Do succulents attract bugs? 10 thing to know before

Do succulents attract bugs? Succulents are famous as quite fascinating plants among the gardeners. Lot of people tend to grow the succulents due to its easy maintenance. Further majority of these plants are hardy plants and resistant to bugs and pests as well.

However, it really does not mean that they will be completely protected from pests. Lots of smaller bugs tend to invade succulents especially due to its water conservation ability. Lots of pests and bugs love the wet conditions of the soil.

Unfortunately, the pests could impact the plant in a very unhealthy manner. It could deteriorate the plant’s good looks as well as its growth.

The impact is such, if we do not treat them faster, they could even cause the succulents plants to get killed too. However, there are simple precautionary actions as well as some simple remedies which we could practice protecting the plant from getting infected from bugs.

Bugs like mealy bugs, scales, aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, fungus gnats and ants could be considered as mostly attacking bugs to the succulents.

Why succulents attract bugs: possible reasons

There are several reasons which could influence the bugs to the succulents. They are watering, geographical locations, poor drainage, lack of air circulation etc. let us have a deeper look on each factor.

Watering

Despite where you live, supplying too much water at one time or watering the plants too often can cause high humidity levels. These two could be the major factors which could increase the humidity level around the plant at once.

As much as water evaporates from soil , the humidity level around the plant will also go up. It could happen because of soggy or over watered soil. Apart from that, if you provide excess water during one watering session it could also be an issue for the plant.

Geographical location

The geographical location could also affect attracting bugs to the succulents. If you are someone who lives near to larger water bodies such as South, the pacific Northwest and rest of the coastal areas ) , you will usually have a high level of humidity.

Apart from that, if you are someone who lives in an area which has a higher level of precipitations, you  will have a higher relative humidity level compared to the desert areas such as Arizona, New Mexico.

Poor Drainage

Make sure that you choose a pot or container which is well draining. Check whether it has enough drainage holes so that drainage could be faster and efficient. If we provide a poor draining container or a pot, chances are that excess water could be stored and soil will be kept moist for too long.

Once the pests feel the soil is wet, they will come and invade the plant.  Those conditions would fit perfectly for the bugs as they could thrive  in those conditions. Those tiny little creatures need to keep their bodies moist.

Lack of air circulation

it is vital to be vigilant of the  air movement of the place  where your succulent is planted.  It will help to keep the humidity level from increasing. Moreover, it will avoid the bugs spreading too.

Once you increase the ventilation , it stimulates the drying of the soil mix and simultaneously it minimizes the fungus growth rate as well. It makes them unhealthy atmospheres for the bugs to survive in.

There are two things which could cause a lack of air circulation. If there is no space among each plant, it could affect the lack of air circulation.  That will not be healthy for the succulent plants. If they are grown too close with each other, there will be only a little air circulation.

Another factor is no air movement. If you have planted your succulent far away from the windows, doors, vents etc. it could also affect lack of air circulation.

Thus, you could relocate the plant to a better ventilating place so that air circulation will be somewhat better. Alternatively, you could use an oscillating fan if required.

Type of bugs attracted to succulents and how to stop them

Spider Mite

Spider Mite is one type of insect which could badly affect the succulent plants. They are very insignificant in size so that  nobody can  even recognize those tiny creatures.

Once they invaded the succulents, they changed their colors to white or silver.  The reason for this is because these little creatures suck the sap of the succulents.

In case you spot your succulents being affected by them, first and foremost you need to segregate those plants from the other plants. This will stop the spider mite getting spread out among the other plants whilst conducting the treatment.

Spider Mites

Treatments

Best recommended remedy to eradicate spider mites is applying rubbing alcohol on to the mites as well as on the affected areas on the plant. Additionally, we could make a mixture of water and alcohol and spray it on top of the mites. This will be a very effective way of overcoming the Spider mite menace. F

furthermore, you could utilize a dish soap diluted in water. You can simply spray that on the mites and on the damaged areas of the plant as well. This something which could make spider mites very worried. Do not hesitate to continue doing this if it is required.

Having said all these, please do bear in mind that these remedies will be useful and productive only if the spider mite attack is at the initial stage.

In case your plant is severely damaged by these, please do proceed with repotting as that would be the safest thing to do in order to have your succulent survive. If not, you can start with a new plant.

Aphid

Aphid is another type of insect which frequently harms the succulent plants. Aphids usually come in pale green. Chances are that there could be yellow black or pink aphids also.

They are very invasive as they suck both leaves and  stems of the succulent plants. They even secrete sugary substances. It will make the already harmed succulents susceptible to mold.

Moreover, they won’t stop only in damaging the individual plant but it will carry the virus from one plant to another whilst migrating.  You can understand how immense their impact of Aphid could be. Once the succulents are infected with aphids, you could see succulents being shriveled.

If they have affected the plant in a vast area chances are that it could kill the plant too. Keep an eye constantly on these plants, so that you could identify them well in advance if there are any infestations.

Aphids On Succulent

Treatments

We could overcome the aphids menace relatively easily as they have a short life cycle. However, keep observing your plant on a daily basis as it will help you to identify if your succulent is attacked by any pest or not. The earlier you rectify it the better it would be.

One faster way of treating aphid damaged plants is simply spraying with a mixture of water and soap. Pay special attention to the damaged areas when doing this treatment.

In addition to this, you could use neem oil and treat the plants. If you want to try this option, mix one tablespoon of neem oil along with 8 cups of water.

Then just spray at the plant , especially at the damaged areas. Night time is the most recommended time to do this and refrain in doing this during day time. If not, it will cause the plant to burn. You can keep doing this if required.

Mealybugs

This is regarded as the most frequently spotted pest among the succulent plants. Their life cycle is also relatively long. These mealybugs are small and gray or light brown in color.  If you spot your succulent with white cottony substances , it indicates that the plant is infested with mealybugs.

You could not sometimes even recognize them. Thus, keep observing your plant daily more closely. They also form a sugary substance which attracts molds. They could also spread out to the other plants.

This will lead the plant to attract more fungal and bacterial infections. Hence, it is important to identify them and treat them well in advance

so that there will not be severe repercussions.  Mealybugs could spread from ants as they carry them to your home garden.

What are Mealybugs

Treatments

The most efficient way of treating mealybugs attack is using a Cotton swab. You should first dip it in the rubbing alcohol and apply it at the damaged area directly.

You can do this thoroughly specially on the areas where it has white cottony substances. This is the option which you could do very simply. It is the safest remedy too.

Secondly, you could spray rubbing alcohol on the white substances. If someone wishes to get rid of mealybugs quickly, this method will be the one.

Pure alcohol or alcohol diluted with water could be used for this purpose. None of these methods will be risky for the plants as both ways are safe for the plant.

In addition to the above, you can utilize soap diluted in water to spray on the white cottony substances. Keep in mind, mealybugs are not that which retreat easily. We need to wait for some time until we get it completely eradicated from the plants.

Repetition of these remedies several times would be okay. If you wish to do so, do  it as appropriate when it is essential. Be careful when you are doing this, as you better isolate the damaged plants from the other plants. This will avoid the mealybugs spreading on to other plants.

Fungus gnats

This is a very common thing to notice especially among the overwatered succulents. In case you keep your soil mix moist for a longer period, it could easily provide habitat for fungus. If you take fungus gnats, they will usually survive in the plants.

Fortunately, this is something which we could overcome comparatively easy, but be patient until you get rid of it entirely.  They could invade your plant for two reasons. First one is an issue with overwatering and the other one is you have planted the succulent in the wrong soil.

Succulent will indicate this fungus attack by turning yellow and in being wilting suddenly. ( Only if there is no root rots )

Fungus gnats

Treatments

Without any hesitation, the very  first thing you need to do to overcome this menace is cutting down in water. This is because fungus gnats’ main root cause is the wet soil. let it dry completely.

Fungus do not wish to be in dry soil. If the damage is immense, please go ahead with changing the soil mix of the plant. Keep in mind to use fast draining soil.

Scale

Scale is another frequently damage causing insect for the succulents. There are types of this insect. They are armored one and soft one. Both could harm your succulent plant. If you see any brown bumps on your succulent, it means the plant is invaded by scales.

This could be the reason in most instances. Scales love the sap of the succulents, consequently it will make the plant more porn to get infected with more diseases . if we don’t treat them , chances are that we will end up losing the plant.

Treatments  

You could move the scale  from the plant. This is the fastest and the initial thing you should do when treating the plants affected by scale. You may use your hand for that. If not, scrape them from the damaged areas.

Secondly, you could apply alcohol on the scale of the attacked area. You could use a cotton swab dip in rubbing alcohol for this and you can directly put it to the bugs. Besides that, you can simply use a sprayer at the bugs with pure alcohol or diluted alcohol with water.

Thirdly, you can use soap. You can use it after it is diluted with water. Go ahead with spraying the affected areas directly. You can use a spray bottle for this purpose.

It is difficult to eradicate scale from the succulents. Hence, you can keep doing these treatments for several times and ensure that your plant is protected from scale entirely.

 Ants

Generally , ants are not considered as harmful insects. However, in case aforesaid pests have invaded your plant, there is an immense chance for the ants also to reach the plant. That is because of the sugary substance they form. Having said that, ants are not harmful for the succulents, chances are that there could be damages to the plant if there are many ants on the plant.

Treatments

You can simply spray the ants with insecticidal soap. Further, you can use a sprayer and spray diluted alcohol at them. Keep doing this until you get rid of this completely.

Common prevention methods

Try applying a mild balanced fertilizer for the succulents during their growing seasons  in order to keep them healthy. Juicykits plant food would be a perfect fit for this. Make sure that you do not feed the plant until the winter season finishes as it does not consume its energy during this period.

If you spot any dead leaves, please do take off them. It is a very simple thing to do.  Bugs will love those parts as they could accommodate the bugs and could be breeding places as well. Consequently, it will assist to avoid mold from forming too.

Make sure that your plant is in dry condition. If you let your soil mix to be moist for too long, it will invite all the mealybugs, gnats as well as other pests to invade the plant.

Do bear in mind, to not use any of the pests, contaminated dead leaves, or soil into the compost pile. So, any survivors or their eggs will not have a second chance in harming the plant.

Use pesticides as appropriate to kill pests and bugs. When it comes to pesticides, there are two categories such as contact pesticides and systemic pesticides.  Where as with contact pesticides, you have to let it keep contact with the pests to overcome that.

On the other hand, systemic pesticides need to be soaked in the roots which will later on be poisonous for the bugs.. they are relatively expensive.

Moreover, you can constantly spray or brush your plants with a natural pesticide. Ideally a pesticide which consists of pure neem oil  should be used for this purpose. It will protect the plant from probable future bug infections. Neem oil could be smelly funky.

However it is a total natural thing and not harmful for humans. This repels all kinds of harmful insects.

What types of succulents attract bugs?

There are certain plants which are made naturally better for repelling bugs whilst on the other hand, there could be plants which love high humidity conditions, they will get infected with bugs more than the plants which are resistant to pests. Ferns, Peace Lily and Calatheas are some of them.

Related questions

Is isopropyl alcohol safe for succulents?

The pests which could invade the succulents are mostly either aphids or mealybugs. We could overcome them simply by rinsing the damaged areas with water, neem oil etc. Apart from that we could utilize insecticidal soaps, squirt bottles filled with rubbing alcohol. They won’t harm the plant and instead they would deteriorate the bugs faster.

Do succulents attract flies?

The appropriate soil mix for succulents should be dry and a well-draining one. If you keep your soil wet and moist, flies could come and land on your plant since those conditions are favorable.

Do succulents attract spiders or spider mites?

Succulents tend to attract spiders and spider mites as they safeguard the plants from predators. Further they provide water for the hydration process and an area for them to make a nest too. Chances are that we could see, various types of spiders create webs around the bottom of the plant.

Are spiders good for succulents?

Usually, spiders do not get feed from succulents. Furthermore, they are not herbivorous either. However, they would prefer to form their webs on the spines and then try to tackle the insects who are reaching the plants and eat them later.

Do succulents attract bees?

Bees are fond of succulents. They are a pollinator type. They especially prefer the flower part of the succulent. For example, sedum succulents provide blooms during spring, autumn and in winter on ground cover as well as on tall plants.

For example, John Creech, Album, Dragon Blood could be introduced as preferable plants of pollinators. Bees’ preferable flowering succulents are such as lithops, ice plants. Their blossoming is shallow, and it could last for a longer time during summer.

What other animal eats succulents?

There are various kinds of animals which could eat the succulents. Though succulents are not their natural feed, they would prefer to eat the succulents leaves as they are full of water. The animals which eat the succulents could be different from where you live also.  squirrels, possums, cats, and birds are some of the animal species which could feed on the succulents.

squirrels – If you spot your succulent with uprooted plants, as well as with chewed up leaves that could be because of squirrels. Furthermore, if you can spot holes with a variety of squirrel food on the plant, that could also happen when the squirrels have eaten the plant.

Possums – Possums could be the offender if your succulent plant has lost a major part of their leaves. It must be considered that way if there are possums present where you live and if they are near the plants.

Cats – cands fond of nibbling on the plants. Moreover, they tend to shred the leaves whilst using their sharp claws.

 

About author

I’m chamika, I love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.