If small pests crawl around on the strelitzia, it is usually one thing: scale insects. If you don't act quickly, you have to fear for your plant.Scale insects are only 4 millimeters long, maintenance errors, too much or too little water, dry heating air or dried leaves - all these points can cause pests to spread to strelitzia. For example, quite common pests are scale insects. Nobody likes to see them and even with the quite pest-free strelitzia they appear again and again. The small pests that settle on the underside of the leaves or affect the stems have a greenish to brown color and are up to four millimeters long.
At first you will not notice any change in the plant. However, if the pests get stuck, they inevitably lead to leaf loss, since the pests attack and eat up the leaf structure. It is therefore always important that you act quickly in the event of an infestation.
How to fight scale insects effectively
Treatment for a mild infestation:
The control of scale insects can be done in different ways with the strelitzia. The means of choice definitely depends on the degree of infestation.
If you spot the scale at the very beginning, you can carefully scrape off the pests or wipe the leaves and stems with a mixture of water and oil. The elongated leaf shape of the strelitzia supports this control method. The oil not only has the purpose of removing the pests without damaging the plant, but also serves to suffocate the lice. Due to the oil film, larvae and lice still present are cut off from the oxygen supply and die.
Treatment in the event of severe infestation:
In the case of more severe infestation, simply wiping is not enough. In this case, you should spray the plant with oil-based agents from the trade. We recommend e.g. Naturen pest-free (available here). It is a ready-to-use rapeseed oil-based spray that works not only against scale insects, but also against whiteflies, aphids and spider mites.
This way you can avoid infestation
If you want your strelitzia to thrive, you should avoid pest infestation directly. Caring for the plant properly, giving it a sunny location with sufficient humidity and regularly removing dried leaves and flowers, lay the foundation.
Special attention is needed in winter. The light-hungry plant suffers from the often dark, low-sun days, which affects the weakening of the natural defenses. Scale insects, but also honeydew or rotting of the roots are now more common than in summer. Therefore, pay a regular visit to your strelitzia even in winter and check whether there are no scale insects on the leaves. If you do not find lice, but instead discover honeydew, wipe them off with a damp cloth. The dew is made from sugar substances that are produced by the plant and settle on the leaves. The sugar substances form an excellent basis for mushrooms, which is why they should be removed as soon as possible.