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Do Money Trees Attract Bugs? 6 Common Bugs+How To Get Rid

Wondering about bugs or pest infestation on your money tree? Let’s dive in.

Even resilient plants like the money tree can draw bugs, creating a problem if left untreated. This article uncovers the bugs that might target your money tree and how to tackle them.

A healthy money tree doesn’t attract any bugs. However, if the living conditions are inappropriate, the risk of bug infestation is relatively high. Overwatering, excess humidity, and improper ventilation are primary culprits that attract bugs like spider mites, gnats, mealybugs, etc.

Some bugs target the money tree for its sap, while others are lured by overwatering and low-light conditions. Let’s discover some common pests that can affect your money tree and find effective ways to eliminate them.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leaves examining

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What are the common bugs that attack money trees?

The common bugs that infect the money tree are: 

  • Gnats
  • Whiteflies
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Scales

Let’s study more about these bugs and find out how to identify them and the signs that can tell you that the pests infest your money tree. We will also discuss the ways of eliminating these stubborn pests.

Gnats on money tree

Gnats in houseplant

If you notice tiny flies on your money tree, these are probably fungus gnats. If you have an overwatered money tree, it is likely to attract gnats. 

Since the soil remains moist, it develops fungus, and the fungus gnats feed on it.

Identification

  • Small flies that look like mosquitoes.
  • 2.5 mm long body.
  • They are found near or on the soil of the money tree as they are weak fliers.
  • The larvae are 1/4 inch long with a black head and a transparent white body. 

Signs

Whiteflies on money tree

Whiteflies on houseplant

If you notice a white cloud near your money tree, the plant has a whitefly infestation. These bugs are incredibly tiny and populate very fast. 

These bugs suck on the sap of the plant and excrete honeydew. You might also notice mold along with this.

Identification

  • A cloud of white bugs is seen whenever you move or brush the leaves.
  • Found on the undersides of the leaves.
  • Create honeydew on and around the money tree.

Signs

Mealybugs on money tree

Mealybugs on houseplant

If you notice a white and fuzzy substance on the leaves and stems of your money tree, then mealybugs have infested your money tree. These bugs also feed on the plant sap, excrete a lot of honeydew, and promote mold.

Identification

  • Fuzzy white bugs
  • Cottony substance around the stems and the nodes of the leaves.
  • Honeydew makes the leaves shiny.
  • Oval shaped
  • Brown or cream colored

Signs

  • Yellow leaves
  • Defoliation
  • Wilting
  • Stunted growth
  • Leaf drop

Spider mites on money tree

Spider mites are hard to notice with the bare eye, but if you see web-like structures on your plant, you can guess that spider mites have infested the plant. Spider mites suck the nutrition out of the plant, making the leaves and stems weak. If the condition worsens, the plant can even die.

Identification 

  • Extremely tiny brown or red spiders
  • Webs on the underside of leaves
  • Visible as tiny dots
  • Its eggs are not visible
  • Dust-like on the leaves 

Signs 

  • Curling of leaves
  • Dry leaves
  • Weak plant
  • Dropping leaves
  • Brown spots on the foliage

Aphids on money tree

Aphids on houseplant

Aphids can attack your money tree if the plant is placed in an area with high humidity. 

If you already have a plant infected with aphids and the money tree was placed near it, the aphids might be interested in it from there as they can even come to the wind. 

Identification 

  • Tiny green pests
  • Red, brown, or blue
  • Populates fast
  • Attacks new growth
  • Eggs look like tiny dogs

Signs 

  • Stunted growth
  • Yellow leaves
  • Leaf drop
  • Deformed foliage
  • Sticky residue

Scales on money tree

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bugs and pests

Scales are tiny bugs that suck on the step of your plant and absorb all the nutrition from it. Unfortunately, scales can also invite ants. 

You can only identify scales if you look closely at your money tree. 

Identification

  • Brown rounded lumps
  • Colors can vary from brown to white
  • Oval shaped

Signs

  • Yellow leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Leaf drop
  • Deformed leaves
  • Brown marks on leaves

Why do money trees get bugs?

If pests have infested your money tree, you need to take action as soon as possible and eliminate the bugs before they kill your money tree.

Overwatering can lead to pest infestation.

Overwatering is a severe problem and can lead to pest infestation in the money tree. The money tree does not enjoy sitting in the water for long.

If the drainage system of the money tree is not working well, it can lead to overwatering. If the drainage holes under the pot do not let the excess water drain out, the plant will sit in the water for longer than required.

The roots fail to function correctly if the money tree is exposed to too much water. Due to this, the plant cannot absorb any moisture or nutrition and becomes weak.

This not only invites pests but also causes fungal and bacterial infections.

If overwatering is the problem, you need to: 

  • To check the drainage system and make sure that it is working properly.
  • The potting mix should be well-draining.
  • Avoid watering the wet soil and wait for it to get dry.
  • Please put the plant in a bright environment with 6 to 8 hours of indirect light.

High humidity often attracts pests and bugs.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) watering

If your money tree is placed in an area with high humidity levels, it can increase the chances of pest infestation.

Giving the money tree more water than required can increase the humidity for the plant. Misting the money tree frequently can also increase the moisture around the plant.

Pests require a moist environment to thrive and grow. Therefore, plants placed in high-humidity areas are vulnerable to pest infestation.

Lack of air circulation attracts more pests.

Keeping the money tree in an area with good airflow is good for the plant’s health. Good airflow does not allow the humidity levels to increase.

If there is good airflow around the plant, the soil will dry quickly and not remain moist. This is not the ideal condition for pests.

If your money tree lacks proper air circulation around it, it can be the reason behind pest infestation in the plant.

How do I get rid of bugs on my money tree?

If you notice bugs on your money tree, you should eliminate them immediately. Otherwise, they might cause severe damage to the plant, which will not recover.

Here is how to get rid of the bugs on the money tree:

Isolate the plant to prevent bugs from spreading

Money tree (Pachira Aquatica) leaning

Once you identify the pest infestation, and if your money tree is grouped with other plants, you must isolate it so that the other plants don’t get infected.

Prune the damaged and heavily infested parts.

You must remove the heavily infested and damaged areas to allow the plant to recover faster.

Use sterilized pruners to prune the damaged leaves and make sure to dispose of them. Use gloves while pruning the money tree, or wash your hands thoroughly after disposing of the damaged parts of the plant.

Shower the plant

Showering the money tree is an excellent idea to eliminate pests. During the initial stages of infestation, it can help eliminate the pests without using pesticides or miticides.

Wash the plant thoroughly so that the water reaches all parts of the plant.

Use organic miticides

You can use organic miticides to get rid of the pests, and these don’t cause any harm to the plant.

You can choose from any of the following options.

Neem oil: Mix 2 tsp of neem oil with 1 gallon of water and spray it all over the plant. Continue for two weeks to see results.

Rosemary oil: Use diluted rosemary oil or any other horticulture oil and spray it on the plant. The pungent smell will repel and kill the bugs.

Cinnamate: Dilute cinnamate and spray on the money tree every three to four days till the pests get killed. Cinnamate is non-toxic and safe to use on plants.

You can also use a commercial miticide that is organic. I prefer this one.

Use household chemicals to combat pests.

You can use household chemicals if you don’t have the above miticides available.

Rubbing alcohol:

  1. Add rubbing alcohol to water with a 1:1 ratio.
  2. Spray it all over the plant and wash it with normal water.
  3. Use this regularly.

Dish soap: Mix 1 tsp mild dish soap with 1 liter water. Spray it on the plant and wash it off with plain water. Keep doing this till the pests persist.

Use commercial pesticides as a last resort.

Buying commercial pesticides

You can opt for commercial pesticides available in the market, but they often contain harmful chemicals that can harm the plant.

Before purchasing the pesticide, read the instructions carefully. Avoid getting a pesticide that can harm the plant.

Final Words

To prevent the bugs from infesting your money tree, avoid overwatering the plant and keep it in a bright spot where it will get enough indirect sunlight.

Use well-draining soil and a pot with working drainage holes so the plant doesn’t get overwatered.

You can spray neem oil solution on the money tree monthly to protect it from pests.


Reference: WIKIPEDIA.


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