One of the most troublesome aspects of gardening is seeing your beloved plants showing signs of disease and infestation from insects. 

Even the indoor hydroponic system of AeroGarden will get infected at times, so avid gardeners, we need to be prepared. 

This is why we brought this guide on what to do when your AeroGarden has bugs

When you see signs that your AeroGarden has bugs, turn off the system and remove the plants. Rinse the leaves off and use insecticidal soap to kill bugs and prevent return. Prevent bugs by brushing off your clothes when outdoor gardening and checking all produce you brought in from outside. 

Let’s look ahead for details on different bugs you may encounter, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them in the first place. 

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Do AeroGardens Attract Bugs?

AeroGardens don’t attract bugs any more than any other plant does. 

The grow lights may pull some of the flies in faster, but the difference is minimal. 

Any indoor plant can get infested with insects. It usually happens when a few manage to come inside when transferred onto your clothing. 

They look for a good place to set up shop and flourish, and plants are the best place. 

One of the best parts of AeroGarden and hydroponic growing is the lack of pesticides, which means they have no protection from bugs. 

But this does make hydroponics more eco-friendly, so this is the trade-off. 

Fortunately, if you catch it early enough, it’s not a tough fix. 

The most common bugs you’ll find are: 

  • Gnats
  • Aphids
  • Roaches
  • Spider Mites
  • Thrips
  • Flies

Signs Of A Bug Infestation

If you’re not sure if you’ve got an infestation, we’ll help in this section. 

There are several key signs of bugs to keep in mind when you check them out (hopefully, daily). 

Fine White Threads

One of the earliest signs of bugs on plants comes in the form of fine, white threads over the stems and between the leaves. 

In some cases, you’ll notice the threads before the bugs because these are caused by little insects or bugs which are great at hiding. 

Visible Bugs (And Underneath A Microscope)

Of course, if you see the bugs crawling on the plants, you’ll know you have a bug problem. 

But sometimes, they don’t appear so visible to our naked eye. 

If you suspect a bug problem on your plants, get out a magnifying glass and inspect the leaves. 

If you see little specks and movements, you have an insect issue to take care of. 

Black And Green Specks

Little black and green specks on your leaves are a big sign of a bug problem. 

Even if these aren’t the bugs themselves, the spots are a symptom of how they eat and affect the leaves. 

The specks are most commonly found on the stems and parts of the leaf close to the stem. 

If the specks are bugs, they’ll usually hide on the underside of the leaves, so give your plants a little more than a cursory glance. 

Sticky Substance On Growth Deck

Bugs leave droppings, just like any other living and moving thing. 

We don’t always notice the “bug dirt” as something different than normal soil or grime. 

This usually shows up as a sticky substance on the growth deck for plants. 

You won’t notice it as much on the plants, so feel for the artificial parts of the AreoGarden for the stickiness. 

Tiny Flies In The Area

Another sign is little flies in the area around the plant. 

Even if they aren’t hovering around the AeroGarden, they may still be making a home base (or considering a move) there. 

If you see the flies about, check for the other signs and take the appropriate steps, which we’ll talk about in a later section. 

AeroGarden And Bug Problems

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There are a few key bugs to be aware of regarding plants. 

In this section, we’ll tell you a little about them and why they’re a problem. 

For related information, check out how long AeroGardens last.

AeorGarden Gnats

Gnats or fungus gnats aren’t a huge problem, although they’re pretty gross to look at. 

As adults, they don’t hurt the plants, but they’re called “fungus” for a reason. 

They pull nutrients from the host plant and slow its growth. 

In some cases, if they carry bacteria, they’ll pass the bacteria onto the plant, causing an infection and killing the plant. 

AeroGarden Aphids

Aphids are known as plant lice and are a pretty big problem. 

They come in green, yellow, and grey varieties. 

Aphids suck the juice from the leaves and turn them yellow (be on the lookout for this as a sign). 

They’ll often gather around the stems, so that’s where to look. 

AeroGarden Roaches

Roaches won’t show up on your plants much at all, and if they do, it’s not a huge deal (though gross!). 

Where you’ll find them as a problem is in your water reservoir. 

Some roach species love the humidity and the rich nutrient water. 

They won’t have an easy-in unless you leave the tank open a little or the container is damaged in some way. 

If they do get in the water, get them out, dump out the water, disinfect the tank, and fill it up with new water. 

Their droppings may cause illness in the plants (and could harm the air we breathe in). 

Spider Mites In My AeroGarden

Spider mites are itty bitty and show up as tiny red or grey dots. 

They live all around the leaves and are only 1 mm in size. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell when they’ve started to settle in until they start doing damage. 

One of the earliest signs is the white webbing between the leaves. 

These ones take some work to get rid of and are kind of messy. 

When you wipe and rinse the leaves off, they’ll squish and leave blood everywhere. 

Thrips are along the same lines as they, though they’re a little bigger and are sometimes brown with yellow spots. 

White Bugs (Whiteflies) In My AeroGarden

Whiteflies are teeny moth-like things that fly around like crazy and make it difficult to get rid of. 

Unlike the other bugs, you can’t just wipe them away and wash them off. 

Like many of the others, they’ll also suck the water out of the leaves and turn them yellow or brown. 

How To Get Rid Of Bugs In AeroGarden

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If you have bugs, don’t worry! There are steps to take to get rid of them and save your plants if you act fast!

These steps work for pretty much all bugs, so keep them in mind (or bookmark this page for later!). 

Turn Off AeroGarden And Remove Plants

The first step is to turn off the AeroGarden and remove the bowl from the base of the growth deck. 

If the plants are small, gently and carefully remove the seed pod. 

If the plant is bigger, leave it in there. 

Read more about how AeroGardens work for more information.

Rinse Off The Leaves With Gentle Water

If the plant was small enough to remove completely, turn the plant over and run a gentle stream of water over the leaves to rinse off the bugs. 

Use your finger to gently move any bugs leftover away. 

For bigger plants, this step isn’t feasible, though it’ll help somewhat to gently rub the plants down with a damp paper towel to help remove bugs. 

Wipe Down Area With Disinfectant

Take some disinfectant wipes and wipe down every exterior surface available. 

Be careful not to rub it anywhere on the plant. 

Give it a good 15 minutes to dry before thinking about replacing the plant (but you have some other steps first). 

Inspect For Bugs (Rinse Again If Needed)

Give the plant another once over. 

Check on top of and under the leaves, on the stems, and in the places in between. 

If you still find bugs, give it another rinse or rubdown. 

Consider using a magnifying glass to help you find them. 

Prune Damaged Leaves

Where you see damaged leaves, prune them. 

The energy is better served on growing healthy and uninjured plants and not infected leaves. 

Seal up the leaves in a plastic bag. 

Treat With Insecticidal Soap Twice Per Week

As you replace everything back to normal, it’s time to use insecticidal soap to make sure the leftovers die off, and new ones don’t come. 

Spray the plant down well twice per week to kill any remaining bugs. 

Safer Brand Killer Soap is the one most gardeners trust with our indoor plants because it’s safe for plants, animals, and people. 

If you want to make your own at home, use the following mixture and put it into a spray bottle: 

  • 1 Tablespoon of Castile Soap with peppermint
  • 1 Gallon of water

How To Prevent Bugs With AeroGardens

Of course, the best way to stop bugs is to keep them from getting at your plants in the first place. 

Here are a few quick tips to keep those bugs where they belong: outside! 

Check Any Produce Or Plants You Bring In From The Outside

Bugs live all over plants outside, and if you don’t inspect your produce closely enough, you may end up bringing them inside to infect your AeroGarden plants. 

Check all over the produce you bring in, including the leaves and stems, for all of the same signs we talked about before.

If you find it, wash it off right away and before you bring it inside. 

A plant or produce with some bugs on it isn’t the end of the world; it’s pretty natural. 

But stopping them before they come in is worth the extra effort. 

Brush Down Or Change Clothes After Outdoor Gardening

By a similar token, if you’re out gardening or doing yard work, you might accidentally bring some bugs in. 

If you go directly to check out on your AeroGarden, it’s likely they’ll spread and infect your good plants. 

Take a brush and give your clothes a good rub down before you come inside. 

Or better yet, take your clothes off and change into something else. 

Use Fly Paper Nearby

As a precaution, a lot of folks hand up some of the classic yellow, sticky flypaper

This will attract and kill little flies before they infest the plant. 

Don’t forget to change the paper when it’s full, though! 

Of course, this won’t help with the crawling bugs, but the other two tips should be enough to prevent those insects.