Scale on Monstera: 8 Tips To Get Rid Of This Nuisance

Monsteras are extremely popular in the world of indoor gardeners. They are well-known for their large, dynamic foliage, which can add life to any of your corners, and also, for their low routine maintenance.

Unfortunately, many species of garden insects invade the beautiful growth of monstera.

Scale is a common trouble for gardeners. In many cases, infestations expand inconspicuously before infested hosts begin to show damage.

If left unchecked, your monstera may become so weak that it dies. Now we will discuss whether there are scale on your beautiful plant and how to deal with them.

What Does Monstera Scale Look Like?

Scale on monstera usually have dome-like shapes

Scale is one of many different nasty pests that infest your houseplants. They draw the plant’s nutrients by sucking the leaves’ sap or devouring the stems and barks. 

Scales are small insects, around 1/8 to ½ inch in size, they are characterized by the superfamily Coccoidea, order Hemiptera. They are usually flat or dome-like shaped, with a fleecy-textured body. 

Just as the name can tell, these pests have a protective scale-like cover they produce. Scale insects fall within two groups: armored and soft. 

Monsteras are favorable to the latter form of scale, the soft ones. These enemies on your monstera emerge as small, yellowish-brown bumps on the stems and leaves.

Scale insects can be strangely defensive and hard to manage. They like to stay motionlessly on your plant’s stems and gently drain its life sap.

With their straw-like sucking mouthparts, they feed on plant sap and afterward excrete a sweet, runny fluid that is called honeydew and usually attracts bees, ants, and other sugar bugs. 

Signs Of Scale On Monstera

Soft scales, specifically the hemispherical scale, are the most extensive kind that occupies Monstera. Hemispherical scale is a dark brown, round, and convex-shaped insect and is up to 4 mm in diameter.

Sometimes, scale insects hide themselves among branches or barks, making it hard to tell whether it is scale.

Here are some indicators of scale infestation on your monstera, some including damage: 

  • Shell-like bumps: scale insects scatter widely on your monstera leaves in specific zones where you can see groupings of tiny bumps creatures in clusters.
  • Sooty mold: if your plant is covered in grimy, black soot, it’s a clear sign of soft-scale trails. Sooty mold is a type of mold that grows in the honeydew secreted by the scale of indoor plants. 
  • Leaf discoloration: If you noticed some discolored leaves or leaves that turned yellow, this might be caused by scale on your beloved plant. 

Further reading:

How To Get Rid of Monstera Scale? 

Horticultural oil is an effective way to get rid of scale on monstera

If you have found those creepy crawlers on your Monstera, don’t freak out. There are solutions you can take to get rid of scale on your plant. 

Treating scale can be arduous because they have a protective coat that reduces the effectiveness of the insecticides. In this case, natural and mechanical methods would do well:

Remove scale physically

No insecticide is good enough for the soft or hard shell once it has formed. Keep eyes on your monstera to detect the appearance of scale and pick them off of plants by hand, this is possible when the numbers are low.

Or you can remove the pests simply by using a toothbrush or a towel soaked in water. Wipe the surface of the leaves to partly get rid of scale by natural force. This is effective when the infestation is light.

Use natural predators

There are commercially available insects that prey on young larvae of scale. Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, soldier beetles, and parasitic wasps would do the work for you.

You can either attract these natural enemies by providing an appealing habitat or purchase them at a local garden. 

Prune branches 

Identify the infested leaves and twigs and branches, and dispose of those being most heavily damaged.

Or you can think of discarding the entire plant if your monstera plant is totally down in the dumps.  

Alcohol 

Use a cotton towel soaked in soapy water or 7-% isopropyl alcohol is a simple remedy to remove some scale on your plant’s leaves. 

Horticultural oil

Organic horticultural oil, one representative is neem oil, is effective for coating and stifling the larvae, nymphs, and even adults of scales. This product is a great choice for taking against scale because it controls all stages of scales.

However, horticultural oil should not be used in subfreezing temperatures since the emulsion breaks down and the coverage is uneven.

Insecticidal soap 

Organic pesticide works best during the crawler stage before developing their protective shell.

This is a kind of organic pesticide that is most effective for the crawler stage before the scale grow their protective shell.

But be aware that they can only last for a short time in the environment, so you should just apply the applications of this product during a specific time such as spring before leaves emerge, or in the egg-hatching stage. 

Azamax   

The ingredient extracted from Azamax is azadirachtin, which has also been found in neem oil.

This spray is approved for organic use and can resist pests to develop. The best part is that it’s safe for beneficial insects like honey bees. 

Botanical insecticides 

This should be used as the last resort to deal with scale. It can break the scale down with fast-acting, though, can have some negative impacts on other good insects that reside on your plant.

It has fewer harmful effects than synthetic chemicals on your houseplant. Though chemical insecticides may control well on insect infestations, they result in harming beneficial wildlife too, and it is not worth the risk. 

How to Prevent Scale From Getting to Monstera

Preventing your monstera from scale by taking preventative measures in advance.

It’s all being said, the most effective remedy for controlling scale is prevention. You should take action in advance to protect your monstera from being attacked by scale with some of these tips: 

Keep plant healthy

Understand that unhealthy plants are more likely to fall prey to insect infestations.

Before you start using organic remedies or commercial insecticides, think about whether your Monstera is receiving enough water, light, and other living conditions and whether you can do anything to improve your Monstera status.

Add more water to your monstera in summer to prevent them from getting stressed by heat or keep them in more of their favorite light condition. Healthy and sufficient plants are more resistant to pests than those with weak conditions.

Read more:

Choose plant carefully

Make sure you purchase a good monstera plant in the first place in the nursery before bringing them home.

Some types of scale may be more common to your kind of monstera. You might want to check for the information on the Internet or contact customer service to know details in case you don’t want to encounter pests and scales in the future.

While testing the plants, examine all parts, from the leaves, the undersides, and the stem joints, where the scale like to hide.

After purchasing new monstera, plan on checking them regularly while doing gardening chores like watering, weeding, and fertilizing. 

Keep the area clean

Debris and weeds down under the plants should be ideal for scale to notice and invade.

So make sure the surrounding of your monstera is clean and free so that your monstera will be less likely to draw in scale. 

Conclusion

To be honest, don’t panic when there are bugs in your plants. They’re just a part of having plants in your house and there are multiple steps you can do to get rid of them and retrieve back your beautiful ornamental plant.

FAQs

What is the effective substance to get rid of monstera scale?

Scale that suck monstera’s sap, just like many kinds of insects, can not tolerate severe chemical insecticides. Horticultural oil would be a great choice for you to remove the problem on scale right in the first place. 

Are scale bugs infestations easy to treat?

Scale are a common problem on Pothos. It might be easy to treat, though, you should research some treatments in advance to get rid of them effectively and safely. There are certain approaches for treating these annoying creatures but the easiest way is just wiping off the leaves that have signs of scale with a cotton swab soaked in soapy water.

Are scale insects also harmful to humans?

Scale insects generally don’t have specific harmful impacts on humans since they don’t have toxins or bite us. On the other hand, they can even give humans some economic benefits like colors for dye, shellac, resin production, and even food. They will only harm your beloved indoor plants like pothos or monstera by breeding on the plants’ sap and foliage’s juice.

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

I’m Kelly Lawrence, two years after graduating with a Journalism major, I had the opportunity to apply my experiences to become the founder and executive content writer of this gardening blog.