Bamboo can attract bugs in your backyard that like to suck the sap from the leaves or stems or to breed in the water captured by the plant. Mosquitoes, mealybugs, aphids and ants can also be attracted to bamboo.
Mealybugs are big lovers of bamboo plants and can breed quickly. They will inundate bamboo plants and suck the sap out of them, which leaves behind a honeydew secretion. This secretion that causes the bamboo plants to rot and can attract other insects such as ants.
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Bamboo can attract mosquitoes
Bamboo plants also attract pests such as mosquitoes. While mosquitoes love wet environments, they also use the bamboo stalks as a breeding site. The stalks contain water that is captured there from rainfall and dew.
Female mosquitoes look for moist or wet places to lay their eggs and the water found in these stalks is just perfect for them. The eggs are dependent on that water for survival so bamboo makes the perfect breeding ground.
The mosquitoes will deposit their eggs in the water located in the bamboo stalks until the eggs are hatched. Adult mosquitoes feed on the honeydew secretions that stay behind from sucking insects. Both male and female mosquitoes will feed on these honeydew secretions.
Bugs attracted to bamboo plants
There are a range of bugs that be attracted to bamboo in your yard. These include:
- Cockroaches, which are attracted to bamboo for shelter and not necessarily as a food source.
- Ants and aphids, which consider bamboo plants both great shelter, will feed on the honeydew of sap sucking insects or will dig into the soil and live under the ground.
- Flies including fruit flies and whiteflies
- Mice which can dig into the soil and make a home amongst the roots of the bamboo
- Snakes, mostly because they can find prey in the plants to feed on
There are two different ways to get rid of pests in your bamboo plants, and both are effective. The first is store-bought remedies that usually contain chemicals, and the second is all-natural remedies that work but sometimes take a little longer. Both methods are very effective at getting rid of all types of pests in your bamboo plants.
Bugs attracted to Lucky Bamboo
Lucky bamboo is technically a dracaena but looks and grows similarly to bamboo. It grows long stems with leaves out the end and they are much less likely to attract bugs than regular bamboo species.
Spider mites are the most common pests to attack lucky bamboo plants.
Lucky bamboo plants provide them with shelter when they are laying, preserving, and hatching their eggs. Lucky bamboo plants also contain phosphorus, nitrogen, and fiber, which are important nutrients to the spider mites’ survival.
Spider mites will suck out nutrients from the plants and leave behind a substance that is brown and sticky. Bugs will be attracted to lucky bamboo grown in warm and moist climates including tropical and subtropical regions.
Give your lucky bamboo plenty of air flow and take it outside to a shaded area if there are bugs in your house. Spray it down with water to wash away any aphids or thrips or treat it with neem oil if the pests stick around.
How to Get Rid of Pests on Your Bamboo Plants Naturally
Insecticides can kill beneficial insects as well as the pests you don’t like. Check out these natural options to get rid of pests on your bamboo plant naturally.
1. Squirt them off with a high pressure hose
One of the first things you can do is wash the plants off with a high-pressure hose. It’s even better if you use just plain water and focus on the undersides of the leaves because this is the area where bugs like to hide.
2. Spray the leaves with detergent
Mix a dilute bottle of organic detergent and warm water together in a spray bottle. You will only need a small squirt of dish detergent to make up the mix. Spray the leaves on the top and bottom and all over the insects.
If you use detergent in your water to spray over the bamboo plants, make sure you only do this about once every two weeks. Any more than that and it could be too much.
3. Add natural predators
Adding natural predators to your bamboo plant will help to deal with the bugs naturally. Predators such as ladybugs and crypts, will do a great job of getting rid of the pests without adding pesticides.
Ladybugs will naturally be attracted to plants that are covered with these sap sucking pests. One ladybug can consumer over 100 aphids in a day and can quickly wipe out a small population.
4. Neem oil
Neem oil diluted and sprayed onto the plants also works and is especially effective in getting rid of all types of pests, including the mealybugs that seem to be the most prevalent type of pest for bamboo.
A small bottle of neem oil will last for a long time as only a tiny amount is used in the spray. I bought a concentrated bottle which will last me for years.
5. Horticultural oils
Finally horticultural oils are another great, organic way to deal with bug attack on your bamboo. Add it to your water before you spray the leaves until they are very wet. Most of these oils work very well at getting rid of mealybugs, aphids, mites, and so much more.
6. Essential oil sprays
Adding essential oils to a spray bottle is another easy way to treat pests on bamboo. Try lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, citrus, and thyme essential oils for the best results, but remember to use them sparingly.
Insects, especially mealybugs, are attracted to bamboo plants for two reasons: for shelter and for feeding. While there are several pests that love to be near bamboo plants, the most common seems to be the mealybug.
Whether you have regular bamboo or lucky bamboo plants, you still have to deal with these pests, so it’s good to know that there are some very simple and fast ways to get rid of them. You can start by adding a little bit of organic dish detergent to a spray bottle filled with water and spraying the leaves until they are wet, especially the undersides of the leaves.
Natural remedies include essential oils and Neem oil also work well. Use essential oils sparingly because too much oil can coat the leaves preventing them from releasing water and absorbing carbon dioxide.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.