The snake plant is one of the plants that can survive the harsh conditions of nature in terms of light, nutrition, and water. This plant has a high resistance to pests and insects to grow and develop.
Do snake plants attract bugs? This is one of the common questions on snake plant care forums in recent times. So, let’s learn about the insect problem in snake plants in this article.
What are the common insects that attack this plant? And how to recognize and destroy them simply and effectively.
Do Snake Plants Attract Bugs?
A snake plant is a plant that does not attract any insects because it does not have a distinctive scent or fruit to stimulate insect attack. In particular, this plant contains the insecticidal substance Saponin. It is a natural chemical and is effective against most insects that attack snake plants.
However, the snake plant is still a plant, so it can still be attacked by various diseases and insects like mealybugs, spiders, fungi, whiteflies, scales, and aphids.
These insects tend to attack snake plants in poor conditions such as dampness, waterlogging, high humidity, open wounds, and weak root systems. They will suck the sap directly from the leaves and cause brown spots to appear. From there, the cell structure of the leaves will be broken down and withered gradually.
Signs To Recognize Some Insects In Snake Plant
- Brown soft scales: Adult scales 3-4 mm long, 2 mm wide, oval, exudate, color may change. This insect attacks the leaves directly and sucks the sap. Some common signs are yellowing leaves, leaf drops, black and yellow spots, and wilting and drooping leaves.
- Fungus gnats: Flies have small, fragile bodies with long legs. It does not attack the leaves directly but creates stains all over the place and inhibits the growth of the snake plant. The larvae of this species usually live in moist soil, feeding on algae, fungi, and plant roots. You need to watch out for these insects in the fall and winter because they cause sudden wilting, yellowing of leaves, rotting, and destruction of young plants.
- Spider mites: Spider mites are relatives of arachnids with reddish-brown or pale colors. These insects are often difficult to detect with the naked eye because they often hide under the surface of leaves. When attacking snake plants, they will create holes or spots in the leaves. Leaves are discolored, and curled, with brown spots and deciduous.
- Whiteflies: Fireflies are insects that secrete honey, from which it will attract other harmful insects to the snake plant. Fireflies are small, heart-shaped bugs. It resembles a moth, with white, feathery wings and short antennae. They often attach to the tops of leaves and transmit viruses to plants, from which the plants will be stunted, slow to grow, and slowly die.
- Aphids: Aphids are very small mollusks. They secrete juice and create black mold spots on the leaves. This insect causes photosynthetic inhibition, reduced vigor of the entire plant, curled leaves, and wilted and yellow or brown coloration.
Why Do Insects Attack Your Snake Plant?
As you know, the snake plant can protect itself from most insects. However, inappropriate care is the main reason why snake plants are attacked by insects. Some common causes are high humidity, over-watering, and waterlogging.
High humidity is one of the first causes that allow insects to multiply and attack snake plants. This plant is like a cactus, they have succulent leaves so it prefers a dry environment and medium humidity.
Pests and insects tend to grow quickly in humid environments. They will be destroyed quickly in hot and dry weather conditions. When the humidity in the air is too high, the surrounding plants can attract insects and attack all the plants in your garden.
Besides, when the humidity is too high for a long time, the leaves of snake plants also have difficulty in photosynthesis, evaporation, and air exchange. As a result, the leaves and stems will also become yellow, weak, and soft. This is the perfect opportunity for molds and pests to attack when the sclera of the leaves is broken.
Watering too much
The snake plant is a succulent plant related to cacti, so it can survive in conditions of lack of water. The succulent leaves will be effective in storing water and using it when needed. Over-watering will increase waterlogging, dampness, and root rot.
Too much water causes the roots to become waterlogged and rot, from which the root system cannot transport water to the leaves and stems, causing the entire plant to wilt and die slowly. Humidity and waterlogging are also the most ideal conditions for fungi and insects to grow.
Snake plants only need watering once every 10-14 days during the growing season and once a month in winter. You should only water when the soil is completely dry by 1-2 inches. Water slowly so that the water is completely absorbed into the soil, do not water the leaves and water at night.
Poor air circulation
Snake plants like open air circulation in the soil and air. If your potted plant is located in a place where the air circulation is poor or there is no vent, this plant is easily attacked by insects.
There is no vent hole, so excess water cannot escape, causing waterlogging. Waterlogging causes root rot and rapid fungal growth. Therefore, you need to regularly check the transpiration holes and make sure excess water is draining out and the air is circulating in the soil.
Read more: Can I Use Succulent Soil For Snake Plant?
How To Kill Insects On Snake Plants?
There are many ways to deal with insects that attack snake plants, but the level of recovery and effectiveness depends on the actual situation when the pest attacks. First, you need to isolate the plants that are attacked by pests to avoid spreading to other plants. Treat the cut clean and make sure insects do not re-enter.
You can use some sprays to kill insects below.
- Pyrethrum: This acid is naturally derived from chrysanthemum flowers. It attacks the nervous system of insects and effectively kills them.
- Cinnamate: Cinnamate is a drug derived from cinnamon oil. Its effectiveness is against all stages of the disease. You can spray the solution on the entire plant and wait for it to recover for a few weeks. In particular, this spray is safe and does not harm insects.
- Neem oil: Neem oil is an extremely popular oil in the prevention and extermination of insects. It acts as a natural insect repellent and prevents pests from attaching to the leaves. You must apply neem oil regularly to the leaves.
- Rosemary oil: Rosemary oil is also a natural oil that inhibits the growth of pests. Apply oil to the leaves and you can rest assured that it is safe for both animals and humans.
Some Important Notes In Snake Plant Care To Eliminate Pests
- Plant the snake plant in a dry place with at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight
- Water properly and water only when the ground is 1 to 2-inches dry
- Do not mist frequently when humidity is medium. Only mist when the humidity is low and the leaves need to be replenished
- Maintain indoor humidity around 40% for the best development of snake plant
- Clean the leaves regularly and spray with oils to prevent pests from sticking to the leaves
- Use neem oil spray on the leaves of plants as a preventive measure
- Do not water too much to cause waterlogging, make sure to have drainage holes
- Fertilize periodically with the prescribed dose. Do not apply too much fertilizer, causing the plant to be shocked and hurt
Snake plants are not plants that attract insects and pests with their sweet scent or fruit. It is often attacked by pests and diseases due to unsuitable living conditions such as high humidity, waterlogging and poor air circulation.
Some common insects such as brown scales, snake flies, soft flies, and fireflies. Use oils to spray the plant and clean the leaves regularly to remove fungus and plaque.
Do not forget to place the potted plant in an open place with sunlight and good air circulation both in space and on the ground. Water only when the soil is dry and does not overwater at one time.