Can You Spray Raid on Plants? | Safety and Information

Fungus gnats, bugs, and other pests can wreak havoc on your plants. Raid is well-known for its ability to kill bugs, and with its line of House and Garden Bug Killer, using this pesticide is safe to use on ornamental plants only.

It is specifically made to target the most common flying and crawling garden insects that feast on your plants.

human spraying plants with spray bottle

This shouldn’t be confused with the other Raid variants in the market, such as Raid Max, which is made for killing indoor pests like ants, roaches, and spiders.

Can You Spray Raid on All Types of Plants?

Given that there are different types of Raid, it’s essential to understand which one can be used on plants. The key is to look for the House and Garden Bug Killer; this is the only type that is safe to use on plants, both indoors and outdoors.

Additionally, ornamental plants like flowers, shrubs, and trees are the only types of plants that can be sprayed with Raid.

Do not use this pesticide on edible plants, as it can contaminate fruits and vegetables. When properly applied, pesticides and bug sprays like Raid can be used in lawns, gardens, and landscapes and won’t harm humans, pets, or wildlife.

Using this sparingly is important – too much of any kind of pesticide, even a natural one, can be harmful to plants.

Bugs That Raid House & Garden Spray Can Kill

There are countless bugs that love to invade our homes and gardens and wreak havoc on our lives. From unwanted ants crawling across our kitchen counters to destructive beetles eating away at our precious plants, these little pests can cause all sorts of problems. But with a good bug spray, we can protect ourselves from these nuisances and keep them out of our spaces.

This powerful spray directly affects the mechanisms in the insects’ bodies that allow them to function and live, essentially killing them off and ridding us of their presence once and for all.

Raid may be tough on insects, but they are safe to be used on plants. While some plants are more sensitive than others, this bug killer will not harm your plants when used according to the directions.

Raid House & Garden Bug Killer is specifically designed to kill common crawling and flying insects that invade our homes and gardens, including:

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small, winged insects that can be found in damp or moist soil. These pesky bugs are drawn to houseplants and garden beds, where they feed on fungi and decaying organic matter.

While they may not be harmful to your plants themselves, fungus gnats can cause serious damage by spreading gnat larvae that feast on plant roots.

Raid can help get rid of these critters on contact; however, it’s important to address the root of the problem by making sure your plants are not overwatered.


Thrips are tiny, winged insects that can be difficult to spot with the naked eye. These pests feast on plant tissue, which can cause leaves to become distorted or damaged.

Thrips also spread diseases from one plant to another, which can seriously harm your plants and make them more susceptible to pests and diseases. Raid House & Garden Bug Killer can help get rid of thrips on contact and provide long-lasting protection against these destructive pests.


bagworm hanging on branch

Bagworms are small caterpillars that live inside silken bags that they construct from the leaves of the plants they feed on. These pests can cause serious damage to ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees. Bagworms are most active in late spring and early summer when they emerge from their bags to feed and mate.

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How to Use Raid on Plants?

As soon as you’ve confirmed an insect infestation, check the plant for any signs of damage. If the plant looks healthy, you can proceed with using Raid. Make sure to directly spray the insects themselves and the undersides of leaves where they are likely to hide.

You may also want to check the stems where the leaves attach. With a 6-inch distance from the plant, spray until the plant is moist but not dripping.

Check within 24 hours and re-apply whenever necessary. While other Raid products may be effective against different pests, they are not safe for use on plants. Only Raid House & Garden Bug Killer is designed to be used on plants without causing harm.

Garden Pest Control Alternatives to Raid Insect Killer

While there’s no denying that Raid can effectively get rid of most parasites and insects lurking around and damaging your plants, take note that it could also cause harm to bees and butterflies.

These insects are important pollinators that help our gardens thrive. If you’re looking for a more bee-friendly alternative, here are some recommendations:

Beneficial Predators

In the garden, it can often feel like nature is constantly out to get you. Weeds seem to pop up at every opportunity, and pests constantly plague our plants, searching for a tasty treat.

However, these “predators” are not all bad. Some predatory animals, like ladybugs and praying mantises, actually help to keep pest numbers under control by hunting and eating them.

ladybug walking on a blade of grass

These beneficial predators also serve as a food source for larger animals, such as birds and lizards. By supporting these helpful predators in your garden, you can help keep pest populations under control without needing to resort to harsh chemicals or pesticides.

Wash Off Pests with Water

One of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of pests is to simply wash them off with water. This method works best on Aphids, Whiteflies, and Mealybugs.

To do this, simply attach a sprayer to your hose and direct the stream of water at the affected plants. Be sure to hit both the tops and undersides of the leaves, as this is where most pests like to hide.

You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to the mix to help break down the waxy coating that some pests use to protect themselves. Just be sure to avoid using soap that is too harsh, as it could damage your plants.

Plant Companion Flowers

There are certain flowers that help to keep pests away from your plants. Marigolds, for example, produce a chemical that repels many common garden pests, including nematodes, whiteflies, and Mexican bean beetles. Nasturtiums are also effective at deterring aphids, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles.

Planting these flowers around the perimeter of your garden can help to keep pests from ever getting too close to your plants. You can also add a bit of extra protection by crushing up the leaves and flowers of these plants and sprinkling them around your garden.

Use Diatomaceous Earth or Borax

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic creatures. This powder is sharp to the touch and works by puncturing the exoskeletons of pests, causing them to dehydrate and die.

Borax is a naturally-occurring mineral that can also be used to kill pests. When mixed with water, Borax creates a solution that kills many common garden pests, including ants, cockroaches, and beetles.

Consider Using Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to get rid of many common garden pests, including aphids, mites, whiteflies, and caterpillars. To make your own insecticidal soap, simply mix one tablespoon of dish soap with one quart of water. This solution can then be sprayed directly on the affected plants.

Make sure to test the soap on a small area of the plant first to make sure it won’t cause any damage. You can also add a drop or two of essential oil to help repel pests.

While Raid can be effective, it is important to be aware of the potential harm it could cause to bees and other pollinators. There are many other ways to get rid of pests in your garden, so be sure to explore all of your options before resorting to chemicals.

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Final Thoughts

Raid Garden Insect Killer is a popular product that many people use to control pests in their gardens. Its popularity is likely due to its effectiveness, and according to the manufacturer, it’s been formulated to specifically target pests on plants – and not the plants themselves. However, there are some potential risks associated with using Raid in your garden.

Bees and other pollinators could be harmed by the chemicals in Raid if they come into contact with it. The product could also potentially harm beneficial predators that help to keep pest populations under control.

Additionally, the chemicals in Raid could potentially damage your plants if they’re not used correctly. Proper application is key to using Raid safely in your garden.