Do Succulents Attract Bugs? Yes!
Let's Learn How You Can Prevent Them!

Are you curious to know, whether succulents attract bugs? Read the post to figure out the truth behind the matter.

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Jimena Bolívar

April 12, 2021


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Introduction

Succulents have taken the world by storm. They’ve managed to become the favorite plant in everyone’s garden. Some people think that they are pest-resistant. However, is that even true? Asking whether succulents attract bugs is a good idea.

Yes, succulents can attract bugs. While it is true that succulents are pest-resistant, they still manage to attract bugs. Since these plants have high water concentrations, they attract predators who want to feast on them to get hydrated.

beautiful and attractive succulents

What Bugs Are Attracted To Succulents?

Bugs that are commonly attracted to succulents include Mealybugs, Aphids, Scales, Ants, Gnats, Spider mites.

Let’s discuss all of them one by one:

1. Mealybugs

Mealybugs can destroy your succulent in the blink of an eye. They suck the plant of its vitality by stealing water. As a result, your plant will become wrinkled and weak, ultimately leading to its death.

These bugs are white and cotton-like in appearance and don’t look like bugs. Are you wondering how you can identify them on your succulents?

Well, you can expect to find them on the growing parts of the plants. For instance, you will see them on the base of the stem or the leaves.

a succulent plant infested with mealybugs

Pro-tip

Examine your succulents regularly

Examine your succulents regularly. This will help you identify mealybugs as soon as possible. Thus, you can take some corrective measures instantly.

2. Aphids

Another bug that can destroy your succulent is called Aphid. These bugs tend to be found in large numbers and can hence be quite problematic. They cause damage by sucking the succulent’s stems and leaves. Apart from that, aphids also produce a sticky substance that makes the succulent susceptible to mold.

If you’re not careful with identifying aphids early on, you risk losing the plant and spreading the bug to other neighboring plants. This is why it is vital to locate and remove aphids as soon as possible.

Detecting aphids won’t be too tricky. Just look out for the following things:

  • A trail of ants coming from your plant indicates the presence of aphids.
  • A sooty mold on the plant indicates that Aphids are there.

Warning

Detect Aphids as soon as possible

If you don't detect the Aphids as soon as possible, the Aphids will grow uncontrollably. And you would not be able to treat such a heavy manifestation. As a result, you've to lose your favorite plant.

3. Scales

Scales are similar to mealy bugs. A plant affected by them will have small brown domes hovering on it. Luckily, you can scrape them from the leaves without much ado.

The scales primarily consume the succulent’s sap. Consequently, your succulent may suffer a lot.

Scales try to trick you with their appearance. You might think that the brown spot on your succulents is the scales. But, in reality, these are the shields of the scales.

To confirm whether your plant is affected by scales, look out for brown spots on your plant.

a succulent plant infested with scales

4. Ants

Ants are the insects that are most abundant in nature. They usually are harmless. And you might think they are harmless to succulents as well, right? However, if you see an army of ants marching from your succulent, it’s something to worry about.

So, the question is, why should you be worried? Well, these ants are an indication that your plant has an aphid or a mealybug infestation. Both of these bugs secrete sticky substances that attract ants.

5. Gnats

Fungus gnats are not as harmful as other pests can be to your plants. But, you may feel irritated to see them. They look much like mosquitos and give a creepy look to your plants.

Apart from that, a large number of gnats can cause the plant to lose its shiny appearance. Who wants to be left with dull leaves that won’t shine?

a small fungal gnat on a succulent plant

6. Spider mites

Spider mites are another harmful pest for succulents. Besides weakening the plants, they make your plant prone to other infections.

Some simple signs can help you spot spider mites. The first one to look out for is the appearance of small white webs, and the second is small brown or rust-colored dots on the plant.

Now the question is, how can these bugs damage your succulents? Well, they inject a chemical into the plant tissue. This chemical leads to irreversible damage and abnormal growth in the succulent. As a result, you have no other option than to discard your beloved plant.

a succulent infested with spider mites

Pro-tip

Remove the white web immediately as soon as you see this.

Some tips on how to prevent bugs from living on your succulents

It is a good idea to take preventive measures to keep bugs away from succulents. After all, they can attract them.

Follow these tips if you want to prevent bugs from living on your succulent:

  • Ensure that the plant you’re buying is bug-free. Otherwise, it can also damage other healthy plants in your garden.
  • Avoid overwatering the succulents. Gnats as fungus hate dry soil conditions and thrive in soggy waterlogged soil.
  • Monitor the succulents regularly to see if there is any pest.

How to Remove Bugs From Succulents?

To remove bugs from succulents, firstly you should remove any highly damaged parts of the plant. Apart from that, you can promote plant hygiene by using soapy water or rubbing alcohol to rid the plant of bugs.

I know it is overwhelming to remove mealybugs and fungal gnats. However, if you read up a bit about what you need to do, the task will become way easier.

I am sure you don’t have to discard your entire plant if you apply these methods carefully.

1. Remove the damaged part

Just imagine you find a bug on a specific part of your succulent. What will you do first? In my opinion, you should consider removing that particular part.

Just remove the part that is infested with bugs. This will prevent the bug from spreading to other parts of the plant. And ultimately, you will save the entire succulent from damage.

This method can be used for any bug that can adversely affect succulents, such as scales or mealybugs.

2. Use Rubbing alcohol

Have you removed the damaged part of the plant? If you did, and you’re still struggling with bugs, I have another solution for you.

Take rubbing alcohol. Dip a little cotton in the rubbing alcohol and use it to rub the infected part gently. And hopefully, this will result in leaving no insect on your plant.

However, this method will not work if your plant is severely infested with bugs.

Warning

Use rubbing alcohol carefully

Never spray or rub the leaves with rubbing alcohol. It will damage your plant instead of helping it stay healthy.

3. Use soapy water

Soapy water is a cost-effective method for removing bugs. You can use this method to remove spider mites, scales, and mealybugs.

Take some detergent and mix it in water. Now you can spray this soapy water on the infected plant. After some time, you’ll see the bugs move away from the succulent.

3. Use Pesticides

The last option to remove bugs from your plant is using pesticides. The chemical pesticides can remove the heavy bug’s manifestation. But, they can also be harmful to your plant’s growth.

So, it would be better to use a natural pesticide. In the table below, I have enlisted some natural and chemical pesticides you can use to remove bugs:

Natural Insecticide Chemical Insecticide
Neem Oil Imidacloprid
Horticulture oil Acephate
  Dimethoate
  Pyrethroids

Here are some of the best Natural Insecticides to remove bugs from the succulents:

Summit 121-12 Year-Round Spray Oil

Grab this amazing spray oil to kill the bugs from your succulents

Amazon Prime Logo

Garden Safe 93179 Home-pest-Control-sprayers

This amazing neems oil is perfect for keeping the bugs away from your succulents.

Amazon Prime Logo

Final Thoughts

So, the clear answer to, do succulents attract bugs is, Yes! They do. A few bugs that are attracted to them include mealybugs, scales, ants, and spider mites. However, you can take steps to protect your plant from them.

If you’re interested in learning more about plants, and how you can keep them safe from bugs, I recommend you read our post about getting rid of mealybugs!

How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs? The Best Recommendations Compiled For You!

Are you bothered by the emergence of mealybugs? There are a few things you can do to get rid of this pest issue!

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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