When it comes to you successfully growing succulents at home then you need to be aware of different pests that seem to love to attack these plants. By being aware of them it also stands to reason that you will be better placed to prevent the issue developing in the first place leading to stronger plants that are disease and pest free.
In this instance, we are going to focus on 16 different problems that could befall your succulents and also how to then deal with them or stop it from happening in the first place. Now, we should mention at this point that you are never going to completely stop it from happening so do not stress and instead focus on the way in which you are then going to be able to deal with them before any problems become too difficult and the plant is, potentially, going to die.
· 1. Mealy Bugs.
We admit that this does sound rather strange but these guys look like small crabs when fully grown. You know you have a problem by the white fuzz they leave behind as they suck the plant dry and this can eventually kill the plant. Put some rubbing alcohol on them to kill them off without affecting your plant.
· 2. Spider Mites.
These guys are very annoying when they decide to attack your succulents as they can seem to destroy your plant in next to no time. They might be small but they are deadly as they suck the sap out and you can spot them by yellow marks appearing on the leaves. The best way to deal with them is to blast them off or use something containing neem oil as that is a repellent.
· 3. Scale.
Scale insects are a problem and you can spot them by the appearance of small brown bumps all over your succulents and they are going to suck out the sap leaving your plant open to all kinds of diseases. If the infection is heavy then removed the affected area. If there are just a few then scrape them off and cover with some rubbing alcohol.
· 4. Fungus Gnats.
Fungus gnats just sound horrible and that is because they actually are. They are not dangerous as such but if you are guilty of overwatering your plants then they could appear and start to breed. Put decorative sand on the soil as they often start in there and that will stop them. Also, allow the soil to dry out before you water as this stops them from having somewhere to lay their eggs.
· 5. Aphids.
Aphids are a real pest and they can affect so many plants that it is not a surprise to see them listed here. They come in various forms but the most important thing of all is that they are going to completely infect your plant in next to no time. Bug sprays can get rid of them as can using soapy water.
· 6. Slugs and Snails.
Slugs and snails love pretty much any type of plant and succulents are no different as they are willing to munch on anything. Of course you will spot them by the slime trail and holes in the leaves but they can be avoided. Vaseline around the edge of the pot will act as a barrier while some people believe copper around the pots will also work.
· 7. Caterpillars.
Caterpillars will quite happily eat away at the leaves of your succulents so steps have to be taken to curtail their activities or you will have virtually no plant left. Do be aware that they might be under the leaves so you will not see them at first. Often, there are not many so you can easily swipe them off and just keep an eye on the plant.
· 8. Vine Weevil.
Vine Weevils are not nice and they will work their way into the stem of the plant and start to eat away at it and this is going to seriously undermine the health of the plant in a short period of time. There are pesticides available that can control them but first you should go out at night with a torch just to check that it is actually them that are causing the damage as they prefer to come out when it is dark.
· 9. Western Flower Thrips.
Thrips are extremely annoying as well as being a relatively common problem that can affect a huge number of different plants including your succulents. There are actually more than 5000 different species out there but the good news is that only one of them is going to really go out and potentially attack your succulents and that type is the Western Flower Thrip. It is going to appear as a small yellow colored thing moving on your plant and you are going to have to look quite hard for them as they do tend to hide away. The problem is that the only way in which you are really going to be able to get rid of them completely is to use a pesticide that is specifically designed for them.
· 10. Leaf Cutter Bee.
The Leaf Cutter Bee is difficult in that you just view it as a normal kind of bee and people do not even realize that this insect is causing all kinds of problems with their succulents. You see, people do not associate them with causing issues so they look elsewhere for a problem and it just does not exist. However, they do actually eat away at the leaves so the name is accurate and they are a type of bee as well and can cause extensive damage if they are left alone. The difficulty here is that they are also rather good at controlling other pests that can cause damage so there is a fine line between dealing with them and leaving them alone. Pesticides do work
· 11. Eelworm.
If this sound pretty horrible just by the name then some would argue that the name itself is actually very accurate. Now, they are going to help control vine weevil infestations but they themselves are rather destructive and you certainly cannot just leave them alone without doing anything to combat them. You will often see yellow patches along the veins of the leaves and this is a clear sign that something is up. They will also spread faster if the foliage is kept wet so it can be an idea to limit this in order to counteract the problem. To deal with them, water at the root rather than on the leaves and do not over water either.
· 12. Ants.
You might not have previously thought about the prospect of ants causing a problem with your succulents but if that is the case then you are very wrong. Now, for most they are more of an annoyance rather than anything else but that is not to say that you should ignore them. It does not take long for your plant to become absolutely infested with the ants and then you have a huge issue that has to be addressed. The best approach is to use a spray of water and effectively hose them off your plant and do so on a regular basis. For many, this is a better approach than using ant powder and other chemicals although clearly that is still going to work if you do prefer this method of dealing with the issue.
· 13. Blackfly and Greenfly.
Blackfly and Greenfly are an absolute pest and they are something that you are going to have to address as quickly as possible and before they are able to really take hold on your plant. They take very little time to effectively cover your plant in huge numbers and it is not exactly pleasant to the eye. However, thankfully getting rid of them is easy even though you have to continually check to see if they have reappeared as it is a case of using some soapy water sprayed onto the leaves that is going to do the trick. They hate it and you will be able to really blast them off leaving your plant free of them, until the next time.
· 14. Woodlice.
This is another pest that people are often going to overlook when it comes to their succulents and the kind of pests that can cause problems as people just generally know very little about woodlice and the damage that they can do. However, in this instance, they are going to be more of an issue with seedlings rather than the more mature plant as it does seem to be the case that they prefer the taste. Now, they are also going to be useful in helping against various other pests that could affect your plants but you are still going to want to deal with them effectively. With this, we recommend avoiding using pesticides as they are largely tolerant of most of them. Instead, keeping the plant free of dead foliage and keeping the surroundings clean will not give them any place to hide and that is often the best approach.
· 15. Whitefly.
Whitefly are not nice to have on your succulents and clearly steps have to then be taken in order to control any infestation that you may indeed have. They are a common occurrence so getting some help to attack them is not going to be that difficult. Now, you could go ahead and use a pesticide but if you wish to avoid the chemical path and would like to go in a different direction, then a garlic spray has been reported as being rather useful in dealing with this problem. The only difficulty here is that garlic does smell a bit so you do not want to use too much of it even although it can be extremely effective.
· 16. Aloe Mite.
Finally, we have the aloe mite and this particular best is an absolute scourge of the succulent world with it being entirely possible for you to have numerous infestations at different times throughout the year. This does also mean that there is a very real need for you to continually check your succulents for any sign of them so the issue can be treated as quickly as possible. This mite will basically disfigure your plant for the rest of its life and it is something that needs to be dealt with. They are so small and light that it is actually believed that they are spread in the wind so you can understand how controlling them with plants outdoors is going to be difficult. To kill them, you can use various toxic pesticides but if that is not something that is attractive to you then a soap solution or even diluted bleach is also going to do the trick just it might not be as effective.
So, there you have 16 different pests that are going to potentially be able to affect your succulents and there are also a number of tips on how to deal with them before the situation really does go ahead and spiral out of control. It is important to remember that it is pretty much impossible to stop any kind of pest from ever affecting your succulents and the sooner you accept this then the easier it will be to tackle the problem.
You need to remember that they can be spread in soil, air, even from you which is why you need to take care with cross contaminating things or you could be making matters worse for your own self. However, one important point is that just because you have pests on your succulents does not mean that you need to throw the plant away. Instead, careful control and keeping a close eye on things is going to make a huge difference and also make life so much easier for you as a result.