Which Bugs Eat Spider Plants?

Spider plants are an excellent option if you are looking for an easy-care, low-maintenance houseplant. Aphids, mealybugs and scale spider mites, whiteflies can be a nuisance occasionally. It is good news that you can stop and eradicate the spider plants bugs.

The most frequent spider plant bug is mealybugs, aphids, and scales. Get rid of the majority of spider plant pests by spraying an intense stream of water. Spray your plants using insecticidal soaps, oil of neem, and homemade sprays for insecticides to eliminate the remaining insects. Aeration, proper irrigation and adequate light be a part of their prevention.

The kind of bug as well as the extent of the infestation will determine the best way to eliminate these bugs. Read on to find out how to recognize the common pests of spider plants. I’ve also provided some methods to remove them naturally. these insects.

Common Spider Plant Bugs

spider plants on windowsill iwth white pots

[1] Mealybugs

The Mealybug is among the frequent insects that are attracted by spider plants. The exterior of these sap-suckers are white and waxy. The same fuzzy cottony look remains on the back of the leafy spider plants.

Mealybugs are part of the scale insect family with soft bodies. They are also closely related to other sap-sucking insects like whiteflies and aphids. As for sap, these insects eat the life out of the spider plant.

They release honeydew at after their nutrient-rich meals. Ants consume the gooey, sticky substance. The syrup’s sugar content is perfect for the growth of mold and causes the spider plant to become less well-nourished.

Symptoms

  • The white cottony growths are typically found on the bottom of leaves.
  • The presence of small insects covered in a white waxy coating. Move to other areas of the plant if disturbed.
  • The black sooty mold is a coating on the stem and foliage surfaces
  • Growth stunted due to the sooty mold cover that decreases photosynthesis.
  • The leaves that are heavily infested become yellow, wither and then droop.
  • The spider plant could begin dying due to a massive population

Control and Management

Most mealybug infestations result from newly-homed houseplants. They may have acquired the insects from a nursery, greenhouse, or plant shop. Therefore, you should treat and quarantine new plants for at least 3 weeks.

Keep spider plants that are affected away from your healthy plants.

There are many ways to control mealybugs that are available.

  • Alcohol rub: This technique is the most effective method to deal with tiny mealybug infestations. Use cotton swabs that have been soaked in 70% isopropyl alcohol rub them on the areas affected and then into mealybugs in themselves. The alcohol rubbing will melt the bug’s protective waxy shells and allow them to die.
  • Sprays that are non-toxic: I recommend you to apply a safe spray for indoor use such as Neem oil (Check the most current prices at Amazon right here) as well as insecticidal soap. Both are non-toxic and their oils assist in the suffocation process of mealybugs. Spray your plant with the spider spray once every week until the bugs are gone.
  • Biological control: To rid your home of mealybugs, I highly suggest using natural predators. Mealybug killers are the most effective option, however ladybugs and lacewing larvae could be effective too.
  • Soil drenches: Mealybugs can attack roots when the infestation is serious enough. It is necessary to apply an insecticide soil-drenching product (Check the most current prices at Amazon right here) specifically designed specifically for plants in the house to prevent this. To get rid of mealybugs, apply the product according to directions by the manufacturer on its label.

[2] Aphids

Aphids, just like their mealybug-like cousins who are soft are fond of drinking sap from spider plants. They take in the nutritious liquid by bending their mouthpieces with tender growing plants. In the end, the spider plant becomes fragile and weak.

They also release honeydew that is deposited on the surface of the leaves. Because of the mold growth leaves can become slippery and sooty. Aphids can be difficult to identify due to their aggregation within folded folds and on the beneath the leaves.

The good thing is that they do not cause major damage. However, they could cause your spider plant to be infected with bacterial wilt, as well as other diseases that can be deadly.

Symptoms

  • Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped bugs which are often seen as light green. However, they can also be black, gray, red or peach. They can also be yellow.
  • The leaves of a plant that is heavily infested may begin becoming yellow and look puckered.
  • There are insects scurrying about the sticky honeydew
  • Black sooty, sticky molds that stick to leaf surfaces

Control and Management

It is important to separate plants that are affected by Aphids. Also treat and quarantine newly purchased plants that arrive at your house.

  • Squish aphids: Aphids are soft-bodied , and therefore not very fast-moving. This is why squishing is an effective method of managing the aphids. Make use of a cotton swab that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol to clean off the spider plant.
  • Clean them up Also, you can remove them from the spider plants. Make use of an ounce of water powerful enough to knock them away. Dab the remainder using an alcohol-dipped cotton swab to prevent them from regaining control.
  • Spray them with Neem oil or insecticidal soap spray on the spider plant. The oils only work when they are able to cover the Aphids. Repeat the application every 7 to 10 days. between 7 and 10 days until you have averted the aphid problem.

If you can draw ladybugs to your garden, then that’s great. They are natural predators that will wipe out the population of aphids in a short time.

[3] Spider Mites (Tetranychidae)

The problem is that you may have an infestation of spider mites if you see tiny webs of hairs on the spider plant. These tiny arachnids (they aren’t insects) create small holes in the foliage of your plant.

Spider mites have been known to thrive in hot, dry conditions. Temperatures of around the 80 degree mark (26degC) are perfect for their survival. Keep on the lookout for them in spider plants in the summer months from July through September.

Symptoms

  • Leaves that appear dry and then turn to yellow is the most frequent symptoms that spider mites cause.
  • Webbings of silky tininess on the leaves
  • Leaves that are discolored or spotted
  • The ravages of the infestation can cause the foliage to appear scorched or sunburned
  • Tiny holes are scattered throughout the leaves

Control and Management

Spider mites are a persistent problem and you may require various methods to combat them.

  • Clean them up: Use a strong stream of water that is warm to kill them and remove them. Be sure to concentrate on the folded areas as well as the edges of the leaves.
  • Utilize a miticide: There are a variety of miticides and chemical pesticides that help reduce the number of spider mites. I’ve observed that formulas with cyfluthrin or malathion are the most effective.
  • Combat them with natural predators: The majority of naturally-occurring predators for spider mites exist and are readily available to purchase. Your choice includes predatory mites like Amblyseius andersoni, Amblyseius californicus, and Phytoseiulus persimilis. Also, you can test predatory Thrips.
  • spray with the neem oil: The organic horticultural oil is rich in Azdirachtin, which is a powerful ingredient that helps to eliminate spider mites. It is safe to use without causing harm to pets or humans.
  • Insecticidal soap sprays: These soaps and oils can work against the spider mite. But, you should apply them every 5-7 days until you have a solution. Alter the soap’s content to stop spider mites from becoming intolerant to the soap.
  • Boost humidity: Spider mites prefer drier conditions. Therefore, you can reduce the number of them by creating a moist oasis within your plant. Sprinkle it around daily or make use of an air humidifier.

Do not forget to separate your plant. It will have time to battle the pest by itself, without harming other plants in the house.

[4] Scales

Infestations of scale insects begin with crawlers that are tiny and move in a are affixed to the back of the leaves. As the tiny bugs settle, they create hard, protective shells that are then unable to move. They are able to be attached to stems, leaves, and even plantlets.

Scales appear as bumps shaped like shells in spider plant. They also suck sap from the leaves and excreting the honeydew-like syrup.

Symptoms

  • Small shell-like bumps on the stems and leaves. They may appear like white, orange or black.
  • Yellowed and stunted leaves
  • The appearance of blackish-colored mold on surfaces affected by the fungus.

Control and Management

The timing is vital when battling the spread of scale. They are most vulnerable during their crawler phase. Therefore, you should apply insecticides when they’re moving.

  • Rubbing alcohol – Dub or rub some 70% isopropyl alcohol onto scales to kill. I have found this method to be efficient against light infestations.
  • Spray with the horticultural oil or insecticidal soap It is essential to cover the entire spider plants with oil or soap spray. This method is most effective to kill scale insects in the nymph or larval stage. It is necessary to spray several times to ensure adequate control.
  • Apply neem oil. Unlike insecticidal soap sprays oil is more potent ingredient called Azdirachtin. This is why it can aid in removing adult scales.
  • Utilize predatory insects – Lady beetles and soldier beetles to be extremely efficient for all scale bugs. It is also possible to employ beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps.

[5] Fungus Gnats

If you notice tiny, gray bugs that flit around your plant while the watering process, it’s likely that you have a fungus infestation insects.

Symptoms

  • The gnats of fungus cause the most damage, limiting the development of your plant.
  • The spider plant could be prone to drooping or wilting without a reason
  • Leaf drop
  • Leaf becoming yellow
  • Gnats circling your plant

Control and Management

    • Do not water: Fungus can reproduce in soil that is damp in warmer climates. When you allow the growth soil dry, the eggs and larvae will be killed by dehydration.
    • Utilize yellow sticky traps: Fungus gnats can be enticed by the colour yellow. They are attracted to the yellow sticky tape and become stuck. You can make use of raw potatoes and then place the cut side down on the soil.
    • Utilize biological control: The most efficient biological control I would recommend is Bacillus Thuringiensis (Check the most current cost at Amazon right here). Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

[6] Whiteflies

Symptoms

Whiteflies are tiny, fly-like creatures that form clusters on the undersides spider leaves of plants. They’re quite active during the daytime. When you move your plants, they’ll scatter in a flurry.

Whiteflies are a close relative of mealybugs and Aphids. They’re sap suckers which can engorge the spider plant. The most common symptoms are:

  • Honeydew causes leaves to become sticky and causes black sooty mold
  • Plant is stunted and weak
  • There are ants that may be grazing the honeydew
  • Leaves can turn pale, yellow, or will begin to wilt
  • Leaves can shrivel and drop off

Control and Management

The majority of whiteflies’ infestations begin in greenhouses or at plant shops. It is recommended to check the newly-installed spider plant for critters. Better yet, you should isolate the new plants for at minimum three weeks.

Get them out of the way With a powerful blast of water will help to dislodge the majority of scale eggs, nymphs and adults. You can also vacuum your plants with similar results.

Install traps that are sticky: you could place the sticky tapes around the spider plant or put them in pots. They’ll accomplish the same task of catching whiteflies.

Spray with insecticides derived from pyrethroids: Filled with pyrethrins insecticide spray will help to control adult whiteflies.

Utilize horticultural oils to effectively control pupae and nymphs of whiteflies, spray them to the spider plant completely with Neem oil.

Apply insecticidal soap: You could make use of insecticidal soap that is ready to use or make your own at your home. Begin by putting a tablespoon of Ivory Liquid in a gallon of water to treat a mild infestation. It is recommended to use soap for insecticides together with the pyrethroid insecticides.

How Can I Get Rid of Bugs from my Spider Plant Naturally

[1]Syringing Plants

A powerful spray of water can ward off certain spider plant bugs, such as mealybugs, aphids, and Aphids. It is necessary to wash them off frequently in the shower to get them off the job.

[2]Cultural Changes

Modifying your routine of care can aid in preventing or controlling certain insects. For instance, you could increase the humidity in order to combat spider mites who like dry, hot environments. On the other hand allowing your soil to dry can aid in tackling fungus gnat problems.

[3]Sticky Trap/ Flying Trap

The sticky traps as well as flytraps can help decrease the population of certain bugs. For example yellow sticky traps are effective against fungus gnats whiteflies, and winged aphids.

[4]Handpicking

Utilize gloves or handheld vacuum cleaners to scoop larger bugs. This can help reduce the number of mealybugs as well as scales. In some cases, it is better to make use of a cotton swab that has been soaked with ruby alcohol.

Biological Controls

The majority of spider plants have predators you can lure into your yard. The biological control are available on the internet, through specialty retailers or even a local botanical store. I’ve identified the most efficient ones below in the table.

[5]Insecticidal Soaps

Insecticidal soaps function as small sprays of potassium fatty acid salts that impede the respiratory system of insects. They are quite effective in removing the spider plant bugs that are prevalent such as mealybugs, aphids and scale nymphs and spider mites.

Neem Oil

The oil of Neem is neem extract from the tree and is a great organic insecticide. It acts by stopping the insect’s respiratory system. It’s a systemic insecticide which is effective for years in fighting mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, and even scale.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a potent method to fight soft-bodied insects by forming the help of a waxy coating. This is why it’s the best control of mealybugs.

Horticultural Oils

Diluted distillate and mineral-based horticultural oils are essential to have in your gardening tools. They’re excellent insecticides to control whiteflies, spider mites, and scales.

Pyrethroid Insecticides

Pyrethrin, an insecticidal natural compound, is the main ingredient in the insecticides pyrethroids. It’s the result of the plant called pyrethrum. It’s fast-acting, safe, and effective in control of the majority of spider plant bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth

It’s the name of an organic insecticide that eliminates the outer layer of insect skin and then dehydrates them until they die. It’s also well-known for its residual properties which means it kills insects eggs, larvae, and pests even after the initial application. (Source: Colorado State University)

Why Does My Spider Plant Have Bugs

Hot, Dry Conditions

Certain spider plant bugs, like the spider mite will thrive in dry, hot regions. It is usually the case during winter , when central heating makes the air inside your house dry and crisp.

High Humidity

Certain bugs, like mealybugs, thrive in humid and wet conditions. They require humid air to stay hydrated and soft. The good news is that spiders do not like excessive humidity.

Wet Condition

Spider plants are the most susceptible to insects when they’re sick and weak. This is especially true if they’ve over-watered. The moisture causes root rot, and other diseases which make your spider plant more susceptible to insects.

In addition, insects such as aphids and mealybugs as well as fungus insects require moist conditions for their growth.

Poor Ventilation

The majority of spider pests of plants thrive in places which do not have adequate ventilation. Additionally, your plant requires adequate aeration in order to remain well-nourished and fight off diseases and pests.

The soil also remains damp when the air circulation is poor. This can increase the chances of overwatering your plant. This will only draw pests and infections.

Tips to Prevent Bugs on Spider Plant

  • Monitor your spider plant on a regular basis If you notice any insects, make sure to eliminate them before they become an issue.
  • Make sure you are watering properly – only sprinkle water on your spider plant once 3 inches of the growing medium feel dry.
  • Infested plants in the house should be quarantined immediately. This is the case for any plant that was recently removed from the store or greenhouse.
  • Make sure you have aeration that is good.
  • Make use of a well-drained growing medium for repotting the spider plants.
  • Maintain temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees F ( 21 to 32 degrees Celsius) and provide direct, bright light.
Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)