What are the most common cactus pests?

Cactus with mealybugs

Cacti, in general, are plants that are very resistant to attack by pests. Growing up in habitats with special light and water conditions, they have had to develop different defense mechanisms to survive.

Still, from time to time we will have to treat them against some insects, but What are the most common cactus pests?


Red spider on leaf

red spider on leaf

Mites are insects that are favored by hot, dry climates. The most common is undoubtedly the Red spider, which attaches itself to the fleshy part of the cactus to feed on its cells. In doing so, produces brown or yellowish spotsweakening the plants. Its cobwebs can be seen with the naked eye.

It is treated with acaricides.



Image – Cactuseros.com

Both the cottony mealybugs and the San José louse are some of the pests that affect them the most. The dry and hot environment of summer means that, if they are feeling a little thirsty, these parasites do not hesitate for a second to adhere to the plants to feed on their sap.

To prevent them, you have to water whenever necessaryletting the substrate dry between waterings, and do not forget to pay them in spring and summer. But if they are already being affected, we can clean them with a swab from the ears soaked in pharmacy alcohol, or treat them with an anti-mealybug insecticide.

Mollusks (snails and slugs)

Snail on plant

snail on plant

Snails and slugs are little animals that love humidity, the soft environment and the green tissues of plants. They attack at night, so for the day is when we can see the damage they have done; Even if the attack was important and the cactus was rather small, we may only find the remains .

To prevent them it is best to treat them with molluscicides in granules. Some are put on the surface of the substrate, and that’s it. In the event that we prefer to use home remedies, you can put a low-height container with beer.


Nematode seen under the microscopeNematode seen through the microscope

Image – Elnortedecastilla.es

Although on earth there are insects that are very beneficial for all plants, there are others that are very dangerous, such as nematodes. These they feed on the rootsso they immediately weaken for no apparent reason until they finally die.

To prevent them it is highly recommended disinfect the soil before planting them, for example by solarization. However, if we see that they begin to be ugly and we do not find any traces of plague, we will treat them with a soil insecticide to eliminate these insects.

So our cacti can be perfectly cared for .

What are the most common cactus pests?

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