Which Bugs Are Attacking My Bird of Paradise?

Last Updated on November 17, 2022 by Stephanie

Bird of Paradise is an incredibly attractive plant with its lush tropical foliage and vibrantly colored flowers.

This is why it can be extremely traumatic to find that your Strelitzia Reginae is attack by mealybugs, scale, aphids and other bugs.

To eliminate bugs on your bird of paradise, use a cotton swab soaked with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or rub alcohol. Apply a spray to your birds of paradise with insecticidal soap or the oils of horticulture (like Neem oil) or insecticides to eliminate the majority of bugs. You can also eliminate bigger bugs manually or employ a powerful water jet to remove insects from your plants.

Dont be worried - your expert in plant care is ready to assist you in identifying and eliminate common pests on the bird that is your paradise.

What are the most common Bugs that attack the Bird of Paradise?

In general the bird of paradise is a easy plant to grow in terms of insects, especially when it is grown in a greenhouse.

This doesnt mean that you Strelitzia Reginae is completely immune to bugs.

It is important to check your indoor or garden plants to check for signs of infestations by the most common insects: birds of paradise.

Scale Insects

Scales are among the most commonly encountered birds of paradise bugs.

The problem begins as an enclave of crawlers which typically appear as spots on the underside of leaves.

When the scales settle on the plant they will become stationary and create solid oval shells.

Signs: Scales pull the sap from the leaves, robbing your bird of paradise of essential nutrients and fluids.

The result is tiny as well as yellowing leaves. The affected flowers and the tender growths can also appear stunted and damaged.

The most reliable indicator of scale disease is the appearance of small hard bugs that resemble white spots that have been raised.

They are usually found in the back and front of the stems and leaves.


If you spot the problem in the early stages, when the scale insects are crawling, you can apply insecticidal soap to eliminate the insects.

If, however, youve noticed that scale bugs have developed classic hard shells, it is recommended to apply a high-quality garden oil or Neem oil.

Cover your bird of paradise completely with the spray of oil to kill the insects.

bird of paradise pink background

Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae)

Mealybugs are another insect that feeds on birds of paradise.

The tiny sap-sucking insects usually show up in white spots of cottony fluffy white dust on the leaves.

This is especially evident in the outdoor or garden in the open, where they may be spread from plant to.


  • Insufficient, deformed or stunted growth due to mealybugs consume vital fluids
  • Leaves can be yellow due to a an infestation that is severe.
  • White fluffy cotton on the leaves backs
  • Mealybugs release ooze honeydew which encourages an increase in black sooty mold.
  • Your bird of paradise could be covered by ants that are farming the honeydew

How to Handle Mealybugs

If you are experiencing an infestation of mealybugs, it is important to remove the affected plants from your home immediately.

Rapid action can to stop bugs from jumping on other plants that are healthy.

The treatment of an infestation of mealybugs requires an array of strategies to control them.

The first method of control is to use rubbing alcohol.

In a bowl, dip a few cotton swabs into the alcohol, then use to squeeze out the mealybugs into clumps, then clean your plant.

The ruby alcohol is a powerful solvent that dissolves and break through the waxy coating, eliminating the insects.

You could also make use of the force of water to ward off mealybugs from the bird that is your paradise.

Be sure you spray hot areas such as the edges of leaves and the undersides of flowers and the stems.

In the case of a large number of mealybugs, using cotton swabs that contain ruby alcohol might not be enough to be enough.

Youll require complete control, whether its the neem oil, the horticultural oil, as well as insecticide soap.

Neem oil can be described as a natural chemical that is taken from seeds in the Neem tree. It stops mealybugs from feasting on your plants by disrupting their normal eating habits.

Neem oil works the same way that insecticide soap, however it also offers other advantages that include the capacity to eliminate the fungi.

It is essential to follow the manufacturers directions attentively to avoid harming the bird of paradise.

If all else fails to be enough to stop the invasion, you may need to use chemical control.

Through the years Ive observed pyrethrin-based insecticides effective against massive infestations of mealybugs.

Spray your bird of paradise liberally with insecticide spray to get rid of the insects.

You may want to spray every 7-10 days until the infestation is in control.

When your birds paradise becomes located in an outdoor space it is also possible to draw natural predators such as mealybugs, lacewing larvae and ladybugs.

I like the idea of using tiny, nectar-producing plants to attract useful insect species (consider adding some sweet alyssum, yarrow and so on. in the garden).

Mealybug Prevention

You can stop mealybugs from getting into your birds in paradise by using these suggestions!

  1. To eliminate the mealybugs that can be found in plants, apply an oil-based leaf shine product containing Neem oil regularly.
  2. If you spot adult mealybugs, nymphs or eggs on any of your equipment or tools remove them.
  3. You can keep the mealybug away with the use of pressure water for spraying your plant on a frequent schedule. It is not possible for mealybugs to last more than a day without feeding. Make sure to use pressure water that is hard as well as repeating the spraying procedure to get the best value for your money.
  4. Mealybugs can be thwarted by lowering the temperature down to 60 degrees F for plants that are able to handle the heat.
  5. Plant attractive flowers such as marigolds and rosemary to attract eating insects that eat mealybugs. Examples of these prey insects include ladybugs, lacewings, as well as parasitic wasps.
  6. Mealybugs could harm the bird of paradise plants So, be certain to check them regularly.
  7. Avoid using insecticides with the potential to kill off beneficial predatory insects.
  8. Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers sparingly. It is clear that theres a connection between the number of mealybugs and the green growth of your plants.


Caterpillars can be a nuisance to garden or outdoor birds of paradise.

The woolly worms are the larvae of many species of moths and butterflies.

At this point the critters are pretty hungry and can cause a lot of destruction to the foliage of your plants.

Some feed even onto the stems, causing ugly bruises.


Caterpillars can be easy to identify on the birds of paradise.

They love to eat the tender growths, like young leaves and stems.

Their presence is evident when you notice signs of bites on leaves.

Other indicators of caterpillars infestation could include:

  • The foliage is skeletonized due to the frequent feeding
  • Small holes in the foliage
  • The leaves are slopped at the edges and the tips of leaves
  • Leaves that are severely affected may be able to fall


It is necessary to remove the majority of caterpillars by hand when you see the caterpillars on your birds of paradise.

Theyll soon transform into adult moths and butterflies and wont be a problem for your plant any more.

If theyre destroying your bird of paradise you should use an insecticide that is biological to eliminate caterpillars permanently.

I typically use a specially-formulated B.t. (Bacillus Thuringiensis) insecticide available from Amazon to shield my bird from the caterpillars.

This kind of control is safe for adults, moths and butterflies as well as pets and humans.

Another method of natural control is to utilize caterpillars natural predators.

Ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae predatory shield bugs assassin bugs, and damsel bugs are sure to accomplish the task.

Spider Mites (Tetranychidae)

If you notice silky, soft webs on the bird in paradise, its likely youve been infested by spider mites.

Put a plain white piece of paper on the affected areas, and shake the affected areas.

Theres a good chance youll see tiny moving particles that are the dimensions of dust on your paper. They vary in hues ranging from red to brown.


  • Although they are not visible to the naked eye, spider mites make holes in your plant and cause damage to the leaves of the bird of paradise.
  • Curled or stunted leaves as well as leaves discoloration caused by excessive bruises
  • Spider webs on the leaves
  • Find any type of webs between leaves
  • A severe infestation could give your bird of paradise brown gray, gray, or bronze appearance
  • As time passes, those leaves that cover your birds of paradise appear to be scorched, droop and then fall off


Like mealybugs, its recommended to employ a variety of methods to manage and eliminate spider mites.

Naturally, you should remove an infected bird from paradise to stop the spread of the bug.

In the beginning first step, you should apply a powerful splash of water in order to blow off a few spider mites that have invaded the bird that is your paradise.

Make sure to direct the stream of water to localized invaders particularly on the lower edges of leaves and flowers.

To get a more complete control, you should spray Neem oil or insecticidal soap. You can also use an insecticide that is traditional.

Insecticides based on sulfur and pyrethrin are especially effective against all kinds of spider mites.

In addition, theyre not as damaging to your plants and beneficial to bugs.

It is essential to spray your plant repeatedly for at least a month until you have eliminated the invader.

Take five to 10 days before spraying again.


Adults and nymphs of Aphids can take on the bird of paradise.

Small, pear-shaped insects soft-bodied insects may be red, black or green. They can also be gray, gray, white, pink, or yellow.

They reproduce quickly, but they rarely cause a lot of damage to your plant in large quantities.


  • A colony of the back of your birds of paradise can appear like an unruly white or cottony cluster especially on the leaves undersides and around the tender growths.
  • They draw out the sap that is rich in nutrients which causes distortion, stunted or deformed flowers and foliage
  • The stems, leaves, and the flowers that you have a bird in paradise are covered in honeydew. Its an incredibly sticky, sugary substance that is excreted by aphids in the form of undigested sap.
  • Honeydew can aid in the growth of mold that is sooty. Therefore, leaves and stems can appear black, sooty or even spotted.


There are a variety of techniques to rid yourself of aphids that have invaded the bird that is your paradise

  1. The water blast should apply a powerful stream of water in order to remove the aphids out of your bird of paradise. A cool flow through a pipe can be extremely efficient.
  2. Chemical control Spray your bird of paradise with care with the oil spray. Ive used horticultural oils insecticidal soaps and Neem oil to eliminate Aphids. They work like a magic! Make sure you follow the instructions in the instruction manual.
  3. Soapy water: You could make a soapy spray that will rid your home of a tiny invasion of Aphids. Apply it every two to three days for up to 2-4 weeks.
  4. Spray with herb mix: You could also add cayenne pepper, garlic or any other aromatic herbs to the soap you spray. Mix one quarter of a quart of waterwith a teaspoon of pepper, and one teaspoon of dish soap mild, and shake vigorously prior to application.
  5. Diatomaceous earth is another excellent organic control I typically employ to kill Aphids can be Diatomaceous earth. It is best to avoid applying it in the time that the bird in paradise in bloom, however.

Leaf Borers

Leaf borer typically take on birds of paradises flowers.

Theyre likely to be seen in the months of August and the month of September (late summer) after the plant is fully bloomed.

Tiny insects insert their eggs into leaves, and they hatch into leaf borer.


Leaf borers ruin the flowers and leaves on the bird that is paradise. In their path of intrusion they leave large streaks or long, tunnels or squiggly lines on the leaves. The lines that are wavy may be yellowish or whitish.

The harm caused by leaf miners to birds of paradise could be visible as spots.


There are a variety of chemical and non-chemical controls can be used to cut the leaf miners out of the buds.

Install floating row-covers around your garden to stop egg-laying insects from coming into your bird of paradise.

If you notice an area of blighting leaves on the bird that is yours in paradise simply squeeze them with your fingers in the affected regions.

Gardeners shears to cut off the most affected flowers or leaves and throw them into an enclosed trash bin.

It is also possible to treat adults who lay eggs using the spinosad treatment.

I make use of prepared-to-formulate the spinosad concentrations to eliminate adult insects and reduce the population of leaf borers.

Spread the spray of spinosad evenly to the bird of paradise.

Be sure to concentrate on the areas that are affected, such as the tops and backs of the leaves.

Spray every 4-7 days until bugs have gone.

Sprays of Permethrin are an additional effective method of removing leaf borer.

Its a broad-spectrum, systemic type of insecticide that can eliminate leafminers over a long time.

The best part is that it doesnt harm beneficial bugs such as ladybug beetles.

Sprays of permethrin should be applied in the early spring, when the first signs of growth are evident.

Apply a thick coat until the rush is completely over your bird, making sure that you protect the backs of the leaves.

Spraying the same way every 4 to 8 days until theyre gone.



The grasshoppers are fond of eating the leaves that surrounds your birds of paradise.

A lot of bite marks scattered around or holes that are ragged in the foliage are visible when grasshoppers have encroached on your plants.

They typically attack the outdoor/garden bird of paradise during the spring and summer months.

Grasshoppers could take your bird naked if the problem is not addressed.

Be on the lookout for chewed leaves and flowers.


  • Be alert for grasshoppers in your birds outdoor habitat in summer.
  • Small grasshopper invasions are simple to keep under control. Choose them out of your birds-of-paradise. Pick them by hand early in the morning , as theyre not active during cold weather.
  • Get grasshoppers flung off the bird that is your paradise with an intense stream of water from your garden hose
  • You can also use predatory control such as parasitic wasps and robber Flies

Why Does My Bird of Paradise Have Bugs

Wet Conditions

Most bugs which infest birds of paradise thrive in moist environments.

They require this to help keep their small bodies moist and prevent drying out.

Therefore, you must be careful not to overwater the bird that is your paradise, or let it rest upon wet feet.

High Humidity

The high humidity creates a humid conditions surrounding your bird of paradise.

The humid or wet conditions provide the perfect environment for the rapid reproduction of insects like Aphids.

Since humidity is essential to your plants success, its recommended to increase the aeration of your plant.

It is important to be careful not to wet your plants. The practice of spreading your plants out and reducing the humidity in your local area will help keep the majority of insects at bay.

Poor Aeration

The majority of insects that are a threat to birds of paradise thrive best in rooms that are not well ventilated and in corners.

The bird of paradise isnt able to perform well in areas that are poor air quality and in crowded areas.

They weaken, become unwell, and thus susceptible to illness and bugs.

Remember that soil requires adequate aeration in order to remain healthy and dry evenly.

If the soil remains damp or gets too wet, it will be a target for insects.

Be sure to leave plenty of space between your plants. You can also make use of fan oscillation in places with adequate ventilation.

Excessive Fertilizer

It is recommended that the bird you love a water-soluble fertilizer each week in the spring and summer.

In reality, you need to reduce the concentration to half prior to applying.

If you feed your plant excessive fertilizer, it can result in root damage and cause your bird of paradise to become vulnerable to insects.

Nutrient Deficiency

Bird of paradise requires manganese, potassium, nitrogen as well as other nutrients to remain well and fight off illnesses and pests.

It can become sulky, fragile, stunted, or susceptible to infection if it is deficient in vital minerals or nutrients such as silicon, calcium, boron, or zinc.

Do Birds Of Paradise Plants Attract Mealybugs?

The Bird-of-paradise plant is an ideal habitat for mealybugs due to the soft growth and the high nitrogen content, which the insects like.

Mealybugs get their food from the plants they eat by sucking the sap out of their bodies, and the sticky liquid they produce is referred to as honeydew.

The damage caused by Mealybugs can be catastrophic to your plants if they are it is not addressed. Mealybugs leave a dark mold stain on your plant , which appears like soot. This is a simple way to recognize their presence.

How to Get Rid of Bird of Paradise Bugs Naturally

Sticky Traps

Use sticky traps to capture and identify the majority of flying insects that infest the birds paradise.

Set up sticky traps around your plant and inspect them regularly.

Insecticidal Soaps

You can spray, rinse or clean the bird that is your paradise with insecticide soap.

If you dont wish to purchase a ready-to-use insecticide soap spray, you can make your own at home with the mild dishwashing liquid.

In either case, insecticidal soaps kill pests of birds of paradise upon contact.

A spray of insecticidal oil is extremely efficient against the majority of birds of paradise bugs.

They include mealybugs, Aphids, scale bugs, and spider mites.

Repetition the procedure every 7 days until you have rid your bird of paradise of bugs.

Neem Oil

It kills bugs by blocking their breathing passages and thereby the bugs are suffocated.

If that wasnt amazing enough for you, the oil of neem also has the so-called residual effect which means that its power to kill remains on the plant for a number of months, or even seasons.

To eliminate bugs particularly mealybugs that are a threat to birds of paradise, you must follow these easy steps.

  1. A spray bottle, mix 2 to 4 tablespoons of the neem oil in 1 gallon water. Shake the bottle until it is a mixture.
  2. The application of the oil away from direct sunlight will protect plants leaves from being burnt. Test the spray on a single leaf for up to 24 hours.
  3. After the outcomes of the test, apply the oil over the entire part of the plant including the areas beneath the leaves.
  4. It is recommended to dry the plant in shade. If its an outside plant you should wait until its at least 85 degrees F and not in direct sunlight.
  5. If the first attempt isnt working, try it another time in a week or two.

Be sure to spray your bird of paradise the oil of neem Pay close attention to the bottom of leaves the tender buds, and the nooks and crevices of the flowers.

Biological Controls

Biological controls such as parasitic microorganisms and natural predators are able to eliminate bugs without damaging beneficial insects or your plants.

For example, Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) insecticides are widely used to get rid of caterpillars.

However, natural predators such as Ladybird beetles, lacewing larvae wasps, predatory shield bugs, assassin bugs and damsel bugs can be effective against mealybugs, aphids caterpillars, as well as scale insects.


If theres a natural insecticide thats remained popular with gardeners who are forward-thinking its pyrethrin.

The plant that produces it is pyrethrum. this natural insecticide is effective, safe, and eco-friendly whether used indoors or outdoors.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a mineral insecticide with a residual effect that kills many kinds of insects as well as their larvae and eggs.

This organic treatment erodes the insects outer coat and causes death by dehydration. It is not toxic to humans and the majority of animals.

Tips to Prevent Bugs on Bird of Paradise

A tin of prevention according to the saying, can be worth the price of a pound of cure.

Its the same in the case of safeguarding your beloved bird from diseases and pests.

  • Keep an eye on your bird of paradise on a regular basis Check the undersides of the leaves, within the flower, and on the tender new growths.
  • Make sure you have adequate ventilation around your plant - Spread your plants apart, trim the bird that is your paradise when it is overgrown with leaves, and also use an oscillating fan in areas with poor airflow.
  • Remove plants that are sick or infected If you notice any insects, make sure you take the plant affected from the rest of your garden to stop the bugs infecting healthy plants.
  • Always make sure to use a new batch of the mix for potting or propagating the bird that is your paradise.
  • Use the correct watering methods You should water your plants early in the morning. Avoid the overhead irrigation, and dont soak the leaves and be sure to avoid overwatering your bird of paradise.
  • Do not over-fertilize your plants - It is recommended to fertilize your garden once or twice a month from the beginning of spring until the summer. Stop fertilizing during winter.
  • Make sure to give your bird of paradise adequate lighting - it loves direct, bright light. It is best if you avoid direct sunlight that is scorching hot or dark places.
  • Maintain optimal temperatures - Bird of paradise thrives when it is kept in temperatures of 65-70 degrees (18-21degC) and at night temperatures of 50-55 degrees (10-12degC) temperature range. (Source: Clemson University).


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)