Discover the main pests of cacti

It may be one of the first plants that you have had to take care of in your life. They are usually given as gifts because they decorate, they do not give the mess and we have a wide variety of shapes and colors that dress small corners of the house and give a little life.

They require relatively little care, but care. They can also suffer from attacks by some pests. Let’s look at the main pests of cacti.

In the orchard and garden, one of the battles we fight every year is the fight against pests and diseases.

In indoor plants the chances of invasion are always greatly reduced, although we are never exempt from having the odd companion that leaves us the cactus “made of foxes” from which we cannot even take advantage of the pot.

In the rest of indoor plants, for the simple fact of being bigger and above all, needing more care in the water needs (little), we are always attentive to possible conditions, whatever they are: lack of light, drafts, lack or excess of irrigation, diseases … but … what about those that we water from month to month and even more time.

The logical and normal thing is that they begin to form part of the furniture, as if it were something static and inert and perhaps because of that, many people stop paying attention to them. They end up going unnoticed, except if they flourish, which then we do see them, and what a joy they give us.

For all this, it is very, very easy for a plague, although we have little chance of it, to appear and put on its boots with our cactus. For this reason, we urge you from Gardenprue not to abandon the cacti and take a look at them from time to time so that in addition to seeing possible problems, not forgetting about it.

The most common pests in cacti do not differ much from other indoor plants but the cottony mealybug stands out, for example, as we will see later.



Some worms, snails and slugs can appear on cacti intended for outdoor use. Indoors it is more complicated unless they do not come healthy from the nursery, a situation that is not usually common because they die in a short time.


Aphids can be another of those friends that climb the cactus. It is not the most common, since they prefer young and tender parts of the plants and the cactus is not characterized by tender and young shoots, but they could attack you if they do not have another.


Behold, what is possibly the most common pest in cacti and the like.

The cottony mealybug is usually common. Sometimes the same white mealybug is mistaken for aphids when it is not known what it is, thinking that it is the most common. but it’s not like that.

We are facing an invader of our cactus that is quite annoying and that is quite difficult to eradicate. There is no specific mealybug that affects each type of crop, but there are trends.

In the case of the cactus, a very common one is Hypogeococcus pungens , although we have already commented that other species can be found. 

Eradicating this pest is difficult, and it is also accompanied by a production of molasses that allows the development of the black fungus that already completely finishes off the cactus.

Sometimes we may not see it directly outside invading the cactus with its particular cottony secretion so identifying. That does not mean that it is not present because some species can be located at the root and not allow the plant to grow.

When we see that it does not grow, we water thinking that we have not done it for a long time and in addition to the plague that it carries inside, we are hopelessly drowning it. Therefore, in the face of any strange symptom, which stops growing, loses color or turns to dull and unusual colors, remove the plant from the pot and look carefully.

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