How to combat pests on succulents

Succulent plants are a great success among gardening enthusiasts, since they are species as diverse as they are beautiful, which also tend to be very undemanding in their care. However, pests are one of their worst enemies, and that is that they can be attacked by a multitude of insects.

If you want to learn how to combat pests in succulents , keep reading us in this practical article full of tips to get rid of them and prevent them.

Aphids on succulents

The aphid is one of the pests that most commonly affects all types of plants. These insects are commonly green in color, although there are also black and yellow, all of them a few millimeters in size. They feed by sipping the juices from the leaves and stems of plants, but they also secrete a sugary substance that promotes the appearance of ants and a black fungus.

The best way to eliminate aphids from succulents is to use a home remedy in the form of an insecticide for succulents , always making an ecological one ourselves or buying an ecological one, always without resorting to commercial chemicals that are too harmful to plants.

  • One of the most practical with succulents is to use 70% alcohol diluted in water . By spraying a spray on your affected succulents, you will kill the aphid quickly. Normally plants do not tolerate alcohol well and it can harm them, but succulents are so strong and resistant that they are not affected by it. So much so, that you can even use it preventively. Of course, always apply it at dusk so that the sun does not shine on them and thus avoid sunburn on the leaves. You can also bring them into the house and avoid direct sunlight during the treatment days.
  • Potassium soap also works very well against aphids , another great ecological insecticide used against a large number of pests. It is very easy to acquire and you simply have to dissolve a tablespoon of it in a liter of water. If you heat the water a little when mixing it, it will dissolve more easily. As with alcohol, spray the plants at dusk, looking for the areas most affected by the pest, and so you should not take long to notice the effect. 

How to combat pests on succulents - Aphids on succulents

How to eliminate the cottony mealybug on succulents

The cottony mealybug is another of the most feared and common pests. They are insects of about 4 mm in size, of light color and covered by the white layer of a substance that they produce and that accumulates in plants. They usually accumulate on the underside of the leaves or under the roots, although they are easier to distinguish by that species of “cotton” that gives them their name and which is actually egg sacks.

It is a dangerous pest because the substance they produce can cause the appearance of other diseases, such as black fungus, so it must be remedied as soon as possible. If we locate the pest in a very early stage, we can remove the insects ourselves manually, with a cotton swab or cotton impregnated with alcohol or potassium soap . If not, it will be better to spray with a solution, as with aphids.

We can also use dishwasher soap diluted in water or Neem oil , very effective remedies against many pests in succulents. Neem oil is an ecological product that can be bought online or in specialized surfaces, it is applied by mixing a tablespoon of the oil in two liters of water and spraying the solution on the plants, at dusk and once a week.

How to combat pests on succulents - How to eliminate the cottony mealybug on succulents

How to combat a snail infestation on succulents

The snails and slugs can be very greedy and eat much of our plants, making them a lot of damage and even killing them if we do nothing in time. They are an outdoor pest, which practically never appears on indoor plants.

If you see a snail or slug on your plants, feel free to manually remove it, take it to another suitable green area, and look for more to do the same. When they are few, manual elimination will be enough, but if the pest has spread it will be necessary to protect your plants by spreading circles of crushed eggshell around them or by placing beer traps, which eliminate them with great effectiveness. 

Weevil infestation on succulents

Weevils are small beetles with a large number of shapes and colors, which tend to have a kind of elongated snout in their adult phase. Their larvae eat the roots of the plant, while the adults are not limited to these. They are especially dangerous in vegetables, as they force the product to be thrown away by causing diseases and infections that affect humans. The best thing is to resort to Neem oil , although in severe cases we can resort to biological pest control and acquire beneficial nematodes, which attack their larvae and do not affect plants.

How to combat pests on succulents - Weevil plague on succulents

Other pests on succulent plants

To finish talking about how to eliminate pests in cacti and succulents , we want to indicate other pests that can also affect these plants. Here are other common succulent pests :

  • The ants .
  • The shield mealybug.
  • The white fly .
  • The black fly.
  • The trips.

Against all these pests, alcohol, potassium soap and Neem oil will be great allies.

How to prevent pests on succulents

As always, prevention can save us a lot of work and trouble when it comes to pests. Therefore, here are some tips to prevent pests in succulents :

  • Always try to keep your succulents in an optimal state: remove their dry or damaged leaves, let the substrate dry enough before watering again and fertilize them with banana tea and specific fertilizer with eggshells in the growing months. .
  • Never reuse the substrate of a plant that has suffered a plague.
  • If you are forced to reuse a growing medium that might be infected, water it with rubbing alcohol or boiling water to make sure you remove any remnants of the pest and allow it to dry for a few hours before putting in the new plant. It also works to put it in a black plastic bag and leave it in the sun for several days, which will make its temperature rise enough to kill eggs, larvae or any bacteria.
  • Do not put affected plants near healthy plants and, when you bring a new plant, leave it in quarantine for a while in case it is affected by a plague that is still invisible.

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