dislike citrus smells, some will take a liking to it (two of my cats hate citrus, however the others can’t get sufficient of it).

A phrase on yellow sticky traps

If you happen to’re hoping yellow sticky traps will assist clear up your fungus gnats downside, you’re partially proper. Fungus gnats are drawn to the yellow coloration and as they land on the sticky floor, they get caught and ultimately die.

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Sticky traps appeal to all types of soppy bodied bugs, together with aphids and whitefly. The issue is, your yellow sticky traps will solely catch grownup fungus gnats, which is able to nonetheless have time to breed and lay eggs. If you happen to’re not addressing the issue in your soil, you received’t have the ability to eliminate them fully.

It’s finest to make use of sticky traps together with making use of fungicides/pesticides to your houseplants’ soil, backside watering and ensuring the rising medium is effectively draining.


There are lots of methods to eliminate pests in your indoor seedlings, and some tried and examined strategies of stopping them altogether. As with most gardening issues, indoor pests are a part of the journey, so don’t beat your self up in case you discover bugs in your houseplants or spring seedlings. Recoup, put together, and do what you may to repair it.

Personally, I desire dried herbs and eggshells. They don’t work towards each potential pest, however they do the job of getting my indoor vegetation by way of spring, largely bug-free till they’re prepared for the backyard. Then it’s only a case of coping with three extra seasons of outside pests! Hurrah.

Take a look at these must-have gardening merchandise

You don’t want a lot to start out gardening, however some instruments and merchandise will make a distinction in how snug and efficient gardening may be for you. Listed below are my favorites:

  • Backyard Trowel. A great backyard trowel will final you a few years. I like how sturdy this hand trowel from WOLF-Garten is, the metallic doesn’t bend and it has a pleasant grip.
  • Trimming Scissors. I take advantage of them for delicate pruning and harvesting all summer season lengthy, and so they’re tremendous helpful. These Teflon Trimming Scissors are further good as a result of they don’t rust as simply.
  • Dutch Hoe. Dutch hoes could seem old style, however there’s nothing like a fast sweep by way of the topsoil to eliminate small weeds – no bending required. I like WOLF-Garten’s choice: this dutch hoe coupled with their common deal with.
  • Develop Lights. These develop lights from Mars Hydro are tremendous sturdy, but dimmable, so that they match each stage of development. They don’t put out an excessive amount of warmth and are very economical.
  • Seedling Trays. There’s an artwork to selecting the very best measurement for seedling trays in order that it holds the proper quantity of water and provides the roots sufficient room to develop. These germination plugs are excellent when coupled with 1020 backside trays. 
  • Liquid Fertilizer. You’ll must feed your vegetation from the seedling stage, all the best way to fruiting. This natural fish & seaweed mix is a really versatile possibility. Use it half-strength for younger vegetation and full-strength for established vegetation.

Browse our record of instruments, fertilizers & pesticides, indoor rising merchandise and seed store suggestions – we hope you discover our choice helpful and it saves you a while!