The Q&A Archives: bugs in house plants

Question: I just discovered a wormy, centipede, white and brown bug crawling in the dirt of my plant (rubber tree?)There's no bugs under the leaves, the leaves are shiny and healthy--I don't know where they have come from and how long they've been there. They're probably coming to the top from the bottom. I keep spraying houseplant bug spray but it's not helping. What should I do? Thanks.

Answer: Sometimes centipedes are brought in with a plant, they tend to hide in the damp potting soil and feed on the decaying organic matter in it. When you water the plant, the flooding sends them out of the soil. You could dust the soil surface with diatomaceous earth to stop them as they exit the soil. You will need to reapply after each watering. Read and follow the label directions. Also, be sure you are not overwatering your plant. I hope this helps.

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