10 Most Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Pothos Bugs On Plants: Indoors And Outdoors!

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A well-maintained pothos plant can be a very pretty addition to your garden. But, pothos is also fairly vulnerable to different bugs and pests. Therefore, I will give you the 10 most effective ways to get rid of pothos bugs on plants regardless of whether they are outdoors or indoors. So, keep reading to protect your pothos!

What are the most common pothos bugs?

get rid of pothos bugs

There are quite a few bugs that frequent or could frequent your pothos plant. Here is a comprehensive list of the different pothos bugs, along with the symptoms you need to watch out for!

Mealybugs or Pseudococcidae

Mealybugs are a common type of bug that can be found on indoor and outdoor plants. These pests suck the sap and water out of your potted plants, which can kill them.

Mealybugs look like a white or grey cottony mass on the underside of leaves, stems, and whorls. They love to feed where the leaf meets the stem.

What are the symptoms of mealybugs on pothos plants?

Mealybugs are a common pest that can infest pothos plants.

They cause limited, distorted, or stunted growth in the plant, as well as a cotton-like mass appearing under affected leaves or leaf whorls.

Mealybugs also ooze a sticky, sugary substance known as honeydew, which supports the growth of sooty mold and attracts ants. This can lead to further damage to the plant and causes paling and chlorosis (loss of green pigmentation).

They can also cause leaf drops, wilting, and yellowing of leaves.

How do you treat mealybugs on pothos?

There are a number of ways to treat mealybugs on pothos plants. The most effective methods include:

– Swabbing the affected areas with alcohol-containing cotton swabs

– Hosing the bugs down with a strong spray of water every couple of weeks

– Spraying with an insecticide containing pyrethrins

– Spraying with neem oil, summer oil, or insecticidal soap

Spider mites or Tetranychidae

spider mites

Spider mites are a species of arachnids and are related to spiders. They are very small, measuring less than 1/20th of an inch long.

They can be difficult to see with the naked eye, but you may be able to spot them if you look closely at leaves or stems for tiny white dots that are moving around. Spider mites are typically red or brown in color.

What are the symptoms of spider mites on pothos?

Spider mites feed on the sap of the plant, which can lead to discoloration and death of the leaves.

Spider mites also create webs between leaves, which can reduce photosynthesis and ultimately kill the plant.

In addition, spider mites can spread diseases to other plants in the area.

How do you treat spider mites on pothos?

Spider mites can be treated in a few ways, but the most effective is to isolate the affected plant and prune heavily infested parts. You can then treat the affected areas with rubbing alcohol.

If your plant is outdoors, consider using natural predators like spider mite destroyers, ladybugs, lacewings, or pirate bugs to get rid of them.


There are a variety of scales that can affect your pothos plants, but all of them start as crawlers. These small, circular, or oval, flat bugs suck the sap out of the stems and foliage of your plants.

There are multiple types of scales that can affect pothos, but they all have one common goal: to suck the life out of your plants.

What are the symptoms of scales on pothos plants?

Scale bugs can attack pothos plants both indoors and outdoors.

They suck out the sap of the plant, which can cause stunted leaves, leaf yellowing, and dieback.

Sooty mold and ants are often present because they secrete honeydew, which is a sticky substance that scale bugs love.

Other symptoms of scales on pothos plants are wilting and drooping leaves, black or brown spots on the leaves, and honeydew secretions.

How to treat scales on pothos?

There are a few ways to treat scales on pothos plants. The most effective way is to gently scrub them off the stems and leaves with a toothbrush or sponge. If that doesn’t work, you can use rubbing alcohol to kill the scales.

Another option is to use an insecticide spray like neem oil, horticultural oil, etc., during winter when the pests are more susceptible to being killed.



Whiteflies are another pest that can affect pothos plants. They are winged, soft-bodied fly-like insects that don’t fly.

Whiteflies suck vital fluids out of your pothos, weakening the plant and making it susceptible to other pests and diseases. They are small (around 1/12-inch long) and roughly triangular, often forming colonies with eggs underneath the leaves.

What are the symptoms of white flies on pothos plants?

White fly-like bugs are a common problem on pothos plants.

They can be identified by their easily scattered white body and the fact that they are usually around the veins of the plant.

These bugs can damage plants by sucking sap from them, so it is important to get rid of them if they are found.

How to treat white flies on pothos?

There are a number of ways to get rid of whiteflies on pothos plants. Some methods are more effective than others, but all should be used in conjunction for the best results.

Methods include blasting them off with a strong spray of water, using an insecticidal soap solution to kill them on outdoor plants, and eliminating them with lacewings, ladybugs, yellow sticky traps, and other natural predators.


Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped bugs that can be winged or wingless. They are black, red, white, or yellow and feed on a variety of plants, including pothos plants. Aphids can cause damage to plants by feeding on their sap.

What are the symptoms of aphids on pothos?

Aphids are a type of insect that feeds on the sap of plants. They can cause significant damage to plants and can be difficult to get rid of.

Symptoms of aphids on pothos include a white colony that’s highly mobile and easily crawls or flies from one houseplant to the next, plainly visible on the stems, and they love sucking the sap out of new tender foliage.

Aphid infestation symptoms usually mean new leaves are distorted, stunted, crinkled, or shriveled in pothos plants.

How to treat aphids on pothos?

There are a number of ways to treat aphids on pothos plants. The most effective methods are:

Wash aphids away with a powerful spray of water.

Remove heavily damaged plant material.

Hang sticky traps to catch aphids.

If your pothos is indoors, apply a strong soap solution to the leaves and stem of the plant, rinse well, and then dry off the plant. And if it is outdoors, apply a strong soap solution to a cloth and wipe the plant down.

Now, before I get to some common ways to get rid of pothos bugs, you’re probably wondering why your pothos is getting bugs in the first place. Here are some comprehensive answers that might ease your curiosity.

Why does your pothos plant have bugs in the first place?

  • One of the main reasons why your pothos plant may have bugs is because of the high humidity and wet conditions that are common in the environment.
  • These pests thrive in moist environments, so make sure to water your plant sparingly and allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
  • In addition, wet conditions in the pot are a major contributor to bug problems on pothos plants. When the roots and leaves get wet, they can easily rot, leading to diseases that weaken the plant.
  • Too much moisture during the early growth stages can cause your pothos to become weak and susceptible to pests.
  • Overfertilization is one of the biggest mistakes a plant owner can make. It will not only kill the pothos bugs but also do great damage to your plants. As a general rule, fertilize sparingly and never more than once a month.
  • Less ventilation: when you keep your plants too close to each other, it becomes easy for the pests to hop from one plant to the next.
  • Furthermore, remember that aeration increases the drying of wet leaves and soil, keeping fungal growth at bay.

10 most effective ways to get rid of pothos bugs!

Now, you can always use chemicals and pesticides to get rid of pothos bugs, but in my experience, natural and organic methods are just as effective and also ensure that your plant stays healthy.

Therefore, I have taken the care to compile the 10 most effective but natural ways to get rid of pothos bugs!

Soap solution spray

Insecticidal soap spray is a type of pesticide that is made from plant-based oils. It is effective in getting rid of a variety of pests, including pothos bugs. Insecticidal soap spray can be used both indoors and outdoors and on a variety of plants.

Botanical oil sprays

oil sprays

Botanical oil sprays are a type of pesticide that uses plant-based oils to kill bugs. They are effective and ecologically friendly, making them a popular choice for gardeners and homeowners.

Botanical oil sprays should be sprayed several times a month until the bugs have been eliminated.

Spray garlic solutions on your pothos.

Garlic spray is, basically, a mixture of minced garlic, water, and soap. It is effective in repelling bugs and can be used to get rid of pothos bugs on plants indoors and outdoors.

Neem oil is effective at getting rid of pothos bugs.

Neem oil is a natural pesticide that is effective at getting rid of pothos bugs. To prepare a spray, mix an ounce of neem oil with a gallon of warm water. Spray generously for over a month to get rid of pothos bugs.

DIY herbal water sprays are also effective for pothos bugs.

Use chili peppers, garlic, and chopped herbs to create your own DIY herbal spray. These ingredients can be used together or separately to create an effective bug spray. These sprays can be used indoors and outdoors.

Herbal water sprays have many benefits, such as being safe to use and being able to kill a variety of bugs.

Spray chili pepper solutions on pothos bugs.

chili pepper solution

You could also use chili pepper spray. This can be made by blending chili peppers and adding them to water. You can also add non-detergent soap to the mixture.

Another option is to use paprika, ginger, dill, chili pepper, and black pepper, which will work on spider mites and other bugs.

Essential oil sprays are effective against pothos bugs.

Essential oil sprays are effective against pothos bugs and other pests. They can be made with a variety of different essential oils, such as tea tree oil, spearmint oil, peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, citronella, cedarwood, eucalyptus, and rosemary oil.

Adding liquid castile soap to the mix can help increase the effectiveness of the spray.

Pyrethrin-containing insecticides can be used.

A naturally occurring pesticide called pyrethrin is obtained from the chrysanthemum flower. It may be used on both indoor plants and outdoors and is efficient in controlling a wide range of insects.

However, it is important to read the label carefully and follow all instructions before using pyrethrin-containing insecticides.

Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in your pothos pot.

Diatomaceous earth is a natural, powerful insecticide that can kill bugs on contact. It can be sprinkled in your pothos pot to get rid of any pesky insects that may be living there.

You can place sticky flying traps around your pothos.

Sticky flying traps

You can place sticky flying traps around the plant. These traps will catch the pests and keep them from damaging your plants. You can also make your own sticky flying traps by smearing used engine oil or petroleum jelly on some strips of cardboard or paper.

How can you prevent pothos bugs?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent pothos bugs from taking over your plants. The most important one of which is to make sure your plant is healthy and strong.

  • You can also try spraying the leaves with neem oil or insecticidal soap; these will help kill any bugs on the plant.
  • Feed your plants once every 1-3 months, preferably during growth periods. This will help your pothos grow healthy and strong and make them less susceptible to pests and disease.
  • Diluting and applying any balanced, water-soluble, or slow-release houseplant fertilizer at half-strength can help reduce the population of pothos bugs.
  • Avoid exposing the plants to wet and humid conditions. This will create a habitat and an environment that is not conducive for the pests, and they will eventually die off.
  • In addition, removing any dead leaves and stems will also make your plants less appealing to these pests.
  • Use the pasteurized potting mix when planting, repotting, or to transplant the plants. This will kill any pests or eggs that may be in the soil. Additionally, make sure to improve air circulation by avoiding overcrowding and keeping the plants dry.
  • Use a spray bottle to mist the leaves with water. This will help to dislodge the pests and discourage them from feeding on your plants.
  • Finally, you can also use a horticultural oil spray to kill off any existing pothos bugs.


You now know everything you need to in order to not only get rid of pothos bugs but also prevent them from infesting your pretty pothos in the first place!

Bear in mind that natural methods require a consistent application to be truly effective, but they are better for your pothos in the long run!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.