Frog on Orchid

bugs, pests & diseases

keep pests away

Noticing bumps, bugs or spider webs on your orchid?
Here’s what you can do about them.

common orchid pests

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frequently asked questions

How do I get rid of scale?

Have you discovered white bumps on your orchid? Does it feel sticky? It’s likely your orchid has developed a scale infestation. Before you address this issue, be sure to move your infected orchid away from other plants to prevent the infestation from spreading.

Save your orchid; save your aesthetic. Treating your orchid can be as easy as looking in your cupboards for some of these common items.

Rubbing alcohol

Combine one part rubbing alcohol with one part water, and apply the mixture to the plant with a cotton ball or spray bottle. Make sure to repeat two or three times every one to two weeks to keep the infestation at bay. Keep in mind that it takes time — a minimum of two to four months of regular and intensive control methods — to eliminate a scale infestation, and even then you may not be able to fully eradicate it.

Horticultural, neem or mineral oil

Mix equal parts oil and water and spray the entire plant. If you use this method, don’t spray your plant on hot days when the temperature is above 80 degrees. Also, move the plant to a shaded area until the solution has dried. The oil mixture will be less effective if it has been sitting for more than eight hours, so be sure to mix up a fresh batch of oil each time you’re going to spray.

Spray weekly or biweekly to control the infestation.

A new pot

Sometimes all your plant needs is a little tender loving care in the form of a new home. Much like a hermit crab changes shells for protection, your plant might just need new soil and a new pot to eliminate its symptoms and prevent further infestation.

Insecticidal soap

You can either make your own insecticidal soap, or purchase a commercially made batch from a retailer. Simply spray your orchid and the infestation should be eliminated in one to two weeks.


This option should only be used for advanced case of scale. Choose a product that’s specially formulated for use on orchids or household plants.

How to get rid of mealybugs?

A mealy bug infestation can make your orchid look like it’s been floating among the clouds thanks to an accumulation of white fluffy patches.

Like scale, mealybugs can easily crawl from plant to plant, so be sure to isolate your orchid if it has any neighbors.

A mealybug infestation can be solved by diluting either equal parts horticulture soap or rubbing alcohol with water and spray or wipe down your plant.

How do I get rid of spider mites?

Seeing tiny webs around your orchid doesn’t mean it needs a dusting. Rather, you’re probably dealing with a spider mite infestation.

Control these pests with a light spray of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap diluted with equal parts water.

How do I treat bacterial or fungal orchid diseases?

If you’ve noticed that your plant has spots on it and it doesn’t appear to be a hosting mites, it could be a fungal or bacterial infection. In this case, you can use your nose to help you determine the issue.


An orchid with a foul smell and discolored leaves is likely the victim of a bacterial infection.


If your orchid has a spotty appearance but smells fine, it’s likely a fungal infection.

How to treat bacterial or fungal orchid diseases:

First, move your orchid away from other plants. Then, remove the infected area with a sterile razor blade or pair of scissors and spray the plant with a fungicide. While fungicide won’t affect the bacteria, it should still be applied to a bacterial infection to prevent a fungal infection from forming.

If you’re dealing with a fungal infection, make sure your orchid is placed in an area where it will receive plenty of air circulation.

Orchid 911 Guide
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Your Guide to HandlingOrchid Emergencies

We've compiled a list of common orchid emergencies and tips on what to do after a mishap is discovered.