5 Christmas Cactus Bugs (+How to Get Rid of Them?)

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If you’re like me, you love Christmas cactus.

They’re such beautiful, festive plants that add a touch of holiday cheer to any home.

But what you may not know is that these plants are susceptible to a type of bug that can wreak havoc on their health.

If you are seeing Christmas Cactus Bugs all of a sudden crawling on the plant, then read this post to get the complete guide.

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Christmas Cactus Bugs

Common Christmas Cactus Bugs

#1. Mealybugs on Christmas Cactus

Image of MealyBug
Image of MealyBug, Credits: Crisco 1492, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mealybugs are white small, wingless insects that feed on the sap of plants.

They can cause a lot of damage to Christmas cactus, and other plants, by sucking out the nutrients they need to grow.

Mealybugs are often hard to spot because they hide in the crevices of the plant.

But you may be able to see them if you look closely. They are usually white or light-colored, and they have a waxy coating.

If you think your Christmas cactus has mealybugs, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them.

You can try to remove them by hand, but be careful not to damage the plant.

You can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill the bugs.

If the infestation is bad, you may need to use an insecticide. Be sure to follow the directions on the label carefully.

#2. Spider Mites on Christmas Cactus

Image of Spider Mite
Image of Spider Mite, Credits: Gilles San MartinCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spider Mites are tiny pests that are barely visible to the naked eye, but they can cause a lot of damage to your cactus.

Spider mites feed on the sap of your plant, and they can quickly kill it.

These pests are most active in the spring and summer, but they can still be a problem in the winter.

If you think your cactus has spider mites, the best thing to do is to bring it inside and put it in a room with high humidity.

Then, spray insecticidal soap spray to get rid of spider mites. This will kill them quickly.

#3. Scale Insects on Christmas Cactus

Image of Scale Insect
Image of Scale Insect, Credits: BARAKAT2011CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scale insects feed on the sap of plants, and they can quickly weaken and even kill a Christmas cactus.

These bugs are particularly difficult to get rid of because they produce a waxy coating that protects them from most insecticides.

If you suspect that your Christmas cactus has scale insects, the best thing to do is to take it to a local nursery or garden center. 

They will be able to recommend the best course of treatment.

In most cases, you’ll need to use a systemic insecticide that will be taken up by the plant and kill the bugs from the inside out.

It’s important to act quickly if you think your Christmas cactus has scale insects.

These bugs can spread quickly and do serious damage to your plant. 

With proper treatment, you should be able to get rid of the bugs and keep your Christmas cactus healthy and happy.

#4. Fungus Gnats on Christmas Cactus

Image of Fungus gnat
Image of Fungus gnat, Credits:Python (Peter Rühr)CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fungus gnats are tiny black flies that are attracted to the damp soil of potted plants.

They lay their eggs in the soil, and the larvae feed on the roots of the plant.

This can damage the plant and make it more susceptible to diseases. 

Scale insects are small, hard-bodied pests that suck the sap out of plants. They can also spread diseases to plants. 

To get rid of fungus gnats, you can try several things.

First, let the top layer of soil dry out completely between watering.

This will kill the larvae. You can also try using a soil drench of insecticidal soap or neem oil. 

These products will kill the adults and the larvae.

If you have a serious infestation, you may need to repot the plant in a fresh, sterile potting mix.

#5. Aphids on Christmas cactus

Image of Aphids
Image of Aphids, Credits: Photo by WikiPedant at Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you have a Christmas cactus, check it regularly for aphids. These pests can ruin your plant, so it’s important to be on the lookout.

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can be found in a variety of colors, including green, black, and brown. 

They feed on plants by sucking out the sap, which can weaken and even kill the plant.

Aphids can reproduce quickly, and they often form colonies on plants.

You can try using an insecticide, but be sure to read the label carefully and follow the directions.

How do I get rid of bugs in my Christmas cactus?

If you’re like me, you love your Christmas cactus but hate the bugs that seem to show up every year.

Here are a few tips on how to get rid of bugs in your Christmas cactus:

1. Identifying the Bug on Christmas Cactus

First, try to identify the type of bug that is infesting your plant. If you see small, black bugs crawling around, chances are you have mealybugs. 

If you see tiny white bugs, those are probably whiteflies. If you see larger brown bugs, those are probably the scale insects.

2. Taking Action As Per the Type of Bug Identified

If you’re dealing with aphids, whiteflies, or mealybugs, you can use a variety of insecticidal sprays or soaps.

Be sure to follow the directions on the label, and apply the spray in the evening so that it has time to work before the sun comes up.

If you’re dealing with scale insects, you’ll need to take a different approach.

Scale insects suck the sap out of plants, and they can be difficult to get rid of.

You may need to use a systemic insecticide, which is absorbed by the plant and then kills the scale insects when they feed on the plant.

Again, be sure to follow the directions on the label.

3. Check your cactus for bugs regularly 

The best way to prevent bugs from taking over your cactus is to check it regularly for signs of infestation. 

Look for small, brown spots on the leaves, which are a sure sign of scale insects.

These little buggers are hard to spot, but once you see them, you’ll be able to get rid of them quickly.

4. Removing the Affected Area

 If you see any bugs on your cactus, remove them immediately.

The best way to remove bugs is to carefully pick them off by hand. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill the bugs.

5. Keep your Christmas cactus healthy

The best way to prevent bugs from infesting your cactus is to keep it healthy.

Make sure it is getting enough light, water, and nutrients. A healthy cactus is much less likely to be attacked by bugs.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your Christmas cactus healthy and free of bugs.

Can you use insecticidal soap on Christmas cactus?

Insecticidal soap can be used for Christmas Cactus in spray form.

It can help Christmas Cactus by getting rid of several types of insects like spider mites, fungus gnats, etc.

Do spider mites like Christmas cactus?

Spider mites do like Christmas Cactus as they can derive food from the Plant sap.

Commonly they make some fine webs on Christmas Cactus and also fine spots of color can be spotted once they stay on the Christmas Cactus Plant.

How do I know if my cactus has spider mites?

Spider mites can be spotted on Christmas Cactus by looking at whether there is webbing on the plant or whether there are any small brown spots.

What are the white things on my Christmas cactus?

If you see white things on Christmas Cactus, then that is MealyBugs’ infestation.

It will look like a fluffy white coating on the Christmas Cactus leaves.

Conclusion

Let’s conclude the post on Christmas cactus bugs!

If you have a serious infestation, you may need to call a professional pest control company.

In the meantime, take steps to prevent these pests from entering your home in the first place.

I hope you enjoyed reading the post.

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By Basana Saha

Basana Saha has expertise working for more than 25 years as a beautician. She has expertise in choosing the right accessories and gears for your baby. Being a mom she knows the problems new moms face. She would like to help with Parenting to new moms with her expertise in raising a child. Connect with me: 1. Twitter 2. LinkedIn