Aloe Vera is known for being a sturdy, durable houseplant, along with its ability to produce a gel-like substance that has several uses and benefits.
Houseplants often attract insects, and this is especially true for succulents like Aloe Vera.
Fleshy leaves of succulents make them a good target for different kinds of pests to feed on.
This guide will list the types of insects found on the Aloe plant and how to keep the plant pest-free.
Do Aloe Vera Plants Repel Insects?
Aloe Vera as a plant does not repel insects, but the gel the succulent produces can keep insects like mosquitoes away during summertime.
As succulents, Aloes love basking in the sun during the day.
This can attract several insects to feast on the fleshy leaves of the plant.
Pests like aphids and Aloe mites cannot resist the plant and may flock to it when kept outdoors.
In such cases, there are easy fixes to battle pest infestation.
However, the Aloe plant itself is not an insect-repellant.
3 Common Bugs On Aloe Vera Plants
There are several kinds of bugs one can find on an Aloe plant.
Most pests are not identifiable with the naked eye, but using a magnifying glass or microscope can help you observe the kind of pests that feast on the Aloe Vera.
A few common bugs that you may find are:
Scales are tiny, flat, and fluid-sucking insects that infiltrate through the skin of the leaf and consume its liquid.
Once they find a comfortable spot on a plant, it is unlikely they will move until they die.
Their lack of movement is why plant parents often mistake a scale for a piece of dirt or a wound on the plant.
By consuming plant fluid, scales often deplete the plant, causing it to turn yellow.
It is not difficult to remove scales from Aloe Vera.
All you need to do is use a blunt knife and scrape the insects off the leaves.
If scraping the leaves does not remove the scales, dab a cotton pad saturated with rubbing alcohol on the scales.
Aloe plants can also attract mites, especially a mite called the Aloe mite.
This mite is microscopic, and you cannot detect it without a magnifier.
These bugs are also commonly known as Aloe gall mites or wart mites, and it is nearly impossible to know whether they have infested the plant until you see the damage.
When Aloe gall mites feed on the plant, they inject chemicals that cause tiny lumps to grow on the leaves.
These lumps form a shelter for the mites and make the plant more habitable for them.
Aloe gall mites, unfortunately, do not respond to miticides or pesticides.
If you find them damaging your Aloe plant leaves, it is best to prune the leaves off and dispose of them away from other plants you may have in your garden.
Mealybugs are small, white, and fuzzy insects that love to feed off Aloe plants.
They build their nests around the base of an Aloe plant, as this is where the female mealybugs lay eggs.
Young and adult female mealybugs consume the sap of the succulent by piercing its leaves.
This causes yellowing, stunted growth, and plant tissue distortion, and if left untreated for a while, this can lead to more severe issues in the plant.
When mealybugs feed on Aloe Vera, they leave behind a sticky trail of a substance called honeydew.
Honeydew attracts mold and ants on succulents.
The easiest way to get rid of mealybugs is to spray a steady stream of water on the plant.
Then, rub the nests and colonies off with a soft cloth.
If there is a heavy infestation on the plant, it is best to remove it from your house completely.
To prevent these bugs from infesting the Aloe plant, conduct routine checks on the plant to see if there are any insects.
Optimal conditions for an Aloe Vera include sunny locations with well-draining, gritty soil.
Also, remember that Aloe plants do not thrive in cold and windy temperatures.
If there’s a frost predicted in your area, cover the plants with a blanket to prevent the plants from freezing.
Tips To Prevent Bugs Problem On Aloe Vera Plant
If you own more than one Aloe Vera plant, carefully examine all of them for bug infestation.
If the fresh ones do not have pests, you should separate them from the infested ones.
You cannot rescue the plants that have heavy mite infestation.
You need to discard such plants.
Bring the plant(s) to a sink and wash it with soapy water.
Dish soap is an effective insecticide and can easily kill pests on plants.
You should add two tablespoons of soap per gallon of water.
Rinse the soap thoroughly off the plant, especially any mold that may have formed as a result of infestation.
Plants with extreme infestation need insecticidal soap for treatment.
Before using the soap on your plant, do a patch test to see if the plant reacts to the soap.
To do this, use a cotton pad and apply the soap to one spot on the plant.
Wait for a couple of days to see if there are any reactions.
If the plant does not react, it means that the soap is safe to use.
Coat the entire plant with the insecticidal soap and keep the Aloe Vera outside below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the Aloe is dry, wash the soap off thoroughly with water.
You will need the following items to exterminate pests off your Aloe Vera:
- Dish soap
- Insecticidal soap
- Soft cloth
- Magnifying glasses
Note that a well-kept Aloe will resist insects better than an Aloe that is not thriving.
Feeding the plant lightly (once during summer and once during spring) and watering it once a week will ensure standard growth in the plant.
Additionally, washing the plant at least once or twice a year can keep the plant clean, as it helps remove young insects and eggs from the plant.
Do not use a detergent or any other harsh chemical instead of insecticidal soap, as this can damage the plant completely!
No, Aloe Vera plants do not repel any bugs. Strong plants can deal with insects better, but they do not naturally repel any insects.
Bugs like Aloe gall mites, mealybugs, and scales are commonly known to be attracted to Aloe Vera plants.
Aloe mites cause irreversible damage to Aloe plants. Once the plant is damaged, it cannot be saved. To avoid having mites on the plants, check your plant weekly with a magnifying glass, as most bugs are microscopic.
No, Aloe Vera plants cannot repel mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are repelled by strong scents, which the Aloe Vera plant does not give off. If you want a mosquito-repellant plant, try looking for lavender, lemongrass, marigolds, peppermint, rosemary, garlic, and basil.
Getting rid of bugs on this plant is quite simple. You only need dish soap, water, and a cloth to wipe the plant down.
Dish soap is a useful pesticide that can be safely used on plants.
If the insects do not go away with only the dish soap solution, use insecticidal soap. If you are dealing with mites, it is better to get rid of the plant, as damage caused by these pests cannot be reversed.
To save other plants in the house from getting attacked, dispose of the plant thoroughly.