Being a fiddle leaf fig plant owner is not easy; you have to deal with frequent infestations, many of which can permanently affect your plant’s health.
However, keep in mind that it is not uncommon for fiddle leaf figs to attract spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale infestations. Flying pests like fungus gnats and whiteflies also endanger these plants, along with bacterial disease and root rot.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of bugs on fiddle leaf figs.
Common Bugs on Fiddle Leaf Figs and How to Get Rid of Them
Aphids are not only difficult to control, but they also spread rapidly, which means that you need to act fast. Even though aphids are more common in outdoor plants and vegetable gardens, they can find their way to fiddle leaf figs indoors.
You might find it challenging to find a single bug but look closely at the undersides and branches of the leaves- do you see any brown, white, or green pear-shaped bugs? These bugs are usually found in giant colonies, so if you look closely enough, you should be able to find them easily.
The best way to deal with aphids is by using neem oil. Like insecticidal soaps, neem oil suffocates existing aphids and does not allow eggs to hatch. This is particularly helpful in putting an end to the growing colony of bugs.
Mealybugs are attracted to fiddle leaf figs since these plants usually grow in humid and warm surroundings. Simply put, they are tiny white-colored insects that cast a white powder on the fiddle leaf fig leaves. These bugs lay their eggs on the leaves and in places where the branches align with the plant’s main stem.
Mealybugs are attracted to fiddle leaf figs because of the sap found on the leaves. They cause the leaves to become deformed, yellow, and limp, especially if there’s a severe infestation. Mealybugs love vulnerable, new leaves, causing the plant’s growth to slow.
The best way to get rid of these bugs is by using insecticidal soaps or horticultural oil. These will suffocate the bugs and get rid of the substance they leave behind on plants.
Spider mites find their way on several house plants, including fiddle leaf figs. They are characterized by the webs they leave behind on the leaves. However, these can be hard to spot, especially if the infestation is in its early stages.
The key is to look closely at where the branches meet the leaves; if you find the main stem covered with white webbing, you should know that spider mites are infesting your plant. These bugs usually hide from plain sight and feed on the cells of the fiddle leaf fig when no one is around. Over time, affected leaves start to develop spots and, if the problem persists, may even cause the leaves to fall off.
Horticultural oils are the best way to treat a spider mite infestation. Not only do these oils get rid of the bugs, but they also destroy the webs permanently. We recommend checking nearby houseplants as spider mites spread to other plants easily.
Whiteflies are soft-bodied bugs that feed on the sap of fiddle leaf fig leaves. Whiteflies have tiny wings and get scared quickly, so even if you shake the plant gently, the pests will jump off.
However, within a few minutes of you turning your back, they will find their way to the fiddle leaf fig- that’s how much they love these plants.
Even though they look harmless, whiteflies stop the growth of fiddle leaf figs. When they land on your plant, they leave behind honeydew which causes mold to grow on the plant, attracting ants.
The best way to get rid of whiteflies is by using a sticky trap. This will draw them away from the fiddle leaf fig and help control the bug infestation.
Scale is difficult to spot on fiddle leaf fig leaves as they are the same color as the branches. Unfortunately, these bugs are the most harmful bugs that can find their way on your fiddle leaf figs as they feed on the plant tissue and impair transport systems that help nutrients and water find their way around the plant.
These tiny brown bugs resemble leaf nodes and cause a range of problems. They cause the plant to lose its leaves, and since these bugs leave behind honeydew, they encourage the growth of mold on these plants.
Scale is difficult to get rid of, which is unfortunate since it causes irreparable damage to your plant. The only way you can tackle the issue is by using insecticidal soaps on your fiddle leaf figs often till you finally notice the bugs die and disappear.
One of the most annoying bugs, fungus gnats, lay eggs when the soil is moist and continues to feed on your plant when the air around is humid and warm. Even though fungus gnats are not the worst bugs to exist, they are incredibly frustrating.
If you get too close to the plant they are on; they will start flying around your head- the worst nightmare for someone who hates bugs.
However, fungus gnats are easy to get rid of. All you need to do is use sticky traps in the soil of your plant. If you find eggs in the soil, repot the plant to stop the infestation of fungus gnats.
How to Get Rid of Bugs on Fiddle Leaf Figs
1. Canola Oil and Horticultural Oil
One of the best ways to get rid of bugs on fiddle leaf figs is by using oil-based substances. These suffocate the pests, killing them instantly. Neem oil is the most frequently-used oil for this purpose, but you can also use Canola oil.
Start by putting the oil in a spray bottle and spraying it directly on the infected plant. This pesticide stops eggs from hatching, putting an end to infestation. However, if your plant is placed in direct sunlight, oils can cause the leaves to burn.
2. Sticky Traps
If you are dealing with a flying pest infestation, sticky traps are your best bet. They are covered with a sticky substance that attracts bugs with a scent and lures them toward the trap. Once in the trap, these bugs get stuck and cannot find their way out.
Sticky traps may burn your eyes, so wear some goggles before putting them on your plant.
If you are dealing with an infestation that you cannot control and you have tried every remedy under the sun, you can turn to pesticides. Keep in mind that pesticides have a high toxicity rate, as they can harm pets and humans.
However, you might have to use them when dealing with an out-of-control infestation that does not seem to go away regardless of how many remedies you use. Too much pesticide can destroy your plant, so we recommend using it carefully and sparingly.
4. Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soaps have the same function as oils- they suffocate pests found on fiddle leaf figs, killing them eventually. You can make your insecticidal soap at home, but you can also choose to buy it from a nursery in the United States. Insecticidal soaps are great for getting rid of scale and aphids and the honeydew that these bugs leave behind, keeping mold at bay.
How to Manage Bugs and Diseases
The best way to get rid of bugs on fiddle leaf figs is by preventing them an infestation in the first place. As long as you ensure that your plant is healthy and thriving, you will be able to keep all kinds of bugs and pests away from your plant.
The best way to protect your fiddle leaf fig is by watering it often, allowing sufficient light to reach your plant, and keeping the humidity and temperature levels stable.
Moreover, keep a close check on your plant, and if you find anything odd, resolve it instantly. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse it will get, and you may even lose your plant completely. We recommend fertilizing fiddle leaf figs in summer and spring to increase vitality and growth.
Since bugs are common in humid and warm areas that do not receive enough air, try keeping fiddle leaf figs in a region with lots of moisture. You must also give your plant sufficient space on all sides so that there is no moisture build-up. Too much moisture can cause bugs and diseases to grow on fiddle-leaf figs.
Bugs can be a nightmare for any fiddle leaf fig owner to manage. After all, fiddle leaf figs are difficult to care for, and one can never really predict when the tiniest mistake will cause an infestation. However, with a few preventative measures and the knowledge of how to get rid of bugs on fiddle leaf figs, you should be able to nurse your beloved plant back to health within no time!
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.