How to Get Rid of Bugs on My Peace Lily

Last Updated on November 13, 2022 by Stephanie

Peace lilies are the perfect symbol of peace and peace within the realm of indoor plants. Theyre fairly durable, easy to care for and sturdy, but they can be spooked by a few insects.

It is a blessing that you are able to eliminate common pests of peace lily that infest your plant.

To eliminate peace lily bugs: Firstly blow the bugs away from your peace lily with an intense jet of water from the shower or outdoors and then wipe it clean with cotton swabs that have been soaked in ruby alcohol. To control the problem, spray it with Neem oil (or any other standard horticultural oil) as well as insecticidal soap.

Maintaining your peace lilys health and well-maintained is the first line of defense against common insects. Find out the reasons your peace lily is a victim of bugs and how to get rid of them.

Common Bugs on Peace Lily

[1] Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae)

Check regularly to see if mealybugs have erected a tent over the peace lily. They are known to clog the leaves undersides, particularly when the leaves emerge from the soil, and in the leafs main veins.

Mealybugs are tiny insects with no wings, about a fifth inch long. They have a gray, white or waxy appearance.

They form sticky cotton-like clusters that are found on the back of leaves, however they can also be found on the stems and flowers.

These ferocious insects are outfitted by hypodermic jaws. They eat sap and expel whats not digested into gooey honeydew. The syrupy, sticky substance attracts mold spores and ants that develop into a gray or black sooty coatings on leaves.

Symptoms

  • The presence of black sooty or Ants
  • The leaves are waxy, cottony, or powdery white clusters on the leaves back
  • Stunted growth is a sign that the infestation is serious
  • Exit holes visible left by the bugs.

Treatment

Eliminate your peace lily immediately at the sight of mealybugs to ensure that the infestation doesnt keep in its spread

Method 1: Rubbing Alcohol

If youre fortunate enough to spot mealybugs prior to them beginning to grow into a full-blown infestation, youll be able to eliminate them naturally. But, theyre so small that eliminating them manually isnt always feasible.

The next option is to apply ruby alcohol, which weakens the wax that protects mealybugs and eventually eliminates them.

  1. Make sure to soak the cotton swabs thoroughly in ruby alcohol.
  2. Utilize them to swab groups of mealybugs as well as their eggs. If you are able, apply a dab of each bug to enough alcohol to eliminate the waxy skin.
  3. Make use of the opposite part of your cotton swabs to clean the flowers, leaves, and the stems. This will help to scrape the insects off your peace lilies.
  4. Be sure to dispose of the mealybugs in a clean and safe manner.

peace lily flower and leaf close up

Method 2: Water Spray

If the number of mealybugs is insufficient to be swabbed, this method is sufficient. Make use of a powerful stream of water from your water hose or the garden to kill mealybugs from your peace flower.

Be sure to cover the pot with care and securely using plastic wrap. This will prevent your potting mixture from becoming submerged in water.

Method 3: Insecticidal Soap Spray

In the event that your peace lily is infested with a lot of mealybugs and ruby alcohol doesnt work its possible to try using insecticidal soap. I like organic and pre-formulated insecticidal soaps available on Amazon.

  1. It is recommended you to spray the peace lily when the temperature drops lower than 90°F (32degC).
  2. Additionally, soap can cause problems for your peace lily when its stressed by water, so make sure to water it prior to spraying.
  3. Wear appropriate protective equipment (respiratory mask and waterproof gloves.) and spray the soap to kill insects according to the directions on the label.
  4. Keep spraying till the solution is completely drained across all leaves of the peace lily. Be sure to remember the undersides of the leaves as well as parts of the stems that are that are covered in foliage.
  5. Repeat this procedure every 7-10 days until you have defeated the mealybug infestation.

If the problem appears to be consuming your peace lily, you might want to getting water around and in the roots with the systemic insecticide (amazon hyperlink)

Method 4: Horticultural Oil

A standard horticultural oil or neem oil can aid in eliminating mealybugs.

  1. Make your oil spray by using one gallon of water. Mix four tablespoons of Neem oil.
  2. Shake the mixture vigorously to ensure that the mix is uniform.
  3. Make sure your peace the lily is dry and temperatures are to below 100degF (37degC)
  4. Spray the spray liberally till all areas are coated in the mixture of oil.
  5. Spray again with your peace lily within 7 to 7 days.

Repeat this process until you can keep the infestation under control. Be aware that the above techniques work for nearly all commonly found peace lily bug species, which Ill cover in the future.

[2] Spider Mites (Tetranychidae)

Spider mites are a different kind of sap-sucking insects that could infest your peace the lily. In contrast to mealybugs and aphids, these insects with eight legs dont release honeydew. They look like fine silky webbing that hangs on your flower.

If you think that spider mites have been found in your peace lily, place your plant on an uncolored piece of paper. There will be dust-like particles moving on the paper.

Symptoms

  • Webbing can be seen between the leaves of the peace the lily
  • Speckled, curled or discolored foliage
  • Brown spots on the leaves
  • Leaves can change from yellow to bronze because of a severe infestations

Treatment

Similar to mealybugs, you can apply the insecticidal spray or oil to combat spider mites. The first step is to apply a powerful stream of water in order to wash all bugs you can off your peace flowering lily. Pay particular focus on the undersides on the leaf.

For garden or outdoor peace lilies, you should consider insecticides based on sulfur. The Neem Oil, the insecticide soap, and a majority of horticultural oils can also eliminate spider mites in the outdoors.

It is possible that you will need be required to go through the regimen frequently throughout the week. It could take several weeks to completely stop the growth.

[3] Scale Insects

There are also bugs on the peace lilys scales, particularly if it is overwatered or isnt getting sufficient lighting.

The tiny bugs have a hard shell , and appear as tiny bumps on the leaves and the stems that the peace lily. They also draw sap from your plant and create honeydew that promotes the growth of moldy sooty.

Symptoms

  • Yellowed or wilted leaves
  • Stunted growth - If the growth is not under control, it could overtake your peace flowering lily
  • There are ants that you can spot due to honeydew
  • The black sooty mold is visible on the stems and leaves

Treatment

Scale insects can be difficult to manage once theyve formed an extremely hard shell. But, you can wipe them with ruby alcohol or take them out by hand.

If theyre still in the stage of nymphs You can easily manage the insects using insecticidal soap or horticultural oils like Neem oil.

Spray with an insecticide Make sure you focus on the leafs back. Apply the insecticide each 7-10 days until the problem is in control.

[4] Aphids

Aphids are among the most destructive pest which could infest the peace lily. The soft-bodied, 8-winged honeydew-excreting insects are so small (roughly one quarter-inch in length) that theyre invisible to the naked eye.

Although these pear-shaped insects are typically lighter green, they may appear gray, yellow or black. They can also appear brown, black and even pink. They may also have an oily or woolly coating (hence the term woolly worms).

Aphids reproduce very quickly by clumping the undersides of the leaves, and tender new growths that look like stems, buds and leaves.

Symptoms

  • Be on the lookout for stunted, yellowing, curving, or bent leaves
  • A sticky substance that is deposited on the leaves and stems
  • There may be insects on or around your peace the lily
  • Sooty mold can appear on the stems, leaves or even on flowers.

Treatment

  1. Aphids can multiply very quickly and you should take the necessary measures to control them immediately. Make use of a powerful stream of water to remove the aphids from your peace flowering lily. It is possible to squeeze aphids to take them off by hand. make sure to clean your plants down using cotton swabs soaked in ruby alcohol.
  2. For larger populations, youll prefer spraying your peace lily with ready-to-use insecticide soap or horticultural oil (preferably Neem oil). Spray the plant till the oil or soap drips off everywhere on the plant with a particular focus on the delicate growths and leaf undersides. Apply the insecticidal soap or oil every two to three days for a period of two weeks (or according to the company that makes it).
  3. Utilizing acephate-based insecticides is an additional efficient method to do rid of Aphids. Apply according to the instructions of the manufacturer. It is recommended to wait 7-10 days before re-spraying.
  4. To control outdoor pests You can let the natural predators that aphids are in your greenhouse, garden, or your backyard. Lady bugs, lady beetles and lacewings are an excellent option.

[5] Thrips (Thysanoptera)

If you spot tiny black or white insects flying around the peace lily in your garden, it could be Thrips. The first signs are egg-like larvae which appear yellow on the leafs top, and also on stems, flowers, or even the soil.

Symptoms

  • The most severe infestations appear as silvery or brown streaks (appearing as moving lines when disturbed)
  • Distorted new growth
  • The leaves have black spots that resemble feces. leaves
  • The leaves are splotchy, faded or light-colored foliage
  • Malformed flower buds.

Treatment

  1. Since thrips are not predators in the indoor environment, they are able to grow rapidly. Therefore, early detection is essential, and you need to treat both the soil as well as your peace lily.
  2. Then, you can use a strong flow of water take the peace lily off of its. Be sure to wash the leafs back since thats where the majority of adults are hiding.
  3. In the case of sprays using neem oil (or the standard horticultural oil) as well as insecticidal soap is a powerful but safe and natural method. Repeat the spraying every 10 days until the problem is eliminated.
  4. It is possible to set the blue or yellow sticky traps in your peace flowers. This can aid in detecting a potential infestation earlier.

[6] Fungus Gnats

If fungus gnats have found their home in the peace lily in your garden, look out for tiny black flies circling the plant. Theyre long-legged and have antennae, however their eggs are laid in the soil. They are usually observed in humid, warm conditions.

Symptoms

  • Leaf wilting
  • Leaf loss
  • Leaf becoming yellow
  • Poor growth or stunted.

Treatment

As Ive mentioned above that excessive water in the soil or around the peace lily can attract fungus and gnats. Therefore, its recommended to leave two to three inches of soil below your surface, to dry out slightly between waterings.

To get rid of adult fungus gnats to eliminate them, you can use a pyrethrin-based pesticide spray. Make sure that your peace lily is covered with the spray. It will take two days before you spray once more, repeating the process until the lilies are gone.

The yellow sticky trap is an extremely effective method of eliminating fungus gnats, without the use of any chemical.

Why Does My Peace Lily Have Bugs

Wet Conditions

The majority of bugs that attack peace lilies are attracted to wet or damp conditions. This is a natural instinct that helps them to survive in their tiny bodies. They need to seek out moist areas to keep their tiny bodies moist, or else theyll perish from drying out.

Bugs such as fungus gnats require an incredibly moist, warm soil mix to lay their eggs. High humidity, overwatering, and stagnant water can cause the damp conditions which peace lily bugs enjoy so very much.

High Humidity

As Ive said that high humidity can create an unforgiving microclimate around your peace lily, which attracts Aphids, fungus gnats and other insects. To decrease humidity, spread the plants out, increase the aeration of your plants, and try to avoid overwatering.

Poor Aeration

Pests thrive in unaerated zones. Peace lilies, for instance, tend to be slow and unhealthy in humid and unventilated areas, which makes them susceptible to disease and pests.

Aeration can speed up the process of vaporizing soil moisture as well as any water that has caused the foliage to be wet. If the soil in the potting area is left damp for a long time it creates a humid and moist environment for pests to thrive in.

To fix the issue to get your plants out of the way or use an oscillating air fan, or the window. If you can, transfer your peace lily into an area that is well-aerated.

Inadequate Nutrients

Insufficient nutrition can make your peace lilies susceptible to insects. The minerals manganese as well as potassium for example are essential to produce defensive compounds that shield your plants from pests.

Peace lilies lacking minerals like silicon or zinc, boron, or calcium could be malformed, stunted, and weak, allowing for an attack.

It is essential to place your peace lilies in a moist and rich potting mix that has plenty of organic matter, which boosts fertility. Feed them with a slow-release fertilizer every week or biweekly to help support the hefty growth of summer.

Too Much Fertilizer

It is essential to fertilize your peace lily frequently during the summer months, but stop in the months of slow growth autumn and winter begin to arrive.

If you continue to apply fertilizer excessively, it could cause brown spots and damage to the roots, making your lily more susceptible to insects.

How to Get Rid of Peace Lily Bugs Naturally

[1] Neem Oil

Neem oil is a non-toxic insecticide made from organic material that does well against peace insects that eat lilies. It has a long-lasting effect that helps to prevent the possibility of future pest invasions.

Spray the neem oil mixture liberally on the leaves and stems. It kills some of them on contact, or when they eat neem oil-laced leaves.

[2] Insecticidal Soap Spray

A more effective and natural solution is to use insecticidal soap. It kills fungus, mealybugs thermopysis, thrips, gnats, mites as well as scale insects after contact. This gives you an advantage, particularly when you spot the problem in the early stages.

It is possible to use ready-to-use natural insecticidal soap or make your own soapy concoction at home. Combine 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (mild) with one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add one gallon of water, and shake vigorously prior to use.

Apply the spray until it is covered all of the peace lilys leaves stems, leaves, and other affected areas. You should wait between 10 and 15 minutes before washing off the peace flower.

[3] Oil Spray

Spray for horticulture composed of cottonseed, soybeans, tea tree, canola, mineral oils, or sunflower These sprays offer you an eco sustainable and efficient method to deter insects that annoy your peace flower.

You can also make your own oil spray with any oils, liquids, or detergent. I strongly recommend making use of canola oil by mixing 1 tablespoon of it with 1qz of water along with some drop of laundry soap. It kills when it comes to contact with soft-bodied insects.

[4] Herbal Water Spray

The sprays are simple for you to create at-home with powerful herbs such as lavender rue, sage mint, thyme, or peppermint. It is also possible to mix with chopped herbs, garlic as well as chili oil. Make sure to mix in some dishwashing soap that is liquid or water.

[5] Pyrethrin

Gardeners have trusted it for years, pyrethrin is an organic, plant-derived insecticide that is eco-friendly, efficient and safe to apply indoors. The active ingredient numbs insects once it comes in contact with them.

[6] Garlic Spray

Garlic is one of the most potent substances that act as insect repellants. To make an effective garlic spray, place four cloves of garlic that have been crushed or minced in a tablespoon of mineral oil, and allow it to soak for up to 24 hours.

Remove the garlic that is chunky and then add a tablespoon of mild detergent or soap, and add one pint of water prior to spraying.

[7] Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural insecticide powerful enough to kill the majority of fungus gnats as well in the larvae of various bugs that lay eggs in the mixing of potting.

Tips to Prevent Bugs on Peace Lily

When you have to deal with peace insects Preventing them is the best option. Here are some tested and proven methods you can avoid them and limit the damage they cause:

  • Check your peace lilies frequently for insects. Be sure to inspect the leaves backs and the tender growths that are just beginning to emerge.
  • Make sure that your plants are aerated by ensuring good airflow, trimming regularly and spacing your plants
  • Get rid of any diseased or dead leaves, tissues, or other plant material when you notice the signs of. If they build up over the potting mix, they can attract insects and diseases.
  • Do not reuse the potting mix you used when transplanting or refilling your peace Lilies.
  • Eliminate any infected or diseased houseplants as soon as you notice them.
  • Inadequate watering practices can attract unwanted insects. Avoid excessive watering, overhead irrigation, and letting the water fall onto the leaves. Make sure to water your plants in the early morning.
  • Avoid damp conditions - Dont let your peace lilies sit in standing water, plus dont overcrowd your houseplants.
  • Make sure you fertilize properly. Over-fertilization is not a good idea and promotes pests. Apply a water-soluble, well-balanced fertilizer for your houseplants every two months during the growing season. Do not fertilize in winter.
  • Bring your peace lilies a the bright indirect light that will help you maintain the ideal temperature of between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (20-29degC).

(Source: Clemson University)

Stephanie

Stephanie

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 :)