Do Snake Plants (Dracaena) Keep Bugs Away?

If you have a passion for gardening, growing diverse plants in your garden or your home can bring you much joy. However, a common problem faced by many gardeners is that certain plants attract mosquitoes. But don’t worry, the Sansevieria (snake plant) could potentially be a great solution to this issue.

Snake plants have a chemical called Saponin that keeps mosquitoes away, not spider mites and mealybugs. Without proper care, bugs like aphids can attack your Sansevieria plant, and this plant will protect you from insects and the diseases they carry.

Although the leaves of the Sansevieria plant are harsh and toxic, the plant needs proper care to repel bugs and pests. Let us know how to avoid bugs and treat pest infestation in snake plants.

How to Avoid Bugs in Snake Plants?

Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law tongue plants, can be attacked by mealybugs, aphids, thrips, and fungus gnats. To avoid this, they should not be exposed to cold temperatures, poor ventilation, or excessive humidity. One should also look for pests regularly and use an organic pest repellent.

snake plant (Sansevieria) with image of damaged leaves cover

But not taking care of your snake plant may attract bugs and pests. These can suck the sap from the plant, which can cause minor wounds and thus weaken the plant, leading to the shedding of leaves.  

Basic Tips to Avoid Bug Infestation in Snake Plants

Here are some easy tips that will help keep bugs away from your mother-in-law’s tongue plant:

  • It is important to have a healthy and clean environment to prevent your snake plant from pest infestation. 
  • Since pests and bugs prefer humid and moist conditions, you should avoid overwatering your plant and ensure that the soil does not remain damp for a very long period of time.
  • Also, avoid misting your snake plant, as you should maintain a humidity level of about 40% to keep the pests away.
  • One can also use a miticide spray every once in a while. This will keep the pests away and help build the plant’s immunity. Other than a miticide, homemade neem (Azadirachta indica) oil spray can be used as a preventive measure.
  • Snake plants are quite hardy and can survive on neglect. Instead, watering them very frequently or over-fertilizing them can prove to be harmful to them and can even be the cause of pest infestation and even fungal growth.
  • Clean the leaves of your snake plant often and ensure they do not remain moist.

How Do You Get Rid of Bugs on Snake Plants?

snake plant (Sansevieria) with spider mites

If pests and bugs have already infested your snake plant, you must identify the root cause to offer your plant the correct treatment. You can choose an organic or chemical way to treat pests based on the severity of the infestations.

For instance, you can dab the leaves with alcohol which works well if there is a small infestation of mealy bugs. On the other hand, eliminate spider mites by simply washing the plant.

But if you look for more effective ways, biological and insecticidal control can also eliminate pests.

Here are some easy ways to treat pest infestations on your snake plant:

  • Prune And Isolate Your Snake Plant

When encountering the first signs of bug infestation, you must isolate your snake plant as it does not infect other plants. Next, you should prune the visibly infested parts, remove the damaged leaves, and dispose of them properly.

Do not forget to disinfect and clean the area where your snake plant is placed. It would also help sanitize your hands and not accidentally infect other plants.

  • Spray Your Snake Plant with Organic Miticides
snake plant (Sansevieria) sprayed with miticide

Plant-based miticides are readily available in the market as well as online. Also, these contain natural ingredients that will not harm your plant and even treat pests effectively.

You can spray the solution on your entire plant to eliminate the pests. However, it is better to do a patch test first by spraying it on one leaf and ensuring it will not damage your plant.

  • Give Your Snake Plant A Shower

One of the easiest ways to get rid of pests is by hosing down your snake plant with some water. All you need to be sure of is that the water is at room temperature and that you wash the undersides of the leaves as well.

Once you are done, ensure that all the excess water is drained out entirely as high moisture or humidity level can also cause pest infestation. So, to avoid this, you can keep the plant in bright and indirect sunlight for a few hours.

However, if nothing of the above works, it is better to discard the part of the heavily infested plant because it can also infect nearby plants very quickly.

So, if you do not treat them in time, these can infect your houseplants. Thus, it is suggested that one takes prompt action when one sees the first signs of pest infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do snake plants attract allergens?

Snake plants have smooth and tough leaves that do not give a lot of scope to allergens and dust particles to settle down. Rather, snake plants are known to improve the air quality indoors.

Studies have even shown that people near snake plants are less prone to respiratory problems, headaches, eye irritation, and impairment of the lungs because snake plants can reduce the number of dust particles and allergens floating in the air.

So, if you suffer from prolonged colds, sinus, migraine, or excessive sneezing, having a snake plant in your room can help you a lot.

Are snake plants toxic?

Snake plants are toxic. And although the toxicity levels in snake plants are pretty low, it is better to keep them out of reach of children and pets.

It is crucial as the toxins of the snake plant, when ingested, can cause severe allergic reactions, swelling of the esophagus, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, gastrointestinal issues, and even vomiting and diarrhea in extreme cases.

Can I wipe down the leaves of my snake plant?

Snake plant leaves do not attract many dust particles due to their smooth surface. However, one can occasionally spray some water on the leaves and wipe them off with a damp microfiber cloth.

However, if your plant is infested with bugs, you can wipe the infected area with alcohol wipes is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get rid of bugs and pests.

Can snake plants live indoors?

Snake plants can tolerate almost any level of light, which makes them excellent plant for places that don’t get much sunlight. They can be found in offices, waiting rooms, and lobbies; they have also found their place in the hearts and homes of many houseplant enthusiasts.

How long can Sansevieria live in the dark?

Sansevieria, or snake plants, can live in various light exposures. It can survive in a low-light area for a while but can’t make enough food to grow, so the plant would likely have stunted growth in the dark.

Conclusion

Sansevieria plants deter mosquitoes but do not repel bugs and pests. So, having a snake plant can help you stay itch-free if you live in a mosquito-prone area.

However, one can ensure their snake plant grows without infection with proper care and attention. Here is a blog to help you know what a snake plant needs to thrive.

We hope this information will help you keep bugs away from your snake plant and properly treat it if pests have already infested it.

And if other plants in your garden are infected with bugs like aphids and whiteflies, here is a video that can help you get rid of them and have a healthy and beautiful garden:

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