Got bugs on your pothos plant?
There’s no place for them to eat up those gorgeous lime green leaves on your plant!
Common insects include spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids.
The last thing you want to see when you’re combing through those shield-shaped leaves is white webbing on the undersides.
Thankfully, getting rid of those pests on your pothos is easy with a methodical process:
- Identify the insect
- Remove the eggs, nymphs, and adults
- Set up repellents to prevent future infestations
We’ll go over the general guidelines you can take to find out what’s eating your pothos and how to get rid of them.
You’ll learn about the following topics:
- Why bugs are on your pothos (possible infestation vectors)
- Common pothos pests
- How to naturally get rid of pothos bugs using DIY remedies (with things you probably have lying in the kitchen)
- Ways to prevent bugs from eating your pothos and keep them off for good
- And more!
By the end of this guide, you should have a solid foundation to identify, eradicate, and prevent bugs permanently.
If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment at the end of the page and I’ll get back to you when I can.
Bookmark this page so you can easily reference it during the process of riding those bugs.
Sounds good? Let’s restore your pothos to their former glory.
Last updated: 5/2/22.
What’s that bug on my pothos plant?
Pothos plants are known for their dark green foliage that crawls and creeps along walls, counters, and tabletops.
Those tender leaves are a tasty treat that bugs such as thrips, mealybugs, aphids, and more.
Everything from tiny black or white flying insects to crawling ones can be found eating the precious leaves of your pothos plant.
Remember, this plant is extremely popular in the household.
It can adapt to a variety of household conditions in many different hardiness zones, so that’s why you can find almost every common household bug eating it.
The popularity and poor ownership of this plant make it “seem” like it’s vulnerable to pest infestation, but it’s because the data is skewed. They’re really hardy in reality.
Why are there bugs in my pothos plant?
If your home is susceptible to bugs in general, then it’s no surprise that bugs are in your pothos.
Many people grow it with high-quality potting soil that’s extremely dense with nutrients, which both your plant and bugs love.
Additionally, the leaves are everywhere and they provide a stable food source for pests to infest.
Bugs can hide in the leaves if you don’t keep them tidy or pruned regularly.
If you’re growing pothos in water, the still water can bring in mosquitos that deposit their eggs in stagnant environments or other moisture-loving bugs like mosquitoes, water boatmen, or crane.
Zones that are rural or have lots of insects by default bring in bugs like crazy.
If they get inside your home, you can be sure that they’ll go for the pothos plant with its crawling leaves and tender, tasty greens.
It depends on a variety of factors, not limited to the following:
- How clean your house is
- How well maintained your garden is
- If your home has well-sealed windows or doors
- If your home is equipped with pest repelling equipment
The overall conditions of your property- including foundational cracks, weather-stripping damage, or stuck gutters that don’t drain.
Even something as basic as overwatering your plants will make a difference.
If you overwater, it brings in pests that are seeking a drink. They infest the soil, leaves, and flowers.
This will then allow them to breed, feed, and mate. More bugs will spawn, which then leads to a higher chance of them sneaking into your house, where your pothos is.
See the chain of events?
Overfeeding with plant food is another biggie.
When you feed more than the plant needs, it builds up in the soil. Bugs love this. You can guess it.
They nest in soil that’s full of nutrients.
Whether it’s your outdoor plants or indoor plants (or both), it’s not a good idea. It just brings more bugs to your property.
Does pothos plants attract bugs?
You may not think that your gorgeous pothos brings in bugs, but it does.
Those pretty green leaves coming out of that stem is nothing but tasty meals for these critters to eat.
It’s like a buffet for bugs, but vegetarian style.
Because pothos has so many dense leaves, it just makes it harder to spot them eating it. Especially if you don’t regularly check for pests.
The leaves are plentiful, so of course bugs will come to it.
Pothos has everything they’re looking for- soil to hide in, foliage/stems to consume, and plenty of space to deposit eggs.
This allows them to feed, breed, and generally infect it to the point where you’ll start seeing signs of pest damage:
- Yellowing or browning foliage
- Dark leaves
- Drooping foliage
- Sap leaking from stems
- Distorted or malformed leaves
- Stutned grown
- White webs on leaves
- Dark-colored dots on leaves
- Leaf drop
- Holes or jagged edges on leaves
- Small leaves
- Poor color foliage
- Visible bugs on the stems, leaves, or soil
Feeding activity from a few pests is nothing to worry about. But it adds up.
These buggers can eat up your leaves and make them ugly. Or they can damage the plant’s stem or root system, which can destroy it or stunt it.
It’s important to identify the pest, eliminate it, then set up repellents to keep bugs off your pothos permanently.
Continue to monitor for bug problems in the future by being diligent in your plant care.
Bugs love pothos
While pothos is a hardy plant, but it can still bring in the bugs!
There are several common reasons why your plant has bugs.
See if these apply to your plant in the sight test, then correct the problem.
High moisture content
If humidity is high where your pothos sits, it can bring in bugs. Bugs like aphids or mealybugs love humidity.
If they get into your house, they’ll seek out where the moisture is coming from.
If it’s your pothos, it gives them exactly what they want- somewhere to breed, feed, and hide.
This is why it’s important to control the humidity level. You can reduce it by watering less, using drip irrigation, and constantly pruning your pothos.
Consider moving your plant to a dry place- not the bathrooms or kitchen. Get a humidity meter (see on Amazon.com) to monitor the ambient relative humidity levels. Stop overwatering!
If the moisture is just too high, consider getting the following:
- Use box fans to help evaporate excess moisture content
- Relocate your plants out of the high humidity area
- Use a dehumidifier
- Water your plants less
- Remove still water if it exists
- Mist pothos rather than water
Lack of pruning
If you don’t keep it pruned, it’ll outgrow its place. This leads to foliage that grows in excess, which can provide a food source for bugs.
It gives them more to eat, so cut it off. Keeping your plant regularly pruned keeps it looking clean. It helps improve evaporation as well.
Too much plant food
You should know by now to never water your pothos plants. You should also know to never give it fertilizer when it’s not needed.
This will lead to nutrient buildup in the soil. The soil itself should be “good enough” for pothos plants to thrive.
Use a high-quality potting mix to accomplish this. Fertilizer is not necessary. If you must use it, use a half dose only.
Common types of bugs found on pothos (and how to get rid of them)
Here’s a list of bugs you’ll find on this plant with various ways to get rid of them.
No two infestations are alike- it depends on your situation.
You need to adjust as necessary as not all pest control remedies will work for you! Use these as guidelines, not dictation.
If you’ve ever grown anything, you know the destructive nature of aphid pests.
These buggers will suck the sap out of your pothos (albeit, not surprisingly). They’re tiny. They can fly. They show up in the dozens.
They can be found in hanging or crawling pothos as they can flutter from one place to another. NO pothos is safe!
Plus, they wreck your pothos leaves to shreds.
Aphids have a unique look to them, but to those that are unfamiliar, here’s what to look for:
- Pear-shaped bodies
- ⅛ max length
- Black, green, white, yellow, or red
- Variety of sizes
- Visible legs and eyes
You’ll find them hanging out on the stems of your plant.
They crawl up the stems (or fly) to get to the leaves. Aphids are like the “ants” of the plant world.
They’re capable of forming long trails that stem from the soil to the tip-top leaves.
While you’ll find them on the stems, they’re mainly seeking those softer leaves to eat because they’re much easier for them to digest.
Whether they’re green or black or orange, they’re a real nuisance.
Aphids usually show up in groups on the bottom of the leaves.
They hide from the sunlight during peak hours, so if you’re inspecting them, be sure to look at the undersides of the pothos.
Since it’s got so many leaves, it can be hard to see them if there’s only a small or single generation.
They’re highly mobile so they can transition from one plant to the next quickly. Look at the stems of your pothos. Newly forming leaves that are still curled will often have aphids on the bottom.
They suck out the sap directly from the underside of new foliage.
Signs of their damage are easy to spot: distorted leaves, yellowing leaves, shriveled or wrinkled foliage, wilting or drooping. Aphids will secrete honeydew behind their infested sites, so this will bring in mold. Later on, you may see other pests like ants or even fungus in the sooty tar.
Getting rid of them will take time. You’ll have to be patient, vigilant, and methodical.
Start by isolating the infested pothos. You already know these bugs can infest many plants very quickly, so you need to move the infested ones to a quarantine zone (like the outdoors or inside their greenhouse if you have some).
Get a hose to spray them off. The water pressure will blast them off the leaves of the pothos plant.
Prune off heavily damaged foliage or stems. Aphis will respond to disturbance by scattering.
You must try to catch as many as you can before they escape. Get a bucket and fill it up with some soapy water.
Put it under your pothos leaves, one section at a time. Shake the leaves. The aphids will fall into the solution and drown. Repeat this daily on all sections of your pothos.
If you have a large plant, consider dipping your plant leaves into the solution directly. Then wash it off. Use a diluted mixture to prevent damage to the plant, but pothos are hardy so you shouldn’t have any issues.
Put on a pair of gardening gloves, then get your soapy water to dunk them in. Using your gloved fingers, pick the aphids off your pothos.
Then shake them into the container. Do this daily until the aphids are gone.
Next, create a homemade DIY aphid spray by mixing the following:
- 2 tablespoons dish detergent (Dawn or any brand)
- 1-quart water
- 1 bulb minced garlic
- Few pieces of minced onion
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
Mix it all. It should be quite spicy when done. Since it has a lot of solid pieces, you can’t spray some of them.
Let it sit overnight in the solution mixture, then it’ll be ready to spray. The onion will combine with the water over time. The garlic should be near-instant.
Spray it on the aphids or use it to clean the leaves. See how your pothos responds to this DIY spray.
If it burns, add more water to dilute the concentration. This repels them from representing your plants.
Lastly, you can set up some aphid traps nearby. There are traps made just for aphids that you can buy online (check Amazon.com) or at your local garden center/home improvement store.
These are scented with bait that brings aphids in but can’t get out. Use as directed.
If you need to use a commercial spray, pyrethrin-based or imidacloprid-based sprays are often recommended because of their effectiveness to eradicate aphids.
Pyrethrin targets the insects nervous system and kills them quickly. It’s considered to be one of the few organic insecticides when not combined with piperonyl butoxide or other adjuvants.
But even then, it should be used with caution for pests. It can be irritating on human skin or cause other adverse effects.
Imidaclorprid works very well against sucking insects, including termites, insects that hide in the soil, or flying insects.
Once again, read the labels. Use as directed. Some may not be safe for use inside your house, so you need to use them outside until the aphids are taken care of.
Mealybugs deposit their signature white cotton webs on your plant stems. They’re also known as “golden pothos bugs” because of their colors.
These are one of the most common bugs you’ll discover on pothos in general. They infest the undersides of leaves, stems, whorls, joints, and nodes.
While they’re largely in hiding, they can be identified quite easily since they’re unique from the other pests on this list.
They’re pinkish with no wings. They look like a moving piece of white webbing or cotton that sticks to your plant.
While they’re slow-moving, they leave behind a wake of destruction everywhere they eat. Just like the other bugs, they suck out the precious nutrients your pothos need to thrive.
You may notice that the leaves are smaller or twisted. Mealybugs will leave behind a sticky substance known as honeydew, which is quite different from the ones that whiteflies or scales leave behind.
It brings in ants when it gets moldy black. If you see both this honeydew with the cottony white spots on your ivy, it’s likely mealybugs.
Your plant may also wilt, yellow, or drop its precious foliage. It can also turn pale or white.
Wilting leaves are usually commonplace when the bugs go to the root system.
You’ll need to replace the entire container of the potting mix if this happens. They may even come out of the edges of the pot or the drainage holes on the bottom!
To get rid of them, start by isolating the plant. Swab the infested part of your plant with rubbing alcohol. This should remove them instantly.
Wipe them off with a towel gently.
Prune off infected foliage that’s too damaged to recover. Use a hose to rinse off areas you wipe to completely remove the mealybugs.
If needed, commercial sprays that are made specifically for mealybugs can be helpful.
Use as directed.
Neem oil can be a very powerful DIY spray to kill them
You’ll need to apply it during the early morning or late evening as using neem in the sunlight will burn your pothos.
Rinse your plants upon spraying with neem to remove excess oils. Use as directed.
Some people or pets may be sensitive to it.
Scale bugs are tiny but can be seen with the naked eye.
They’re only about 1/16 inches in length with a circular body shape. The one easy way to identify scales is that they have a flat shape.
They’re like cockroaches of the plant world.
Similar to spider mites or aphids, they suck the sap out of your pothos, which may result in feeding locations right on the bottom of the foliage.
They create hard brown deposits on the undersides of your leaves, which look just like bark to the common eye.
This results in yellowing or stunted leaves, pale leaves, chlorosis, drooping, wilting, or browning.
Scale can be ridden by doing a few common DIY remedies. You need to get rid of them quickly because scale will destroy your ivy quickly.
First, take your plant and isolate them from other household plants. Take it outside and get a few cotton swabs.
Dip them in some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Gently scrub the scale off the lave. They should come off with repeated scrubbing.
(Does this sound familiar yet? The process to eliminate pests is largely the same for houseplants.)
Then clean the infested leaves with easy do-it-yourself dish soap solution (1 tablespoon dish soap with 1-quart water). If the infestation is bad, remove the leaves completely.
Over time, the scale will bring in sooty mold. Use baking soda to remove these spots.
Spider mites are tiny little mites that can be red or orange. Sometimes they can be a darker color like brown.
Since they’re so small, they’re easily confused with grout mites or soil mites. They’re not technically spiders but look like them. They can’t be seen without some kind of magnification, as they’re so small they can float in the wind.
These mites will infest the stems or leaves of your pothos plant’s leaves. They like younger leaves because they’re easier to digest. You may notice small white webs right on the leaf’s bottom side or stems.
Once they pierce the green, they suck out the nutrients, which will eventually dry out your pothos.
You may notice that your pothos show small brown or yellow dots on the foliage or stems. There may be webbing on the leaf joints or shriveling leaves. The plant may also start to grow slower or get distorted growth. The leaves can turn completely yellow if there’s a high volume of mites.
They may look like tiny black bugs in your pothos.
Because they hover, they may look like tiny black flying insects as they float by wind currents.
This makes them insects that are extremely mobile creatures. If you have multiple pothos plants, they can all be targets. These buggers are a PITA to deal with, but be patient!
Spider mites will test your patience, but if you’re dedicated, you can get rid of them without doing too much damage to your plant.
Since they are so small, it’s hard to gauge if the DIY remedy you’re using is working or not. But you can focus on the leaves as a way to check your progress.
Isolate the plant to the outdoors. Make sure that you prune off everything that’s infested.
To check for mites, hold a white sheet of paper against the background and use your phone’s zoom function in the camera app to zoom in. This makes checking for mites a bit easier.
Use a magnifying glass if you don’t have a phone with this ability. Shake the leaves and watch for specks falling.
They’ll drop slowly, almost like they’re hovering. These are likely spider mites. They look like specks of pepper on the white paper.
Once identified, start by using a pyrethrin-based insecticide. Look for something natural or organic- safe for indoor use. Use as directed.
If you prefer to use a household remedy, try neem oil, horticultural oil, or rubbing alcohol to dab the leaves. Gently wipe them with the solution to kill the mites. Read all labels before use.
Leaving your pothos outside during this time can help bring in predators like lacewings or pirate bugs.
They’ll help eat the spider mites without damaging your pothos.
The most important part is to simply make sure that your Pothos are regularly pruned.
Removing the infested parts will destroy the insect population because you remove them in huge numbers. Don’t overwater. Prune regularly!
For further info, check out this guide for spider mites.
Thrips can infest everything from your yard to your picture frames to the entirety of your house.
So pothos is no exception. Thrips deposit their eggs on the foliage, which can barely be seen with the naked eye (5mm).
The thrips themselves are tiny with wings that give them the ability to fly. They’re white to silver streaks that fly around the foliage of your pothos.
Thrips like to infest the younger, tender leaves or new offshoots of your plant. Signs of their damage include visible thrips, damaged leaves, or holes in the leaves.
New offshoots can become distorted or warped. Thrips are common in high humidity environments.
You can get rid of this quite easily if you’re willing to:
Prune all the infested leaves.
Get a natural or organic insecticidal soap. Apply as directed.
If you prefer to make your own, 1 tbsp of dish shop in a quart of water will do. Wipe down each leaf with the mixture. Spray any thrips that are visible to you.
Hoitirculatl oil, neem essential oil, cedar oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, or pyrethrin-based compounds are extremely effective to kill wisps.
Replace the soil if necessary, but this is only for major infestations. The majority of thrips can be wiped out using these techniques outlined prior.
So no need to bring out the insecticides just yet.
Fungus gnats are tedious. They’re slow, but flying insects that resemble miniature mosquitoes.
These guys will infest your pothos when they’re weak. If you take good care of it, it won’t be affected by these gnats.
Otherwise, awakened plants become perfect targets for them to infest. Fungus gnats look like tiny white or black flying bugs.
They may show up following other infestations, such as mealybugs or aphids that leave behind deposits on the leaves.
The fungus gnats eat the sticky residue as a meal. These gnats generally will deposit eggs in the top few inches of soil.
They target roots, fungus, and other organic matter. Regularly prune your plant and check for gnats. If you’ve had residue secreting insects, double-check for gnats.
Fungus gnats can destroy the growth of your pothos. They can stunt the pothos or make them droop. Yellow or wilting leaves are also signs of gnats.
To get rid of them, let your plant dry out between watering. This reduces the moisture content which can dry the eggs out. They need moisture to fully incubate and hatch.
Insect repelling oils like lavender or peppermint can also keep them off. Consider using neem oil if necessary.
It’ll kill the gnats, but neem is also dangerous for some people or pets. Read all labels before applying.
Other possible control techniques include using gnat traps, sticky traps, or putting your plant next to insect-repelling plants.
If you need more info, see this guide for gnats the soil.
These pests are similar to aphids in appearance. They look like small flies with large white wings, but they can’t fly.
They have piercing parts that they use to suck out the precious nutrients in the leaves of your pothos plant. These white bugs on your pothos will fly out in a flurry of white fluff when you get near your plant.
So now you know why these buggers are bad for your pothos, right?
These whiteflies will make your leaves turn to grow smaller than expected. They may also make the leaves grow in weird shapes or be distorted.
They tend to hang out near the leaf veins and will fly out when you disturb them. They deposit sticky honeydew that brings in sooty mold, which brings in secondary pests like ants.
If you have ants, you likely have either aphids, mealybugs, or whiteflies. The yellow sign, browning, or darkening of your leaves on your plant is also a sign of whitefly damage.
Wilting, drooping, or shriveling foliage on pothos is to be expected. Whitefly eggs look like small white or tan spots on the underside of the pothos leaves.
Once you identify them, the next step is to get rid of them!
First, take your plant outdoors then blast them off with a hose. The water will remove eggs too.
Spray during the nightfall after applying some neem oil or horticultural oil (use either as directed by the label!). Remove damaged leaves and regularly check for pests.
If you have predatory insects like ladybugs, lacewings, or birds in your yard, they can help eat them up.
Find out how to attract more of them to your garden. If your pothos plants are still small, buy a mini greenhouse and put the plant inside.
Order a batch of lacewings or ladybugs then release them inside. They’ll eat up the whiteflies but won’t damage your plants.
If you need commercial remedies, get something with pyrethrin-based compounds.
Caterpillars don’t seem like a bug that’ll infest pothos, but it’s possible. Look at this video:
These are the larvae of butterflies (or moths) and will show up as green, yellow, black, brown, or white crawling insects.
They exhibit that signature motion of crawling forward then bunching up into a curve, then inching forward to move their small bodies.
Some signs of damage include jagged leaves, holes, or frass on the surface. Frass is poop. It looks like small bits of black pepper. Sorry if that’s TMI.
Caterpillars can destroy pothos overnight, as they’re nocturnal creatures. They have voracious appetites and will eat up your leaves if you ignore them.
Common caterpillars include Woolly Bear, green loopers, or caterpillars from neighboring plants like Mandevilla.
Caterpillars rarely infect pothos unless you let them inside your home. You may see white webbings hanging from the leaves or stems. These are their cocoons.
Caterpillars, worms, or other creepy crawlies can be easily ridden with just a bit of effort. Things like manual removing them at night with a flashlight can catch them off guard.
You can pick them off and put them in a solution of soapy water. This will kill them. You can also spray them directly with soapy water and they’ll fall off the plant.
This is usually all that’s needed to get rid of caterpillars in your pothos. Prune off infested foliage. Check for them regularly.
If you need to use commercial insecticides, check for poisons that include the compound pyrethrin as it’s extremely effective. Read the warnings. Use as directed.
How to keep bugs off your pothos for good
When you’ve ridden your pothos of pests, you’ll want to keep it that way.
Unfortunately, if it had one pest problem in the past, it’s easy to get another if you don’t make changes to your plant care routine.
Here are some general guidelines to keep your pothos free of pests permanently:
Prune your pothos
Keeping your plant tidy and clean does more than you think to keep bugs off of it. A wild, overgrown pothos is a sight to behold, but it’s also prime real estate for bugs to gladly reside in.
By regularly cutting it back when it gets too dense, it can harbor pests on the many leaves or stems.
Pothos is a hardy plant that can tolerate cutting back. So don’t be scared to do so. Keep it clean and tidy. Keep it compact.
Remove leaves where they shouldn’t be crawling. The leaves act like highways for bugs to get around your house.
Pruning them regularly helps keep infestations contained in one area. It also helps evaporation, which can reduce the likelihood of root rot or fungal issues.
If you’re growing in water, the humidity for that area of your house will be higher. Bugs that like humidity may be drawn towards your pothos like darkling beetles.
Use essential oil
These can repel bugs because of their strong scent.
Dip a few cotton balls into the oil then place the cotton buds around your home near your pothos or other plants.
You can also put some near the entry points where bugs can be active and can be used to get into your house.
Essential oils are generally safe and natural, but you should read the warnings on the label before use.
Some oils may cause harm to individuals or pets. Some popular oils used to keep bugs out are lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, or peppermint.
Set up traps
For many of the bugs on this list, you can set up secondary traps as a post-control technique.
For example, flying insects like whiteflies or spider mites can be caught by using sticky traps or fly tape.
You can wrap the tape in strategic areas like the rim of the planter, around the perimeter of the pot, or even around the leaf joints or stems. This makes it harder for bugs to move around on it.
The traps also pose as a gauge to see how you’re doing with your bug control program. At first, expect to see many bugs getting caught.
Over time, you should see fewer. This means whatever you’re doing is working.
Set up a perimeter with diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural fine white powder that’ll pierce the exoskeleton of hard-shelled bugs.
How’s that for a change instead of them piercing your pothos?
Sprinkle DE around the base of the stem and in the soil of the plant.
You can also put some on the rim of the pothos container and the leaves.
The DE is harmless when used correctly, so read the labels. Note that there are two grades of DE- pool grade and food grade.
You need a FOOD-grade diatmeous earth. NOT pool-grade. Or else it won’t work because they’re not the same powder.
People try this and then give up because the powder doesn’t keep the pests off. Then they post a comment here asking they’ve tried it before and it doesn’t work.
Please, use the right DE!
It’s sold in bulk for cheap as a supplement in many health food markets. You can also buy it online.
Here are two sample products so you can get an idea of how DE looks like:
Keep pets/people away so they don’t disturb it. Use as directed.
Overwatering your plants is bad in general, but when you do it to your pothos, they can easily get fungus or rot problems.
Common pathogens like blight or fungus can destroy your pothos.
When you overwater, the moisture creates excess humidity in the area, which can lead to these problems.
This is why you use only water when the soil is near dry, or use a moisture meter so you know exactly when to water it.
Only water the base, never the leaves. Water thoroughly, not randomly. pothos are pretty hardy, so you don’t need to worry if you neglect them once in a while.
This can be beneficial for your pothos to stop those pathogens, so don’t worry too much about it.
You shouldn’t be overwatering in general. It can introduce root rot or just make your plant easily habitable for plant viruses or bacterium.
When it’s hot, water more. Otherwise, water less.
Overwatering is the leading killer of pothos!
Giving your plants excess plant food will build up residue in the soil. This makes it a target for pests because they’ll feed on it- not just your pothos!
You should only supplement with plant food if completely necessary- pothos is a hardy plant and will do fine without it if the soil column has enough nutrients.
But if you want to add some plant food, make sure you only use as much as necessary. Start with a half dose and see how your pothos reacts to it. You may not need to use the full dosage if it’s unnecessary.
It’ll save you cash if you don’t. Plus, it’ll keep bugs at a minimum.
Keep your household bug free
If you’ve got bugs in your house, it’s going to get hard to keep them off your houseplants- pothos included.
This means general tidiness and maintenance of your household.
Some unhygienic choices can make your home a perfect environment for thrips, aphids, mealybugs, or other common pothos pests.
Do the following to help keep these bugs out of your house:
- Inspect all soil before taking it indoors- you can bake it to eliminate bug eggs
- Quarantine new plants before bringing them indoors
- Fix foundation cracks
- Replace damaged weather-stripping
- Caulk wall cracks, window cracks, etc.
- Install secondary doors for your high traffic entry points
- Ensure bugs aren’t coming in from the fireplace, chimney, or attic
- Turn off exterior lighting at night that is unnecessary- they bring bugs near your home
- Use curtains or blinds to shield off interior lights from leaking outside
- Don’t store fire logs near your home (if you do, store woodpiles properly)
Clean up your garden
Dirty, unmaintained yards are a prime target for pests. Think about it:
If your garden is full of plant debris, they become food for bugs. This is why keeping the garden clean is just as important as keeping your household clean.
They both contribute to the overall level of bugs that come out of your property. The outside is more important than the inside.
That should be obvious, right? Not really.
People don’t spend the time or money on keeping their garden tidy. So bugs will infest it.
If you haven’t tended to your yard in a long time, don’t worry.
It’s not much you need to do to fix it up.
Here are some basic pointers to keep a pest-free garden so you can keep your houseplants safe:
- Clean up leaf litter regularly
- Mow the lawn on a schedule
- Prune unnecessary foliage
- Remove plants you don’t care about
- Never overwater
- Ensure your drain ways are working well
- Don’t store clutter outside
- Store your firewood on elevated platforms
- Set up birdbaths or birdhouses to bring in birds- they help eat pests
- Never overfeed
- Plant plants that bugs hate that naturally keep them out of your property
- Keep your plants tidy and well kept
If you don’t have the time to do this, consider removing the plant entirely or hiring a gardener to do the work for you.
This will help keep the bugs out of your garden, which will keep them out of your house, which means no pothos pests! See how it works?
Keep your pothos happy
Keeping your pothos well-watered, well-fed, and giving them the right amount of sunlight will make it even harder than it is!
If your pothos is given the right TLC, it’ll be virulent against bugs, which make it strong while you try to get rid of them.
Weaker plants that are malnourished, not getting enough light, or just have poor quality soil will be easier for bugs to infest. You should be familiar with proper pothos care.
If poorly raised, it’ll be prone to pests.
Here’s a video that goes over some of the basics of proper plant care:
Some people get pothos because they read about how they’re so hardy.
But they never take the chance to dive in and read about how to care for them the “right” way.
Sure, pothos will still grow even if conditions are not ideal, but do it?
Stressing out your plant only makes it weaker, which then makes it vulnerable to bugs right?
Consider hiring professional help
If you don’t have the time to get rid of the infestation yourself, hire a professional exterminator.
Do some research on licensed pest control companies near you. Find one that’s reputable with a guarantee. Ask for organic or natural “green” control methods.
For some people, it’s not worth their time to deal with bugs. If you’re too busy or you’ve given up on the infestation, hire a pro.
They have the knowledge and access to industrial-grade products that can clear up pest problems.
- Pothos, Epipremmum aureum – Wisconsin Horticulture
- Easy Houseplant–Pothos – The University of Vermont
- Pests?? Help : Home and Garden : r/pothos – Reddit
- Potho Production Guide – MREC
- Variegated Philodendron – UAEX
Now you know how to get rid of bugs on your pothos
You should have everything you need to know to identify, manage, and eliminate those pests on your pothos.
Pothos are tough, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about disturbing them while you take care of the bugs.
Just take it easy and keep emotions out of it. Keep it methodical. Find out what bug it is, then get rid of it using the remedies listed on this page.
Start small. Scale-up what works. Stop what doesn’t. There’s no single way to get rid of pothos-eating pests. Every pest situation is unique.
If you have questions about your specific infestation, please drop a message below
If you found this guide helpful or have words of advice for other readers, please post a comment!
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.