Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by Stephanie
Monsteras are renowned for their resistance to pests are great plants for beginners for anyone who wants to become an indoor gardener. But, pest resistance and pest-free arent the same thing, and it can be easy to mistake the Monsteras toughness as a given. It is very shocking to find out that your showpiece, which you thought was invincible, is being eaten alive by tiny critters!
The most frequent bugs found on Monstera are aphids whiteflies, aphids, and the gnats. Remove bugs manually out of your Monstera and prevent future infestations by changing your care methods. Topical treatments vary from store-bought solutions to stronger insecticides, which should be reserved for extreme infestations. Whichever treatment you decide to use you choose, your Monstera is resilient and can quickly recover.
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How to Spot Pests on Monstera
Insect pests enjoy hiding. Pest insects, no matter their the size of their nests or even species will huddle away from view. Always, your plants leaves are the most reliable indicator of the health of your plant. Spots, speckles and silvering are all great indicators of an issue.
It can be harder to spot when fenestrated in densely packed Monstera like Monstera Adansonii, therefore be patient. Infestations that are more severe result in the leaves turning yellow, sickly and weak, deformed new growth.
If youve discovered an issue, its time to tackle it. Keep reading and Ill take you through the small terrors that could be tempted to devour your Monstera.
Common Bugs on Monstera
Mealybugs are a type of sap-sucking insect. Theyre pale and look like tiny balls of fluff. They are able to establish themselves on the plants veins, and piercing the tough outer layer with the sharp end of a proboscis. A single sip at a and theyll literally drain the life from your fragile Monstera.
A mealybug infestation is likely If the petioles and stems of your Monstera grow tiny pieces of fluffy cotton. It is usually an looking plant that is yellow with sickly patches of leaves.
Be on the lookout for ants too. Honeydew, a syrup made of concentrated sugars taken from your plants and released by mealybugs.
Ants love it and often move mealybugs from one plant to plant, just as a farmer would move the dairy cows from one pasture to another. Ive seen ants scurrying through my pots prior to when I notice mealybugs, so keep an eye out for them.
How to Treat
The most effective method to fight off infestations of mealybugs is to eliminate the bugs. Apply a small amount of alcohol dilute to the tip of a cotton ball, and then clean the insect away from the plants.
Be on the lookout for signs of re-infestation every couple of days. Mealybugs are known to lay lots of eggs. The time bombs explode each five or seven days.
Spider Mites (Tetranychidae)
The spider mites can be tiny flies that are difficult to detect by your naked eyes. They vary in color from scarlet to black, all the way to white.
Silken threads are spun across their victims, wrapping them while they inhale the sap inside. Silk is often the first sign that youre in danger.
Spider mites leave a distinct delicate brown speck on the opposite sides of your Monsteras leaves. The damage is usually more severe near veins however, it could appear anyplace in the plants.
Like mealybugs, spider-mites are best eliminated by hand. Monsteras are a species of the rainforest and therefore prefer to be sprayed using the use of a shower or the hose.
The petioles as well as the bottom of the aerial roots must be thoroughly cleaned as mites love to hide in these places. Spider mites prefer a dryand low-humidity atmosphere, so keeping an adequate humidity in the tropical area surrounding your beautiful flowers can help to keep them out and also.
Scale bugs can be a difficult enemy for anyone who is gardening indoors. Although theyre fragile and soft-bodied they also have solid outer shells that look like tiny brown bumps.
They form clusters on the stems and petioles, and are often confused with emerging aerial roots. It is possible that you do not know you have a problem with scale bugs until it has become established.
They sucking sap and release honeydew, similar to mealybugs. So be on the lookout for the ant parade. They also carry insects that are scaled from one plant to another plant , and can be a reliable indicator that your Monstera is in trouble.
Treating Scale Insects
In spite of their protection, the scale bugs are extremely shaky and are able to be killed by very little movement. They have delicate mouth parts that can be easily damaged, which causes them to starve.
Give your Monstera an excellent rinse, or remove the bugs by hand. Theyre susceptible to dying if they are affected by any means. Examine all veins beneath leaves, since scales like to hide close to their food sources.
Aphids can be a real nuisance for gardeners who work indoors. The majority of species are one-third the size of sesame seed , and vary in color from light transparency to black, brown, and green.
They reproduce quickly and a single aphid is capable of producing enough spores to cover the most difficult houseplants in just a few weeks. They shouldnt be dismissed lightly.
Luckily, aphids do not like Monstera and are not likely to attack Monstera. If you do have infestations on other plants You will most likely encounter a raging front of invaders who are willing to take a chance.
If youve seen aphids on your Monstera you should begin by removing them manually by washing them thoroughly that you should perform at least once a week, if you can. Its a lot of work, particularly when youve secured the vining Monstera to the wall or some other feature that is heavy.
The other alternative is spraying the neem oil, or any other horticultural soap direct on the plant. Be sure to reach into the plants crevices and nooks particularly close to the petioles.
If your indoor garden is swarming with aphids you must look into biological options for controlling the problem. Aphids are the favorite food of ladybugs and are available on the internet or in garden supply retailers.
After being released, theyll find a home within your collection and perform the dirty job of scavenging and eating the Aphids.
Thrips can be difficult to recognize. They look like tiny black slivers that often mistakenly identified as stray potting mediums , or lint. It is much easier to identify the damage that they cause, which is visible as silvering of leaves.
Thrips take chlorophyll, the green pigment, out of the Monstera leaves and leave only the empty space. Thrips that are adults have wings and are able to easily move between plants.
How to Control Thrips
Thrips are another arachnid that cant withstand a powerful stream of water, therefore taking a shower can eliminate most of these tiny pests. If you dont have that the neem oil or the an horticultural soap will do the trick.
A few people suggest wiping the silvered portion of the plant using an alcohol dilute solution, but be cautious. If you are considering trying this method, first do an experiment with a patch using your Monstera.
Whiteflies are tiny flying insects that are about as big as a sesame seed. They look like mealybugs, and when the Monstera bump only to be suddenly attacked by tiny white bugs, youre dealing whiteflies.
They suck sap out of the leaves and weaken their ability to reproduce. Whiteflies arent the most enthusiastic about eating Monstera but theyre worthy of protection because of the same reason Aphids are. They favor plants with soft leaves, however when theyve invaded your indoor garden, theyll not refuse to eat your Monstera.
Treatment of Whiteflies
The yellow sticky card, like the ones on Amazon are a powerful repellent against flying insects. Theyre a low-impact solution to attract and capture adult whiteflies. This prevents the flies from making eggs. Whiteflies that are infested are well-responsible to neem oil or horticultural soaps too.
However careful you are, fungus gnats can show up within your indoor plant collection at some time. Theyre tiny flying bugs that are that are the size of the size of a fruit fly.
Fungus gnats on the contrary, are not as risky than the other invaders on this list. They prefer consuming the fungus, not the plants, and they consume a lot of what grows in the potting medium of your Monstera.
Their larvae eat tiny root fibers, which can decrease the strength that you have in your Monstera. But, they only have a small impact since they are only found in the topmost layer of soil, which is far from the bulk in the roots.
However they can be a nuisance. They flutter through your plants, polluting the air and invading areas that the tiny bugs ought not be.
I dont know how many instances these bugs have made it into my coffee or swam through my glasses as Im trying to take good care of the plants.
Treatment of Fungus Gnats
In the case of pests like these, prevention is better than curing. They need moist conditions in order to flourish, so allow your top layer your potting medium completely dry between the waterings. This will stop the larvae from growing and also prevent the gnats from ever getting an advantage.
It is also possible to use the yellow sticky traps mentioned above to control the pests and Ive had great results by applying diatomaceous earth on my pots surface medias between waterings. It is a non-toxic mineral that can dehydrate both larvae and gnats.
How to Get Rid of Monstera Bugs Naturally
It is crucial to think about the size of your space when you are tackling the indoor Monstera. The majority of offices and homes are shut, with little or no airflow, and lots of interactions between your plant and those around it.
You dont want to harm those living nearby and also the insects! Heres my method of dealing with pests in a manner that is safe for yourself and the Monstera.
Sometimes, the most simple solution is also the most efficient. Just remove the insects from your plants! Every insect can be killed using the use of a cotton swab that has been that has been soaked in alcohol dilute. Just wipe the bug away using a damp cloth.
This is particularly efficient against mealybugs, however it can also be used to treat other insects. The scale bugs are brushed off with your fingernail and aphids and thrips can be cleaned using a wet cloth.
The need for more drastic measures is to treat more serious diseases. Monsteras can benefit from cutting with aplomb, and infected leaves must be cut off and then discarded completely.
Utilizing a hose or showerhead to clean thrips and spider mites off your Monstera is the best way to do it. This is particularly beneficial for Big Monstera as it lets you clean the leaves completely of dust, dirt, and pests.
The method is to spray the pests away with the aid of either a syringe or air bulb. Its equally safe for your plants and yourself and is a great option for the initial stages of the infestation. Its a smaller version of spraying your plant and is a great option for plants that arent able to be removed.
Whiteflies, thrips, and adult aphids like the bright yellow hue of sticky traps sold by commercial companies. (check out the price at Amazon right here).
They are caught in the trap, and cannot escape. Theyre an excellent protection step for your collection and can be checked regularly to observe whats going on.
Make yourself a garlic spray, if you are looking to save money. Garlic aromas can be a powerful insecticide if prepared correctly.
crush three to four cloves of garlic and soak for a few hours in a half gallon of water until you have a garlic spray. The spray can be then put into spray bottles and applied directly on leaves after it has been cleaned.
A few people also include a few drops of dishwashing solution to the mix to aid in adhering on the leaf. Apply the mixture regularly until the infestation has gone away.
Like garlic spray, you can make use of Chilliss power to create an herbicide which will deter any future invaders.
For this spray, mix three tablespoons of chili powder with a half gallon of water. Some people also like to add a small amount of dishwashing liquid to make it stick to the leaves for longer.
It is important to note that this mix can be quite annoying. It is essential to do an test patch on your Monstera. You can apply a tiny amount of the patch to the leaf patch, which is not in the way.
Leave the plant to rest for the night. If the leaf shows symptoms of irritation, like curling, yellowing or splitting the Monstera will be sensitive to mix and shouldnt be spraying.
In this region diatomaceous earth is a favorite choice due to a myriad of reasons. It is the fossils from tiny, ancient marine creatures are crushed to a powder in order to make the fine dust.
As the dust settles it slams insects as it moves through their body, damaging organs and dehydrating them while it goes about its work.
The substance is totally safe to animals, plants, and children up to the point that it can be utilized as a supplement to dietary intake in certain instances. (Check for prices at Amazon right here)
I like to sprinkle it on the bottom of petioles and leaves, and sprinkle it over the surface of the potting mediums following watering. It collects in the places and crevices on your Monstera and allows it to find pests in areas they would prefer to conceal.
There are many who believe of the application of essential oils for treating insects. To prevent infestations spray spearmint and peppermint oils on stems and leaves in a dose of around 2 drops per ounce water. Clove, thyme and cedarwood are all effective.
The oils for horticulture work by covering the bodies of insects and then suffocating them until they die. Theyre a great method to eliminate an infestation of moderate size by spraying them onto the leaves on your Monstera.
They are available in a wide variety of mixes and can be a powerful weapon in the ever-changing struggle with the gardener against the insect. Since they are primarily a threat to adults, they need to be applied on a frequent basis to prevent the grubs that are emerging as they develop.
Although technically a plant-based oil, neem is unique due to its physical properties that eliminate insects.
Neem oil is a natural insecticide substances that are safe to apply in diluted form to kill and repel the pesky insects that love to eat your Monstera. (Check for prices at Amazon right here)
Insecticidal soaps are a different essential spray for the arsenal of indoor gardeners. Like the name implies the soap kills insects of all kinds and assists in the elimination of any debris as well as eggs that might be left in the soil.
If you are experiencing frequent pest issues, biological control could be a great method to keep the pests out of your Monstera. This involves introducing predators to the environment you are creating.
It may seem like an unsustainable situation, but predators are just as small than their predators! Ladybirds are a great option due to their large appetites, and wide palates. They can take on virtually every pest that finds its way into your habitat.
Pyrethrin and Pyrethroid Insecticides
Of course, there will be instances when you have to get the big guns out. Pyrethrin is a chemical that occurs naturally in daisy plants which is a great insecticide. Pyrethroids, its synthetic counterpart are equally efficient, and both are safe to apply for indoor Monstera.
Like all insecticides, they should be used only as a last resort , and then only very sparingly. In excess, they can cause resistance pests, so consider alternatives before you use these insecticides.
Sometimes, its best to acknowledge defeat and eliminate the affected plant from your garden completely. The pests are kept out by segregating the bugs and the Monstera. Its hard to let go of an item that you cherish however the price is worth it.
Never ever compost the remains of a Monstera which is infested. Just throw everything, pot included in the trash can. Recycle the soil or the pot could let the infection be spread to other victims.
This is a smaller amount of clippings, soil pots and other care tools. The infected trimmings must be disposed of using double bags and dumping them in the garbage of your home and tools such as shears must be sterilized between use.
You can eliminate creepy crawlies and stop their return by altering the way you take care of your Monstera. Increased humidity can kill spider mites and the process of letting your soil dry between waterings can kill fungus gnats for instance. A little bit of care can go in the direction of making your garden a safe place be able to repel insects on its own.
Why Does My Monstera Have Bugs
What is the cause of insect infestations? Different pests have different preferences for certain locations, so lets take a an examination of what brings these grotesque creatures into your home at all.
The most straightforward reason for the majority of infestations is that they are a result of transmission from infected plants. Monstera seldom attracts pests by itself and is among the main reasons why these lovable climbers are often recommended to new plant owners.
If you take home plants that are infested from a florist or nursery The invaders will then be spread to any plant close by. Theyre not picky and will eat whatever is in their paths.
If you are bringing your new plant home be sure to keep it apart from the rest of your collection for at least a week to make sure it is not infested with pests. To ensure safety most collectors treat new plants with a thorough cleaning and then apply Neem oil.
The Monstera can be a goddess from the tropical lands. They thrive in humid conditions regardless of the the variety. The majority of varieties require at least 40 percent humidity. The more humid the better!
In the indoors, its hard to create a hot and a jungle-like atmosphere. The control of the climate within our buildings eliminates humidity from the air, especially during summer, in which the air is cool.
Spider mites, specifically are averse to dry conditions, and other pests can benefit from a plant that is dehydrated too. Maintaining your humidity at a high level will help keep them away and will help you repel your monstera and be protected from any attack.
Conditions that are wet however provide ideal breeding ground for other insects like whiteflies, fungus gnats and mealybugs. They thrive in moist and sloppy conditions.
Additionally, all pests like to eat weak plants. The leaves of your plant will be more susceptible to attack if they are already sick. Plants who have been damaged due to edema or root rot are the most likely target!
Pests dont appear from nowhere. They are living creatures which must be able to move between plants to get from one from one to another. To flourish, your Monstera needs clean water and new soil. It is recommended to water your Monstera by collecting drippings by other plants or repotting it with used soilare great ways to spread the various pests.
Additionally, if you decide to take away gnawed-up leaves from plants that are infected It is possible to transfer bugs and eggs from the plant that is sick to your Monstera when the damage is not removed properly. Eggs can stick to your the hands, shears, or everything else that comes into contact with the infected plant.
In the end, your plant could be a victim of pests, instead of the pests coming to you.
If you like going with your Monstera out for a walk in the breath of fresh air, then you might be surprised to find that your visitor returns with souvenirs. The pests listed mentioned in this list are present in the typical garden, including aphids, mealybugs and scale.
The most effective way to prevent this is to avoid taking the indoor plants outside. In cooler climates it could be worth it, and in certain cases its necessary.
Monstera deliciosa is able to be huge - and even massive! Im aware that I have difficulty finding a large plant to put to be put under a showerhead for a wash, and I prefer to rinse them out to the outside.
Tips to Prevent Bugs on Monstera
After youve removed the monsters out of your lush greenery, its time to consider ways to stop those tiny monsters from reappearing.
A healthy and stable environment for your plant is vital to avoid infestations. A high humidity can help keep spider mites out of your garden.
The gnats that cause fungus can be prevented by permitting your potting medium to dry between irrigations. Other insects can be kept at low levels by showering on a regularly, something that Monstera likes.
To stop new creatures from entering your home to keep new items out of your reach, you should quarantine purchases and restrict access to external sources.
With just a bit of effort and gentle care, with a little effort and tender care, your Monstera will flourish with its dazzling, glamorous leaves will be healthy and glowing and ready to light up your home again.