Spider plants are maintenance-free plants. They are not prone to common houseplant pests. But Aphids, Mealybugs, and Scales are the common enemies of spider plants.
You can get rid of spider plant pests with a strong stream of water. Insecticidal soap and neem oil are two strong solutions.
In today’s article, you will learn about the spider plant pests and their treatment. Continue reading to know more about spider plant bugs and their treatment methods.
Let’s dive in:
Mealybugs are one of the common spider plant bugs. They eat the sap of the plant because it contains all the nutrients.
These nutrients are essential for the survival of the mealybugs. They are members of the white body insect family.
Once they suck the 50% of plant glucose. Your plant becomes too weak to survive.
Mealybugs live in large colonies under the plant leaves or near the leaf nodes. They have the ability to double their population in less than 90 hours.
The good news is mealybugs are easy to treat and prevent.
Aphids infest almost every type of houseplant. They only want spider plant sap to live their life. The nutrients in their sap give them reproductive power.
They have a small sharp mouth to make holes in the leaf tissues. Then they start drinking the sap of the spider plant.
As a result, your plant becomes weak and depressed.
The worst part is aphids also excrete honeydew on the leaves. This honeydew attracts ants and other insects.
This is the reason we call it the most destructive spider plant bug. Aphids are tiny pale green insects with a pear-shaped soft body.
Scales are not the common enemy of spider plants. They are generally found under the plant leaves. Once they found their favorite place to settle.
They stick to themselves to the leaves and stems. Then scales make a protective layer over their body.
The first thing you will notice is stunted growth and then in the second stage, the spider plant leaves turn yellow.
If you are wondering what is easting your plant and on searching you find nothing. Then snails might be the culprit.
They not only suck the plant sap; they also eat the tender leaves and stems.
These clever snails do their work at night and hide in the potting soil right after sunrise.
This is the reason when you wake up and inspect your plant you find nothing. In this case, you need to repot your plant in fresh soil and throw the infected soil.
(E) Spider Mites
If there are small webbings on your spider plant this means your plant is in serious condition. Spider mites are the bugs that form webbings all over the plant.
They are hard to kill because spider mites can tolerate hot and dry weather. They can survive in high temperatures.
July to September is the time period when spider mite attacks are more common on houseplants.
Common signs of spider mite infestation are yellow leaves with webbings, dark spots on leaves, scorched foliage, and holes in leaves.
(F) Fungus Gnats
These are the mosquito-like bugs. If you see tiny gray mosquitoes on your spider plant. This indicates signs of fungus Gnats infestation.
Larvae are the main culprit in this case. It needs a high amount of nutrition to grow into a full-size Fungus Gnat. Plant sap is the main source of their nutrition.
These Gnats give birth to their larvae on plant leaves and make tiny cracks in the spider plant leaves. These spider plant bugs are the most damaging pests.
You need to use rubbing alcohol to wipe the leaves. Then spray neem oil on the entire plant to get rid of these nasty bugs.
Wilting, drooping, stunted growth, and yellow leaves are alarming signs.
Because whiteflies can jump from one plant to another plant and infect all your indoor plants.
These pests are related to mealy bugs.
Stunted growth, dark spots, tiny holes in the leaves, wilting and yellow leaves are the few common signs of spider plant pest infestation.
2. Treatments of Spider Plant Bugs
(A) Water Spray
Aphids, mealybugs, and scales are easy to treat with a strong spray of water. Rinse your plant with a strong jet of tap water.
Then spray neem oil all over the plant to heal itself.
(B) Change Growing Conditions
This is the natural treatment and, in this technique, you should increase the room humidity. Because the spider mites cannot survive in humid conditions.
They need a hot and dry environment to live a long life.
On the other hand, also let the soil dry out to kill the fungus gnat bugs. Because they cannot survive in dry soil. They need a good amount of moisture in the soil to breathe.
(C) Manual Picking
In case of mild infestation, you can wear your gloves and pick the pests manually. For best results use rubbing alcohol and a cotton cloth to wipe the leaves manually.
Rubbing alcohol will kill the insects once they come in contact with it.
Then you can rinse your plant with normal water.
Apply neem oil to the plant because it has anti-bacterial properties that speed up the growth of new leaves. Also, heal the plant in a few days.
(D) Professional control
In the first stage, we use insecticidal soap to kill bugs on spider plants. Potassium salts are the main ingredients in pest-killing soaps.
It is very helpful in controlling aphids, mealybugs, scales, and thrips.
In the serve infestation stage, we recommend pesticide sprays. These sprays are professionally made for high-risk plants.
Before use, wears gloves and a mask, move your plant outdoors, and then spray all over the plant.
Do not use pesticide treatments on small size houseplants. They cannot handle the harsh chemicals of the sprays.
3. Why Do Spider Plants have bugs?
(A) High Moisture
Mealybugs needs high humidity and hot temperature to live and reproduce. You need to keep the room humidity in control.
Also, lower the temperature of the room by installing the duct fan.
The flow of fresh air is necessary to keep the plants healthy.
Before buying a plant know about its humidity needs and if it needs high humidity then installing a fan is a must.
You should also install a hygrometer in the grow room to measure the room humidity from time to time.
(B) Waterlogged Soil
Too much soil moisture is a favorable condition for fungus gnats and whiteflies. Learn the correct watering technique.
The general watering rule is, let the 1 inch of the soil dry before watering.
This technique will reduce the chances of overwatering, root rot, and pest attacks. Also use fresh clean water for watering.
Hard water is not recommended for houseplants like spider plant.
(C) Poor Ventilation
Poor ventilation increases the chances of pest infestation. Plants need a good flow of fresh oxygen to breathe.
Oxygen keeps the spider plant roots healthy.
Low airflow in grow room also increases the chances of fungus diseases.
Air helps the soil to dry out between watering applications. This step is necessary to keep the plant protected from root rot.
(D) Unhygienic Surroundings
In unhygienic growing conditions, your plant will get infected by many pest and fungus problems. Dead leaves and dirty rooms are the main cause of spider plant problems.
Keep the grow room clean to protect your spider plant from bugs and diseases.
4. How to Prevent Bugs on Spider Plants?
Check your plants on daily basis for pest infestations. If you do not have enough time for your plant. Then make a routine of inspection.
Inspect your plants closely at the time of watering.
Look at both sides of the leaves and also the leaf nodes. Do not forget to check the potting soil.
Use neem oil spray on plants to keep them healthy in all conditions. Neem has anti-bacterial properties.
Moreover, neem oil is safe to use on houseplants.
All the above-mentioned bugs are common when you do not give proper care to your spider plant.
If you give your plant an adequate amount of indirect bright light, fertilizers, and a good amount of water. You will never face bugs on your spide plant.
Try to give the best care to your plant. The health of your plant totally depends upon your efforts.