Flies around your indoor plants can be a nuisance, and the first thing that comes to your mind is using a fly spray to get rid of them. But the very next thought is, does the fly spray harm your indoor plants. Let’s find out.
In general, the fly spray doesn’t harm your indoor plants. However, some fly spray uses harmful chemicals like ‘Dichlorvos,’ a harsh chemical that damages the plant’s foliage. Thus, you must always check the label and go through the list of ingredients to make sure it’s safe for your indoor plants.
If you are considering purchasing a fly spray, keep reading this article. We will cover all the information you need about how a fly spray can affect your indoor plants and the alternative methods you can adapt.
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Factors to consider before spraying a fly spray on indoor plants
It is safe to use fly spray around indoor plants, but you must remember a few things before going ahead with it.
Check the label
Checking the label is the first and most crucial step you should consider for getting a safe fly spray for your houseplants.
While most commercial fly sprays are safe for indoor plants and do not cause any damage to them, there are some that you should avoid.
Fly sprays that contain chemicals like Pyrethrin and dichlorvos should not be used. Although Pyrethrin might not be harmful to humans, it is toxic for cats.
So if you have cats in the house, do not spray a fly spray with Pyrethrin. A high amount of dichlorvos can also harm the cats.
Pythethrin is very harmful to the fishes in the aquarium, so if you have an aquarium in the house, do not use a fly spray that contains Pyrethrin.
It is essential to check the label because it often mentions whether the spray is toxic to pets and all such information. However, most fly sprays do not use harmful chemicals and keep them safe for indoor plants, pets, and humans.
If you come across a spray that contains toxic chemicals and mentions a warning on the label, you can skip it and go for one that doesn’t have any toxic chemicals.
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Check the sensitivity of your indoor plant
You rarely hear fly sprays affecting or damaging indoor plants, but some indoor plants are considered delicate or sensitive.
Some plants are sensitive to certain chemicals which might be present in the fly spray. These chemicals can cause burns, and you might notice brown tips or edges on your indoor plants.
It might be difficult to predict which of your houseplants will get affected by the fly spray, so you keep an eye on your plants after using the spray.
If you notice any signs of burns or irritation on any plant, don’t spray fly spray on it or near it.
Opt for carnivorous plants
If you are willing to take up the challenge of growing a new kind of plant along with getting rid of flies, opt for carnivorous plants. Some common carnivorous plants are Sundews, Venus flytrap, Pitcher, etc.
Venus flytrap is a popular carnivorous plant that also makes a good houseplant. The leaves of Venus flytrap close up when touched, and that is how they catch the flies and feed on them.
Pitcher plants come with elongated tube-like leaves, and if the flies go inside the tube, the plant will feed on them.
Sundews have hair-like structures covered with a sticky substance that traps the flies. The stems fold once a fly gets trapped and opens only after digestion.
These carnivorous plants require bright light, so you might need to use the grow lights to provide enough light.
They neither need good quality soil nor fertilizing. And they feed themselves by trapping the insects that touch them or go too close to them.
If you grow any of these carnivorous plants as houseplants, you won’t need to use any fly spray as these plants will take care of the fly problem.
Hazards of using fly spray on indoor plants
Most fly sprays will not harm your indoor plants, but you might face some issues that can become problems for your plants.
Residue build-up on the leaves
Many substances accumulate on the leaves and hamper the regular functioning, and one such substance is the fly spray. When fly spray residues build up on the leaves, it blocks the sunlight from reaching the leaves.
Plants produce energy and food with the help of chlorophyll on the leaves and sunlight.
If residues of any substance build on the leaves, the sunlight fails to reach the leaves, and all the processes slow down. Due to slow photosynthesis, the plant experiences low energy and poor health.
To avoid this issue, you must clean the leaves of your indoor plants periodically, especially after using a fly spray.
You can take a clean cloth and soak t in water and wipe the leaves with it, or you can mist the leaves and clean them with a clean cloth.
Remember to use room-temperature water, so you don’t shock the plants.
You can prevent residue build-up due to fly spray and dust or mist if you follow this regularly.
Phytotoxicity is the damage that plants undergo due to applying anything toxic, in this case, chemicals of the fly spray.
The indoor plants that are too delicate might be prone to phytotoxicity, and you might want to protect them to avoid any damage due to the fly spray.
If you want to spray any area of your house, relocate the plant you suspect might be damaged due to the spray.
If the plant is too big to be relocated or you don’t want to relocate, use a plastic bag to cover it while applying the fly spray. This will protect the plant and will not cause any residue build-up.
After you are done spraying, wait for some time and then remove the plastic bag from the plant.
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Alternatives to Fly Spray
If you want to remove the flies organically or with the help of plant-based products, we are here with some alternatives that can help replace fly sprays that contain chemicals.
However, besides using sprays, whether organic or chemical, you must try to keep your house clean. Ensure to dispose of the garbage on time, dust, mop, or use the vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the dirt.
Now let’s take a look at those alternatives.
Use an oil diffuser: Nowadays, oil diffusers are extremely popular in households nowadays as these are an organic and better option than chemical room fresheners.
Another benefit of an oil diffuser is that it can repel flies. If you use fragrances like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, etc., the flies will not come inside the rooms as they do not enjoy the smell of these.
Cinnamon: You might have heard that cinnamon is an excellent ant repellent. Don’t be surprised if I tell you it can also keep the flies away.
You need to use cinnamon as a potpourri to keep the flies away.
Basil plants: You already read that flies do not like the aromatic oils used in diffusers. Having basil plants inside the house will do the same work.
Basil plants give out an aromatic smell that keeps the flies away. So, plant these around your house and make sure they receive enough light.
Grow flowers like Marigold and lavender: You can grow marigolds and lavender in your garden, bring some cuttings inside the house, and keep them as bouquets in the rooms.
This will help to keep the flies away from the rooms. You can also grow mint in your house provided there is enough light for it.
Dried cloves: You can use dried cloves to keep the flies away. Consider keeping the dried cloves in potpourri bowls and placing them inside the rooms.
However, along with the flies, some people also do not enjoy the smell of cloves. If that is the case with you, use any of the other methods.
You can use fly sprays around your indoor plants without any worry, as in most cases, they don’t affect the indoor plants in any way, let alone kill them.
However, you need to be careful and check the label before buying a spray to ensure it doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals for your indoor plants.
If you think that any of your indoor plants might be too delicate to handle the chemicals from the fly spray, you can use a plastic bag to cover it or relocate it to another place when using the spray.
You can also consider alternative methods like getting a carnivorous plant or using organic methods to keep the pests away.
You must never ignore cleaning your house, inside and outside so that the flies do not get attracted in the first place.
Ref: Epa.gov, Indoor risks of pesticide uses, Insect Pests of Houseplants.
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