Sometimes our bug killers need the help of bug killers, here’s a guide to safe and effective insecticides, miticides, fungicides, and methods of getting rid of pests!
There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about what pesticides to use and not use on carnivorous plants, I decided it was time to clear it all up and make THE ULTIMATE guide to how to get rid of pests on your carnivores.
A lot of the pests our carnivorous plants attract can be nearly invisible, or lurking under the soil, and we won’t realize that they have anything attacking them until it’s too late and the plant has sustained tons of damage. Treating pests on carnivorous plants can be difficult since our plants are sensitive to a lot of pesticides that are safe on tougher plants. About once a month max I go through specific pesticides for different plants and spray them just to be safe. I really want to stress NOT spraying any flowering plant with pesticides as it can kill bees and birds. If a plant you have is flowering and you HAVE to spray it, then cut the flower first before spraying.
One of the most important things I suggest you do to prevent attaining and spread of pests is isolation. Upon receiving any plant, even a plant from a friend, spray with acephate, and keep the plant isolated for 2 to 3 months away from your general collection. Acephate is one of the safest pesticides for carnivorous plants. This has helped me immensely in keeping pests on new plants from getting to other plants. Pests will usually show themselves or produce noticeable damage in that time frame. Keep your other plant’s health in mind and keep them safe from evil pests!
Below I will list insecticides and miticides that are safe for carnivorous plants. It is important to know that not every pesticide is safe on carnivores! I’ve seen a lot of “use dish soap and water on your carnivore,” methods like this WILL kill your plant. There are also times where people just tell others to “pick the mealybugs off the plant and you’ll be good,” this is also not effective! Many of these pests hide in the roots of your plant and have intricate life stages, there will be eggs are larvae in the soil and the pest will come back and continue reproducing until you treat your plant correctly for the pest.
Warning for all Pesticides: Please use pesticides with care, some can be harmful to the environment AND to you! Use them properly and as directed so that we don’t damage ourselves or the planet we love. Don’t dilute or strengthen the dose of pesticide and don’t use pesticides more often than they are recommended, this can cause for pest resistance which will make them immune to the pesticide. Always properly identify a pest before using any pesticide on it, using the wrong pesticides on specific pests can also lead to resistance. Wear gloves, a mask, goggles/glasses and any other protective gear you might have and only use the pesticides outside in well-circulated areas. If a pesticide is illegal in your area, please don’t try buying it and using it illegally, it is probably illegal for a good reason and there is always another way to treat the pests!
There are always downsides to using pesticides and even in following all the directions, pesticides can have negative effects to the environment. Please feel free to look up the negative effects of pesticides before using if you are concerned about the consequences of using them.
Check out my guides to getting rid of carnivorous plant pests!