Mealybugs are a common pest that can be found on a variety of plants, including Monstera. These small, white bugs can cause a great deal of damage to your plant if left untreated. In this blog post, we will discuss the easiest way to remove mealybugs from Monstera and prevent them from returning.
Can Monstera Plants Get Mealybugs?
Yes, monstera plants can most certainly get mealybugs. Mealybugs are attracted to a variety of different plants, and they’re especially fond of monstera because they love the sap that these plants produce. If you have mealybugs on your plant, you’ll likely notice small white bugs crawling around on the leaves or stem.
These pests can suddenly appear on your plant and quickly multiply, so it’s important to take action as soon as you see them. If left untreated, mealybugs can cause a great deal of damage to your plant. In severe cases, mealybugs can even kill your plant.
Mealybugs will hide in the crevices of your plant, meaning it isn’t always easy to spot them It’s only when you see the patches of white on your leaves that you’ll realize they’re there.
What Do Mealybugs Look Like?
Mealybugs are small, white bugs that love to feast on plant sap. They’re often found in clusters on the stems or leaves of plants. If you look closely, you’ll also see that they have small, black dots on their bodies. These pests are about the size of a pinhead, making them very difficult to spot.
People often mistake the pests for some kind of white fuzz, but if you take a closer look, you’ll see that they’re actually bugs. Mealybugs can vary in size, but they’re usually no bigger than a few millimeters.
How Do I Know if My Monstera Has Mealybugs?
There are a number of telltale signs that your plant has mealybugs. The most obvious sign is the presence of white bugs on the leaves or stems of your plant. Let’s look at a few more:
Yellow or Brown Discoloration
It’s true that monstera leaves can change color for a number of reasons, but if you see a sudden change in color, it could be a sign that your plant has mealybugs. These pests feast on the sap of plants, which can cause the leaves to yellow or brown.
Unlike leaf scorch, browning monstera leaves from thrips usually occur in the middle or bottom of the leaves first and then move up. If you see this happening on your plant, it’s time to take action.
If you notice that the leaves of your monstera are sticky, it’s another sign that mealybugs are present. These pests produce a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew, which can attract other pests to your plant. Honeydew can also cause sooty mold to grow on your plant, which is a black fungus that feeds on the sticky substance.
Curling or Distorted Leaves
Mealybugs can also cause the leaves of your plant to curl or distort. This is because they suck the sap out of the leaves, which prevents the plant from getting the nutrients it needs. Over time, this can cause the leaves to become distorted or curled.
How To Get Rid of Mealybugs on a Monstera?
The good news is that mealybugs can be removed from your plant relatively easily. Here’s the process:
1. Isolate the Plant
The first step in getting rid of mealybugs is to isolate the affected plant. These pests can quickly spread to other plants, so it’s important to take action as soon as you see them. Simply place the affected plant in a different room from your other plants.
If you have multiple plants that are infested with mealybugs, you may need to isolate each plant individually. Once the plant is isolated, it’s time to start the removal process.
2. Wash with Soapy Water
One of the easiest ways to remove mealybugs from your plant is to wash them off with soapy water. Simply mix some dish soap with water and use a soft cloth to wipe down the affected areas. You may need to do this a few times to completely remove all of the pests. Be sure to rinse the plant thoroughly afterward.
Some people like using a Q-tip or cotton swab dipped in soapy water to remove mealybugs from small areas. This can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s an effective method.
3. Neem Oil
Using neem oil (Amazon link) is another effective way to get rid of mealybugs. Neem oil is a natural insecticide that will kill pests without harming your plant. Simply mix the neem oil with water according to the instructions on the bottle and spray it on the affected areas.
Spray the plant every few days until the mealybugs are gone. You can also use neem oil as a preventative measure by spraying your plants every few weeks.
It can also be a good idea to spray any plants that were nearby the affected plant. This will remove any mealybugs that may have transferred to other plants.
4. Using Predators to Get Rid of Mealybugs from Monstera
One of the best ways to get rid of mealybugs is to use their natural predators. Ladybugs, for example, love to eat mealybugs. You can purchase ladybugs from a garden center or online and release them near your plant.
Another predator that will remove mealybugs from your plant is the green lacewing. Once you’ve released the predators, they should take care of the mealybugs in a matter of days.
However, this isn’t the best solution for those of you who dislike creepy-crawlies in your home. If this is the case, you can try one of the other methods instead.
How to Prevent Mealybugs on Monstera Plants?
Prevention is always the best cure when it comes to pests. There are a few things you can do to prevent mealybugs from infesting your plant:
Firstly, keep your monstera as healthy as possible. A healthy plant is less likely to be affected by pests and diseases. Plus, your monstera will be better able to withstand an infestation if it’s healthy.
Secondly, inspect your plant regularly for mealybugs. It’s much easier to remove a few pests than it is to deal with a full-blown infestation. Inspect your plant every week or so and look for any signs of mealybugs.
Lastly, quarantine any new plants that you bring into your home. Mealybugs can hitch a ride on new plants, so it’s important to inspect them carefully before adding them to your collection. If you see any pests, remove them immediately and dispose of the plant if necessary.
Why Are Mealybugs a Problem for Monstera Plants?
Mealybugs are a problem for monstera plants because they feed on the sap of the plant. This can cause the plant to become weak and sick. In fact, a heavy infestation of mealybugs can even kill a monstera plant.
This is why it’s so important to take action as soon as you see mealybugs on your plant. The sooner you remove them, the better.
Mealybugs can be a real pain, but with a little effort, you can get rid of them for good. Be sure to check your plants regularly for signs of these pests and take action as soon as you see them. With a little bit of preventative care, you can keep your plants healthy and mealybug-free.
I hope this article helped you learn how to remove mealybugs from monstera plants. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Thanks for reading!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.