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Do houseplants attract mosquitoes? mosquito resting on houseplant leaf

Do Houseplants Attract Mosquitoes? (Solved With Solutions!)

If you have plants in your home and you are also being bothered by mosquitoes, you might be wondering whether your plants could be a breeding ground for them.

It’s extremely unpleasant to get bitten by mosquitoes on a regular basis, so understading if your houseplants is actually attracting them is crucial.

We’re going to find out how to deal with them in this article, so you can protect yourself and your houseplants.

But Firstly, Here’s If Houseplants Can Really Attract Mosquitoes:

No, houseplants don’t tipically attract mosquitoes. However, if you leave standing water in any of the trays beneath your plants, mosquitoes may well choose to lay their eggs there. If this happens, your home will soon be full of biting insects, coming from your houseplants.

Can Mosquitoes Live In Houseplants?

Adult mosquitoes don’t live in houseplants, no. It could give that impression because sometimes mosquitoes might land on your houseplants while in the home, but it’s quite rare for an adult mosquito to stay inside the house for longer than it needs to.

Usually, it will leave and seek shelter in outdoor vegetation.

In theory, mosquitoes could get attracted to your plants if the soil is extremely sodden and stays that way for days at a time. If you have houseplants with drainage issues, or ones that require swamp-like conditions, these could harbor mosquitoes.

However, this is quite unusual, since most plants like to dry out at least a bit in between waterings.

The larvae of mosquitoes need water, but the adult insects do not, and often perch on vegetation when they are not in flight.

If a mosquito is flying indoors, it might well land on a plant’s leaves or hide under them for shelter, which gives the impression that they live in the plant.

Overall, the mosquito isn’t living on the plant, since the adults don’t live anywhere, but it might use one for shelter temporarily.

Can Mosquitoes Breed In Houseplants?

Yes, although rare, mosquitoes can breed in your houseplants if you leave stagnant water in the tray. To kill mosquito larvae and stop them from breeding just empty the water tray from underneath the plant and keep it dry. 

Always remember mosquitoes need to lay in stagnant water, so if you are caring for your houseplants properly, they should not be able to breed in either the soil around the plants or the trays beneath them.

You can easily prevent this from happening by making sure that you do not overwater your plants, and regularly checking the trays for standing water, especially during the mosquito breeding season. 

Simply walk around a couple of hours after watering the plants and check whether there is any water in the trays beneath the pots.

If there is, empty it out and then place the tray back beneath the plant.

Without water, the mosquitoes cannot breed, so this is an effective way to prevent mosquitoes from using your houseplant as a breeding ground. 

If your houseplant or house is getting overwhelmed, then you can use Mosquito Bits (Dunks), otherwise keeping a dry plant tray will do the job.

Can Mosquitoes Harm Houseplants?

No, mosquitoes should not do any harm to a houseplant. These insects do eat plant matter, including the nectar and the sap, but even several mosquitoes feeding on your plant is highly unlikely to do any noticeable damage.

Mosquitoes feeding upon a plant would not make a difference, unless the plant was already very sick.

That’s because mosquitoes are not like aphids and don’t swarm a single plant; they will quickly move on.

You shouldn’t fear for a plant’s safety just because you have found a mosquito resting on its leaves.

Although people don’t think of them that way, both female and male mosquitoes are primarily vegetarians.

Even so, they should not pose a threat to houseplants in the way that some other insects would, and they aren’t worth worrying about.

How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes In Houseplants

If you have seen a mosquito resting on your houseplant, you probably don’t need to take action because it will likely fly off within a few hours.

Mosquitoes don’t like to stay indoors, so they shouldn’t ever be a problem on your houseplants.

However, if they don’t seem to be moving on, there are a few things you can try.

Choose a plant-safe insecticide soap and spray the plant with it. This should make the leaves unattractive to the mosquito and cause it to leave, or may even kill it. You will need to repeat this process every few days, and spray both the tops and bottoms of the leaves.

To get rid of mosquitoes in your houseplants naturally, purchase a citronella candle and burn it near the plant. Mosquitoes hate the scent of citronella and they will be repelled by it, leaving the plant alone.

If you scared about the effect smoked candles can have on your plant, you can read more about it this very in debth article I made.

Make sure you don’t put the candle close enough to burn the plant, or this could become a fire hazard.

How To Get Rid Of Mosquito Larvae In Houseplants

If you have mosquito larvae growing in your houseplants or the trays beneath them, the best thing to do is to pour the tray water outside. This will kill the eggs, safely outside of your home. Optionally, you can put Mosquito Bits or Dunks in the tray and scatter a few on the soil of the plant.

Pouring the water down your sinks may also work, but the larvae could theoretically survive because there is more water down the drain.

If the soil is so wet that the mosquitoes have laid eggs in it and these have hatched, it’s time to also repot the plant, even though the mosquitoes are dead.

Repotting is likely going to be crucial for saving the plant because if your plant stayed so sodden that mosquitoes can hatch from the soil, it means the soil is way to moist.

So moist in fact that most likely the roots of the plant are starting to rot.

Tip the plant out of the pot and shake or wash the wet soil away from its roots until they are clean. This should also wash away the larvae.

You can then repot the plant in dry compost and keep it drier in the future.

Houseplants That Attract Mosquitoes

Any houseplants that require a lot of water are more likely to harbor mosquitoes, because they provide a potential breeding ground, as well as a source of food. Tropical houseplants or plants you are growing hydroponically could draw them more than others.

However, mosquitoes will land on and eat small amounts of almost any houseplant; they are not especially fussy about their vegetation.

In theory any plant can harbor mosquitoes, but some that are popular include:

  • Water lettuce
  • Bamboo
  • Water hyacinth
  • Taro

The good news is that these plants are usually aquarium plants.

In general, you don’t need to worry too much about which ones you have planted and their potential to draw in mosquitoes, unless they are water varieties.

It is best to avoid growing plants hydroponically if you are trying to avoid mosquitoes, but otherwise, you can choose pretty much any plant.

Mosquitoes don’t tend to have strong preferences.

Houseplants That Repel Mosquitoes

The best houseplant you can grow to repel mosquitoes is Lemon Geranium. Mosquitoes dislike the smell of the plant and it can also help mask our smell, protecting us from bites.

Although mosquitoes aren’t particularly drawn to any houseplants, there are certain kinds that they hate, and it is well worth knowing about these if you are having problems with mosquitoes around your home.

Growing these as houseplants, especially around the entry points (windows and doors) may help to deter mosquitoes from entering your house:

  • Scented geranium
  • Peppermint or spearmint
  • Rosemary
  • Citronella
  • Lemon balm
  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Snake plants
  • Garlic
  • Lavender

Some of these simply have a strong scent that mosquitoes dislike.

Lemon geranium is particularly popular and considered the most effective because it also helps to mask the smell of humans, which is one of the things that will draw a mosquito indoors in the first place.

Others, such as the Snake Plant, contain a chemical called saponin, and this actively repels the mosquitoes and drives them from the home.

Growing any of these plants should help to deter mosquitoes from coming in or breeding indoors, although they are not guaranteed methods.

It is a good idea to grow them in your bedroom, as mosquitoes tend to bite during the night, when you are asleep.

A lavender plant by the bed might help to disguise your scent, and will not provide a breeding ground or food to the mosquito.

On the whole, even plants that are effective at repelling mosquitoes will not make a huge difference, but it is worth trying this method, along with other means of keeping mosquitoes from biting you, such as bug repellents.

Are Mosquito Bits (Dunks) Safe For Houseplants?

Yes, Mosquito Bits, also called Mosquito Dunks, can safely be used to get rid of mosquitoes in houseplants. They can be placed in the plant’s water tray or even on top of it’s soil without concerns.

Mosquito Dunks are pellets that contain a kind of bacteria that will quickly kill the larvae of a mosquito (and certain other pest insects) without harming other life.

They work when you drop them into water, releasing the bacteria.

The pellet will need to soak for a while, and then the water can be poured over the plant’s soil, and the bacteria will start hunting any mosquito larvae that are present.

You might be concerned if you have recently fertilized your houseplants, but fortunately, Mosquito Bits do not interact with fertilizer. You can safely fertilize your plant befor or after you use Mosquito Dunks.

Generally however, there is no need for you to use them as keeping a dry plant tray will avoid any problems.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with mosquitoes can be a challenge, and if they are trying to take up residence in your houseplants, you might be feeling very annoyed by them.

The good news is that they won’t harm your houseplants and the problem is very easy to avoid: keep the soil of your plants dry and empty out any standing water promptly.

Worse comes to worse, Mosquito Dunks will take care of them.

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