Five Common Orchid Pests

Insects and their relatives cause most of the problems for orchid growers. Some of them can even transmit diseases from one plant to another. This article will discuss five of the most common orchid pests.


Aphids are sucking insects that are some of the most problematic orchid pests. One of the signs of aphid infestation is a collection of tan-colored skins on the plant. Leaves will also become covered in honeydew and bud and flowers will become stunted or deformed. You can simply brush them away or spray them off with water.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are also common orchid pests. Their larvae grow in potting media that is too wet, warm, or decaying too quickly. To control these pests, make sure you don’t keep the potting media too wet and allow it to dry between waterings. You can also use the yellow sticky cards that are commonly used to control white flies.


Some of the other types of orchid pests are mealybugs. They feed under bracts and on the roots. They reproduce throughout the year under greenhouse conditions. They cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop early. Severe infestations of mealybugs will weaken the plants and may even kill them.


Mites are also orchid pests. These microscopic animals kills the cells of the surface layer of the leaves. This causes the leaves to look silvery, especially on the bottom. There may also be yellow spots on the top of the leaves. Mites can severely weaken and disfigure plants. To combat mites, you should wash the plant thoroughly and wipe every leaf.

White flies

Some of the last common orchid pests are white flies. Like aphids, they are sucking insects but much smaller. An infestation of white flies can severely weaken your plant. They are extremely difficult to control under greenhouse conditions. The only way to control them effectively is to use insecticides.

These are some of the most common orchid pests. If you see signs of an infestation, you should do something quickly to maintain your plant’s health.

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2 Responses to Five Common Orchid Pests

  1. Judy Kennedy says:

    You missed Brown Scale. I’m always cleaning them off my orchids. How do I get rid of them?

    P.S. Your link goes to a Japanese site about marriage, not orchids.

  2. admin says:

    Brown Scale, also known as soft scale is tricky to deal with. We wipe them off with rubbing alcohol (as strong as you can find at the drug store). Regular applications of Castile Soap (see our webstore) also helps inhibit their growth.

    (Thanks for the note about the link)

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