Do Succulents Attract Bugs? [Know How to Stop This]

Succulents do, in fact, attract pests. While succulents are pest-resistant, they nonetheless manage to attract bugs. Because these plants contain a lot of water, they attract predators who want to eat them to stay hydrated.

Aphids, Ants, Mealybugs, Gnats, Spider Mites, and Scales are all known to be attracted to the succulents.

Let’s study in detail do succulents attract bugs and while they do,  what are different types of bugs are attracted to the succulents:


Scales use their look to deceive you. You could believe the scales are causing the brown spot on your succulents. These, on the other hand, are the scales’ shields.

Look for the brown areas on your plant to see whether it’s infested with scales.

There are approximately a thousand different species of scale insects in the scale insect classification. The appearance of the different species varies.

Whiteflies and aphids are both members of the Sternorrhyncha suborder, which contains scales.

The majority of species are round or oval in shape, light brown or grey in colour, and range in size from 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch in diameter.

Soft scale insects and armoured scale insects are the two scale insect species most likely to damage succulents.

Soft Scale Insects Armoured Scale Insects
Because of their fragile exterior shell, soft-scale bugs are easy to treat. The material secreted by armoured scale insects differs from that of other scale insects.
For protection, adult females are often immobile and exude a waxy material.
The waxy coating resembles fish scales and is called honeydew, giving the insects their popular name.
These insects acquire thick exterior coats instead of a delicate outer shell.
Soft scale insect females lay eggs in the late spring. Armoured scale insect females lay eggs in the early summer.
Later in the summer, the eggs hatch and grow into nymphs.
The nymphs spend the winter on the host plant and emerge as adults in the spring.
The technique is then repeated by the grownups.
Scales on the succulents are easy to recognise. Scale infestations are frequently mistaken for tiny eruptions.

Damages Caused by Scale:

  • Scale insects use their piercing mouthparts to drink the sap from succulent leaves.
  • The succulent may appear partially folded or deflated as the bugs suck the sap.
  • The insects deplete the plant’s nutrition, causing it to wilt.
  • It is possible that the plant has been neglected and is in desperate need of water or nutrients.
  • Succulents that are weaker are more prone to diseases, injuries, and pest infestations.
  • If the plant is not handled, it will eventually collapse and die.
  • Honeydew, which is excreted by soft scale females, is another possible hazard. Honeydew may also encourage the growth of fungi.
  • Other pests, including bees, ants, and scavenging insects, are attracted to the waxy substance.
  • The plant may get sooty mould. It’s dark, smoky, and smells bad.


Keep the afflicted plant away from other plants while treating scale on succulents.

How to get rid of Scales from Succulents?

  • Scale insects have protective coats that make standard insecticides ineffective.
  • Remove the insects by hand before using horticultural oils or DIY insecticides.
  • If detected early, removing scale insects by hand isn’t too time-consuming.
  • Scrape each insect out of the succulent with your fingernail.
  • The insects are usually easy to remove using a credit card or dull knife, as well as a fingernail.
  • Use caution with a credit card or knife to avoid scraping the succulent.
  • Chemical treatment may be required for severe infestations involving dozens or hundreds of insects.
  • Scales can be removed from succulents using rubbing alcohol or soapy water.
  • For removing scales from succulents, dilute neem oil or commercial horticultural oil with distilled water before using.
  • For every eight ounces of water, use one spoonful of oil.
  • Pour the oil and water into a spray bottle after properly mixing them together.
  • At night, spray the plants with oil as during the day time, the oil increases the chance of the plant being burned by magnifying the intensity of sunlight.
  • Chemical treatments are less effective against scale insects, but they may be useful if used repeatedly.
  • Repeat the procedure about once a week until the scale insects have vanished completely.
  • Try transplanting the plant if chemical treatments don’t work.
  • The eggs and nymphs may be found in the succulent’s soil and roots.
  • Remove the plant and use soapy water or isopropyl alcohol to spray the roots.
  • Allow the plant to dry out for a few days before repotting it with new succulent potting soil.
  • If the pests persist, try propagating a section of the plant that appears healthy and scale-free.


In the blink of an eye, mealybugs can obliterate your succulents. By taking water, they deplete the plant’s vigour. As a result, your plant will wrinkle and weaken, eventually succumbing to death.

These bugs are white and cotton-like in appearance, and they don’t appear to be insects. You can have trouble identifying them on your succulents.

They’re most likely to be discovered on the growing parts of the plant. They can be found at the base of the stem or on the leaves, for example.


Regularly inspect your succulents. This will assist you in quickly identifying mealybugs, so that you can take an immediate action.


Another bug that can damage your succulent is the aphid. These bugs can be quite bothersome because they are frequently observed in large numbers. By sucking the succulent’s stems and leaves, they cause damage. 

Aphids also release a sticky substance that makes the succulent susceptible to mould.

If you don’t recognise aphids early enough, you risk losing the plant and spreading the pest to other plants nearby. This is why aphids must be found and removed as soon as possible.

It won’t be difficult to spot aphids. Just keep an eye out for the following:

The presence of aphids is indicated by a trail of ants leading from your plant.

Aphids can be identified by a sooty mould on the plant.


Aphids should be  detected as soon as possible.

The Aphids will proliferate uncontrollably if you do not discover them as soon as possible. And you wouldn’t be able to handle such a severe case. As a result, you’ll have to say goodbye to your beloved plant.


Ants are the most common insects seen in nature. They are usually harmless. You might also believe they’re safe for succulents. However, if you notice an army of ants advancing from your succulent, you should be concerned.

These ants are a sign that your plant is infested with aphids or mealybugs. Both of these beetles produce sticky secretions that entice ants to come near them.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are not as destructive to your plants as other pests. However, seeing them may anger you. They resemble mosquitos and give your plants a frightening appearance.

A big number of gnats can also cause the plant to lose its lustrous appearance. Who wants their leaves to be boring and lifeless?

Fungus gnats on your succulents signifies one of two things: you’re providing much too much water, and your plants are in the improper soil. Succulents require gravelly, well-drained soil.

Do Succulents Attract Spiders?

Succulents attract spiders because they provide cover from predators, water for hydration, and a location to build a nest. Many different spider species weave webs around the base of succulents to avoid being molested. 

They not only weaken the plants, but they also render them susceptible to additional illnesses.

Spider mites can be identified by looking for a few basic indications. Small white webs on the plant are the first sign to look for, followed by small brown or rust-colored specks on the plant.

How do Spiders harm succulents? 

They inject a substance into the plant tissue, to be precise. This toxin causes irreparable harm to the succulent as well as irregular growth. As a result, you’ll have no choice except to toss your treasured plant.


As soon as you notice the small white webs, remove these webs.

How to Keep Bugs Away from Succulents?

Taking preventative measures to keep bugs away from succulents is a smart idea. After all, they have the ability to attract them.

If you wish to keep bugs away from your succulent, follow these guidelines:

  1. Make sure the plant you’re buying isn’t infested with bugs. Otherwise, it may harm your garden’s other healthy plants.
  2. Succulents should not be overwatered. Gnats, as fungi, despise dry soil and thrive in wet, waterlogged soil. Keep an eye on the succulents to check if there are any pests.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in Succulents?

  • To get rid of bugs on succulents, start by removing any severely damaged areas of the plant. Apart from that, you can boost plant cleanliness by removing bugs with soapy water or rubbing alcohol.
  •  It is not easy to get rid of mealybugs and fungus gnats. However, doing a little research makes the job a lot easier.

Follow the instructions carefully to save your plant

  • Remove the infected part Consider finding an insect on a particular part of your succulent. Eliminate that particular part.
  • Simply remove the bug-infested part so that the bug does not spread to other sections of the plant. And, in the end, the succulent is saved as a whole.
  • Any bug that can harm succulents, such as scales or mealybugs, can also be removed with this method. To treat the pests, use organic pesticides.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Even after removing the infected part, if you are still having problems with bugs, using 75% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or a mixture of neem oil and soap is the cheapest and most successful way to get rid of aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.  

Simply saturate the succulents with water and leave them alone. The bug will begin to turn brown, indicating that it is dead.

It’s possible to spray the insects instead of putting the alcohol on them.

Coat the insects with rubbing alcohol using a spray bottle.

Use a cotton swab or Q-tip  in rubbing alcohol to gently rub the affected area. And no insect will be left on your plant.

If your plant is heavily infected with bugs, however, this method will not work.


Rubbing alcohol should be used with caution.

Rubbing alcohol should never be sprayed or rubbed on the leaves otherwise it will harm your plant instead of  keeping it healthy. Mostly, alcohol is used straight, without diluting it. 

Use of Soapy Water 

Bugs can be removed with soapy water at a low cost. This approach can be used to get rid of spider mites, scales, and mealybugs.

For applying soapy water , a spray bottle is also required. Fill the spray container with soapy water and several tablespoons of dish soap.

Now you can spray the affected plant with soapy water. After some time, the bugs will begin to leave the succulent.

Apply Pesticides

Pesticides can be used for removing bugs from your plant. Chemical insecticides  eliminate the heavy bug’s appearance. They can, however, be detrimental to the growth of your plant.

As a result, it is preferable to use a natural pesticide.  Some natural and chemical pesticides used to get rid of bugs are as follows:

Natural Insecticides such as neem oil or horticultural oil are also effective in removing bugs from succulents.

Chemical Insecticide like Imidacloprid, Acephate, Dimethoate and Pyrethroids can also be used to get rid of bugs from succulents.


So, as we know now, succulents do attract bugs like mealybugs, scales, ants, and spider mites. You may, however, take precautions to safeguard your plant from them.

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