How to Protect Your Plants from Insects

Insects are a part of life. Do you have insect problems with your plants? Have you been successful in getting rid of them? How can you protect your plants from insects before it’s too late? In this article we will briefly explore insect control and how to control plant pests.

Insect Control

There are many pest companies that can help you get rid of unwanted insects and pests. How do you choose the right pest control company? This question could be an article all on its own, but here are some things to consider when choosing a pest company.

  1. Reputation
  2. Licensing
  3. Certifications
  4. Specialty
  5. Methods
  6. Liability

Here are some important questions to ask when choosing a pest company.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have guarantees on your service?
  • Do you offer quotes in writing?
  • What pesticides do you use?
  • Are your pesticides pet-safe?
  • Will we have to leave the house?
  • Will your treatment keep pests away for good?

Control Plant Pests

Here are some ways to eliminate garden pests.

Eliminating Garden Pests

  1. Start with “clean” soil
  2. Purchase disease and pest-resistant seeds
  3. Selectively and aggressively thin out plants
  4. Water plants in the early morning
  5. Control weeds
  6. Use insect traps
  7. Add beneficial insects

Start with “clean” soil

Starting with good soil can deter insects. However, preparing the soil is important and will take some time.

Here are a few steps on how to prepare your soil:

  • Till in organic matter like compost when the growing season begins. This will keep your soil clean by adding natural elements and compounds that help keep pests away.
  • After tilling, cover your garden with black plastic or cardboard for 6 months. The heat that builds up underneath it will kill most garden pests and their eggs, weeds, parasites and a host of other harmful microorganisms.
  • After removing the plastic, lightly cultivate the soil. Now you’re ready for planting.

Purchase disease and pest-resistant seeds

Preventing pests right out of the shoot is better than waiting for a problem to come to you. When you’re looking at seeds, look for the letters V, F, N, or T after the seed name. These letters indicate the problems to which seed is most resistant. 

Selectively and aggressively thin out plants

Small seeds are often weak and more likely to become diseased. Because of this, the diseased seeds may pass along their problem to the healthy plants. Dead shoots and branches will restrict airflow. Therefore, they must be pruned away to allow good air circulation to keep the other plants healthy.

Water plants in the early morning

Water helps photosynthesis. This happens during the day so watering early will only help get the process started. Watering later in the day will keep the plants wet and damp overnight. This isn’t great for the plants because it could cause fungus and disease.

Control weeds

Weeds can cause all sorts of problems in your garden if they are not taken care of. Weeds often come with insects, unwanted pests, and parasites. Make sure you pull the weeds out completely from their roots.

Use insect traps

Most gardening centers have yellow “sticky” cards. When these are placed in between branches and shoots they will catch many garden bugs. Your local garden center can help you identify good garden bugs from the bad ones.

Add beneficial insects

Adding beneficial insects and bugs to your garden can help get rid of the unwanted insects. Ladybugs, for example, are good because they eat mites, eggs, and  larvae of many destructive insects. Other helpful insects include praying mantises, lacewings, bees, and parasitic wasps. Most beneficial insects can be purchased from large horticultural supply companies. Make sure you do not use any chemicals for 10 days before releasing these helpful insects into your garden.

Eliminating Insects from Indoor Plants

variety of green leaf plants with pots

Getting rid of insects from indoor plants is just as important as eliminating pests in your garden.

  1. Wash the plant leaves with water
  2. Use a pesticide
  3. Use baking soda
  4. Red chili powder
  5. Neem

Wash the plant leaves with water

The best way to wash plant leaves is to take a spray bottle and gently spray the leaves. Do this once or twice a week. If you find that there are insects sticking to the plants or stems, wash them until they are washed off. Some insects can be stubborn and take more than just a little water to wash them off. In this case you can gently use a toothbrush or even toothpicks to remove the insects.

Use a pesticide

In some cases, you may need to purchase a pesticide from your local store to get rid of insects. However, if you don’t want to use chemicals there are many ways to make your own insecticide at home using neem oil.

Use baking soda

Baking soda can be helpful and effective when you’re dealing with a fungal disease or pests on your plants. It is easy to make your own insecticide and fungicide using baking soda.

To do this:

  • Take 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon neem oil
  • Mix them both in one liter of water
  • Spray this solution at the infested areas of the plant to get rid of pests

Red chili powder

Red chili powder is used for major infestations for plant pests.

To do this:

  • Mix 2 tbsp red chili powder and 6-7 drops liquid detergent.
  • Pour four liters of water over this mixture.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle and squirt it on the plant’s affected areas.


Neem is a highly effective natural pesticide. It’s absolutely safe and effective at preventing pest infestations in indoor plants.

To use this:

  • Neem leaves should be soaked in water overnight.
  • Boil the water with neem leaves the next day.
  • Remove the leaves and set aside to allow the water to cool. The water should be sprayed on the plant.
  • The spray should be used twice a week.

In order to have a healthy garden and healthy plants, protecting your plants from insects should be at the top of your list. Find helpful bugs for your garden. Take care of your indoor plants before you have a pest problem and enjoy your plants to their fullest!

This was a guest post written by Katie Meyers, an SEO Specialist at SEO Design Chicago. Before joining the SEO Design Chicago team, she interned for them, as well as interned as a Content Writer at HZD Creates. Katie is from Washington State and has an AA and a Social Media Marketing Certificate.