Bug Off! The Truth About Pothos and Insects

Pothos is a beautiful plant that is easy to care for. It has long, trailing vines with green leaves that can be variegated with white or yellow stripes. Pothos plants are perfect for adding a touch of greenery to any room, and they can be quickly grown in a pot or hanging basket. They thrive in bright, indirect sunlight and like to be kept moist, but they can also tolerate low humidity levels.
Considering the pothos plant’s advantages, many beginner gardeners and houseplants enthusiasts worldwide consider growing this plant. But what if Pothos could be a plant that attracts bugs? If yes, this plant would be dangerous to grow in your house or garden as it may transmit the infestation to other plants.
In this article, we will discover if Pothos attracts bugs. Then, we will go through the steps you should take to keep bugs and pests away from this plant.

Table of Contents

Does Pothos Attract Bugs?

Bug attacking Pothos plant

Bugs are very likely to be attracted to your Pothos because this plant requires high humidity levels to grow correctly. High humidity is one of the significant factors that increase bug infestation. As a result, Pothos may need specific bug prevention techniques because it’s a plant that grows only in humid environments.

Other factors may make your Pothos attractive to bugs. Overwatering and poor ventilation are the most common causes of bug infestation. Also, the soil quality and the cleanliness level of your garden are two crucial factors you should consider if you want your Pothos to be pest-free.

There are also some specific times of the year were Pothos become more vulnerable to bugs. For example, during winter, bugs may consider your Pothos a warm place to protect from cold weather. If this is the case, you may see bugs constantly eating and causing damage to your Pothos, like leaf drops and yellow spots. When this happens, remove and destroy the affected leaves to prevent the infestation from spreading.

Check out this video to find to learn some pothos pest control methods:

Pothos bugs treatment

Click Here to Read our complete Case Study on how Pothos can Help Other Plants Root.

Why does Pothos Attracts Bugs?

There are quite a few different ways how Pothos can attract bugs. Generally, bugs get into the growing environment from the outside before being attracted by Pothos. The most common reason that attracts bugs to Pothos is the use of low-quality soil. If you’re using some substrate that is not the highest quality, there can be pests in the ground. That’s why most gardening experts highly recommend buying high-quality products from trusted sellers.

Another factor that contributes significantly to attracting bugs to your Pothos is growing new plants with Pothos in the same environment. In this case, a plant that attracts bugs can easily transmit the infestation to your Pothos. For instance, it’s highly recommended to isolate new plants from the older ones until you verify that they do not have any bugs.

Wind can also attract bugs to your Pothos, especially during summer and spring. In fact, during this time of the year, many pests can blow in on the breeze and start to munch on your beautiful indoor plants. To prevent this from happening, you should not leave the doors or windows open for a long time.

The last factor that may attract bugs to your Pothos is you! I know this may sound weird but let me explain how it can happen. Sometimes you walk by a plant that might have a mealybug, and it catches on to your clothes, and then this bug can quickly move to another plant. For example, you might visit a garden center or someone else’s house where there might be pests you didn’t see, and you carry them with you, on your hands or clothes, into your collection.

If you found our content helpful, try reading our latest article on identifying root-bound Pothos.

How Do I Identify Bugs on My Pothos?

The easiest way to identify bugs on your Pothos is by looking at the leaves closely and checking if you have the following symptoms:

  • A wholly damaged leaf.
  •  Leaves are becoming brown.
  •  You see tiny dots on the leaves.
  •  You see strange patterns on the leaves.
  •  The leaves are yellowing in places where you would not expect it.

If you see any of these symptoms, it would be good to look up at your plant more closely to identify the potential presence of pests.

It would be hard to identify pests with the naked eye when you do it for the first time. But once you do it a few times, it will be easy to see more of them later.

If you can’t see bugs with the naked eye or want to make your job easier, you need to have a microscope or magnifying glass.

Is Pothos Bird Safe? Find Out Now!

What Are the Most Common Bugs and Pests for Pothos?

The most common bugs and pests for Pothos are spider mites, thrips, and aphids. Particular signs can help you identify each one of them. Here is a practical method that will help you identify these bugs on your Pothos:

  • How to Identify Spider-Mites on Pothos: Sometimes, the leaves of your Pothos may look good even if bugs are present. For example, the spider-mite infestation is something you can’t see with the naked eye until the pest starts developing a webbing. In this case, regularly checking your Pothos with a microscope or a magnifying glass can help avoid a spider-mite infestation at an early stage.
  • How to Identify Thrips on Pothos: If you notice some weird coloring on the leaves of your Pothos, like yellowing and browning or new growth dying off quite quickly, then it is most probably because of thrips. This kind of bug is very annoying because they put their eggs inside the tissue of the leaves. So, even if you spray them away, the new eggs will come out after a few days, and you have to keep treating them until you kill all the eggs.
  • How to Identify Aphids on Pothos: If you see dots across the leaf of your Pothos, it can be aphids. These kinds of bugs come in many different forms, and they suck the juice out of the leaves just like many other bugs. But aphids are a little bit easier because they’re much more visible to the naked eye. First, they have different colors like yellow, brown, and even black, making them easy to identify. They’re also relatively easy to treat using neem oil or a soap and water mixture.

Wondering about using coffee grounds for Pothos? Click here to learn more about this.

How Do I Get Rid of Bugs on My Pothos?

Bug on pothos leaf

Bugs can cause massive damage to your Pothos. But you can use several control methods to keep bugs away from your plant. Here is a step-by-step process that you can follow to get rid of bugs on your Pothos:

  1. Remove and destroy any leaves infested with bugs: this will stop the bugs from propagating to other leaves or plants.
  2.  Isolate the plant that bugs have infested.
  3.  Spray the plant with insecticide from head to bottom: you can use an organic insecticidal soap or neem oil soap, which is the most effective.
  4.  Change the soil mix as the bugs may quickly get inside it: before placing the plant in the new soil mix, try to clean the roots as the infestation may have infected them.

Those steps will help you save your Pothos if you identify bugs early and take action quickly. However, if you place bug infestation at an advanced stage, you may lose your plant completely. To avoid this situation, it’s highly recommended to follow some preventive measures that help prevent infestation bugs from the beginning. In the next section of this article, we will go through how to keep bugs away from your Pothos.

Can You Plant Different Pothos Variants Together? Here is the answer.

How to Keep Bugs Away from My Pothos?

As mentioned above, Pothos is a plant that loves a high-humidity environment, making it vulnerable to bug infestations. If you want to grow your Pothos at their optimum humidity level and still avoid attracting bugs, then I highly recommend that you consider the following tips:

  • Spray Your Pothos with Mineral Oil

Spraying Pothos with mineral oil can help keep bugs away. The oil will coat the leaves of the plant and make it difficult for the bugs to attach themselves. The bugs will then be less likely to eat the plant and eventually move on to the soil or another plant.

  • Use Sticky Cards to Trap the Bugs at The Entrance of Your Garden

Using sticky cards is one way to keep bugs away from your Pothos. These cards are covered in a sticky material that insects will get stuck on when they try to land on the plant. This will prevent them from feeding on the leaves and flowers and help keep the plant healthy.

  • Water Your Pothos in The Early Morning

Watering your Pothos in the morning can help them fight stress, making them less appealing to bugs and pests who feed on stressed plants. Watering in the morning has many other advantages, like helping keep the plant hydrated all day.

  • Keep Your Garden Clean

Cleaning the garden regularly can help keep bugs away from your Pothos. Bugs are attracted to messes and unkempt areas, so keeping the park clean will help discourage them from settling in. Regularly removing dead leaves and debris will also help reduce the number of places where bugs can hide. Additionally, watering the plants regularly will help them stay healthy and robust, making them less susceptible to bug infestations.

  • Use Insect Traps

Insect traps can help keep bugs away from your Pothos by trapping them bugs and preventing them from reaching the plant. Insect traps can be made from various materials, including cardboard, plastic, or metal. The traps can be filled with different substances, including water, oil, or sugar. The traps can be placed near the plant, or they can be attached to the plant.

  • Add Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects are essential in the garden for many reasons. One of these reasons is that they help to keep bugs away from the plants. By having a population of beneficial insects in the garden, the gardener can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. Beneficial insects feed on pests that can damage plants, such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies. Some beneficial insects even prey on the eggs and larvae of pests.

  • Cover Your Pothos with a Net

Netting can be an effective way to keep bugs away from plants. The netting creates a physical barrier between the bugs and the plant, preventing the bugs from reaching the plant. Additionally, the netting can help to keep the bugs from landing on the plant, making it less likely for the bugs to bite or suck the sap from the plant.

  • Use a Leaf Screen

Leaf screens are an easy and affordable way to keep bugs away from your Pothos. Using a leaf screen, you can protect your plants from being eaten by bugs, as well as keep the bugs from reproducing and spreading. A leaf screen will also help to keep your plants cooler in the summer and can be used to protect your plants from frost in the winter.

  • Use Layered Gardening

One way to help keep bugs away from your Pothos is to use layered gardening. This involves planting different plants in layers, with taller plants in the back and shorter plants in the front. This will help create a barrier between the bugs and your plants. You can also use this method to create a natural fence around your garden.

Can Pothos Grow While Fully Submerged In Water? Click here to find out the answer.


Being a tropical plant that loves to grow in high-humidity environments, Pothos is most likely to attract bugs like spider mites, thrips, and aphids. However, if you take some preventive measures when growing Pothos, you may avoid bug infestation altogether. These measures include, among others, spraying the plant with neem oil, using a sticky card, and insect traps. Also, when a bug is attracted to your Pothos, you should not worry, as this problem can be solved easily if you take the right actions quickly.

Do You Want to Train Your Pothos to Climb? Click here to learn how.

Diana Cox

I'm Diana from thegardeningtalk.com. I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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