What Are The Bugs on My String of Tears? πŸ›

By Kiersten Rankel

Jun 17, 20244 min read

String of tears
  1. πŸ•ΈοΈ Spider mites show as webs and dots; fight with neem oil and soap.
  2. 🐌 Scale, fungus gnats, mealybugs, thrips: Identify and use specific treatments.
  3. πŸ›‘οΈ Prevent pests with inspections, quarantine, and environmental control.

Battle Against Spider Mites

πŸ‘€ Spot the Invaders

Tiny webs and stippling on your String of Tears are red flags for spider mites. These pests are nearly invisible, but their damage is not. Look for fine, silken webbing and pale dots on leavesβ€”classic signs of an infestation.

πŸ’ͺ Fight Them Off

Neem oil and insecticidal soap are your go-to weapons. Apply these treatments thoroughly, ensuring you hit the undersides of leaves where mites love to hide. For a physical approach, wipe leaves with a damp cloth to physically remove the pests.

🚫 Keep Them at Bay

Prevent future assaults by maintaining high humidity around your String of Tears. Regular misting can discourage mite settlements. Also, keep the environment around your plant clean to reduce the chances of another invasion.

String of Pearls plant in a white pot with visible soil and healthy green beads.

Scale Insects: Sticky Foes

🐞 Unmasking Scale

Scale insects are masters of disguise on your String of Tears. Look for unusual bumps or flaky patches on stems and leaves, which could be their protective shells. A sticky residue or sooty mold is a dead giveaway of scale presence. If ants are treating your plant like a highway, they're likely farming the honeydew scales excrete.

βš”οΈ Scale Warfare

Rubbing alcohol is your go-to weapon. Apply it with a cotton swab to breach their waxy armor. For larger invasions, horticultural oil is your ally; it smothers the pests. Apply carefully to avoid plant damage. Insecticidal soap is another option; it suffocates scales and halts their reproduction. Be relentlessβ€”these treatments may need an encore.

πŸ›‘οΈ Fortify Your Defenses

Preventative measures are your plant's armor. Inspect new additions to your plant family before they mingle with the rest. Isolation is your quarantine strategy for infested plants. Regular plant check-ups, especially in those sneaky nooks, are non-negotiable. Remember, when it comes to scale insects, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

String of Pearls plant in a white pot held by a hand.

Fungus Gnats: More Than Just Annoying

🦟 Catching the Culprits

Fungus gnats are tiny pests resembling miniature mosquitoes, often seen flying around plants or resting on the soil. These critters are a clear sign of overwatering, as their larvae revel in moist conditions.

πŸͺ° Gnats Begone!

To tackle an infestation, hydrogen peroxide is your go-to soil drench, obliterating larvae without harming your green friends. Yellow sticky traps are the silent assassins, capturing adult gnats and curtailing their numbers.

🏜️ Dry Them Out

Prevention is all about moisture control; let the soil's surface dry between waterings. Opt for well-draining potting mix and clean up plant debris to discourage gnat gatecrashers. Regular inspections of new plants can save you from a full-blown gnat gala.

String of Pearls plant in a red pot with vibrant green leaves.

Mealybugs: The White Plague

πŸ•΅οΈ Spotting the Cottony Masses

Mealybugs are sneaky critters that love to feast on your String of Tears. Look out for white, fluffy clusters nestled in the crevices of leaves and stems. These cotton-like masses are a dead giveaway that mealybugs are sapping the life out of your plant.

🦟 Eradicating Mealybugs

To show these pests the door, grab some rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap. Apply directly to the mealybugs using a cotton swab or spray. Neem oil is another heavy hitter in this fightβ€”apply it as directed for a botanical knockout.

🚧 Quarantine and Inspect

New plants should be isolated before joining your collection. Regularly inspect your String of Tears for any signs of mealybug activity. Vigilance is your best defense; catching these pests early can save your plant from a world of hurt.

Thrips: The Stealthy Saboteurs

πŸ•΅οΈ Detecting Thrips Damage

Thrips are miniature invaders, wreaking havoc on your String of Tears with their sap-sucking habits. Look for silvery speckles or mottled leaves, a clear distress signal from your plant. These pests are so tiny, they might escape a casual glance, so inspect the undersides of leaves with a magnifying glass if necessary.

πŸ›‘οΈ Thrips Countermeasures

Insecticidal soaps and neem oil are your go-to allies in the fight against thrips. For a more hands-on approach, give your plants a good shower to physically dislodge these pests. If you're up for it, introduce predatory insects like lacewings or minute pirate bugs to turn the tide in your favor.

🧼 Clean and Inspect

Preventative measures? Keep it clean. Regularly wipe down leaves and maintain a debris-free environment. Use yellow sticky traps to catch adult thrips, and always quarantine new plants to avoid an undercover invasion. Remember, a keen eye and consistent care are your best defense against these stealthy saboteurs.

Keep your String of Tears pest-free 🌿 with Greg's tailored reminders for plant check-ups and care, ensuring those bugs stay away!