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Common umbrella plant pests and how to get rid of them

Do you suspect your umbrella plant of having a pest invasion? Here are the most common umbrella plant pests and the best tips on how to get rid of them.

The umbrella plant, also known as the Schefflera, is a very durable houseplant.

It is considered to be low-maintenance, mostly because it can grow in various climates and doesn’t require much attention.

But don’t let the look fool you. Even though they are very easy to take care of, they are also very susceptible to pest attacks.

Taking care of an umbrella plant means more than just water and light requirements. Sometimes pests and diseases get to the plants and attack them with full force.

If you have noticed that this is happening to your Schefflera, it is time to take action.

Additionally, to prevent any further issues, let’s see how you can provide your plant with everything it needs.

Here is how to take care of umbrella plant pests.

common umbrella plant pests and how to treat them

Printable Umbrella Plant care guide

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Umbrella Plant plant care guide
potted umbrella plant on a table

How to know that your plant has been attacked by pests?

Take a good look at your Schefflera – if you notice that your plant is acting strangely or anything out of the ordinary, then you might be looking at the issue of umbrella plant pests.

As we previously mentioned, despite this plant being extremely low-maintenance, it is still the target of many diseases and pests.

If left untreated, they could lead to a series of issues, possibly leading to death.

Checking for pests on umbrella plants is important. Although they can be harmless at first, if they’re left unattended, pests could deprive your plant of moisture.

Mainly, they attach to the stems, branches, and leaves and suck out nutrients and water.

This may seem problematic at first, but as you know, we have solutions for each common pest.

In this case, the truth is that you may contribute to the accumulation of pests, and you may not even know about it.

Leaving your plant in unfavorable conditions might make it more vulnerable to diseases and pests.

Note some of the things you are doing that are harmful to the plant – conditions such as low humidity and extreme dampness can make the perfect environment for pests, which can quickly arise from overwatering.

close up of umbrella plant leaves

The most common pests on umbrella plants

Let’s take a look at some of the most common pests on umbrella plants.


First in our list are the mealybugs. They tend to destroy the plant and can be difficult to eliminate.

When they attack your Schefflera, they suck out the sap with their mouth.

They even release a sticky substance after they are finished feeding from the plant. In turn, this sticky substance attracts ants.

If left untreated, mealybugs can make your plant look wilted, turn yellow, and become weak.

Fungus gnats

Next on our list of umbrella plant pests are the fungus gnats. They are tiny little flies, dark in color, and you can find them in groups.

When they gather around the Schefflera, it means that you have been overwatering it.

The tricky part about them is that you can’t see them if you don’t look very closely.

Whenever you want to catch them, you have to shake your plant so they will fly out.

They move inside the soil and feed on the roots of your Schefflera, ultimately causing extensive damage.

See my favorite traps for catching gnats in plants!

Spider mites

Whenever your umbrella plant does not get enough moisture, the spider mites attack. These bugs are so small that you can barely see them with the naked eye.

You can find them on the underside of the leaves – this is where they position themselves so they can suck on the sap from the plant’s veins.

If you feel that spider mites have attacked your Schefflera, all you have to do is look for little white dots.


These oval-shaped insects have piercing mouths. They can come in multiple colors, such as green, brown, yellow, and white, and are most attracted to humid conditions.

Naturally, this means that these umbrella plant pests attack your Schefflera when there is low light and plenty of water.

They suck on the leaves and the stem of the plant, and if you leave them untreated, they multiply and result in overpowering it, which can lead to its death.


The most common scale are brown and white. You can easily spot them on the plant, but they are often mistaken for irregular growths.

They don’t move as much, so if you happen to notice anything strange on your Schefflera, make sure to double-check it.

They are incredibly difficult to remove. They will make the plant wilted and yellow and stunt its growth.

new growth on an umbrella plant

How to get rid of umbrella plant pests

Even though there is a wide variety of bugs, pests, and diseases that can inhabit your plant, there are a few common ways to get rid of them.

What you do need to keep in mind, though, is that you have to act fast, as timing is of crucial importance.

In fact, most of these pests can spread rapidly and in the blink of an eye. Once they multiply, getting rid of them can be almost impossible.

Let’s look into a few ways you can get rid of your pests:

  • isolate the plant
  • remove the affected area
  • hand pick off the pests
  • use water
  • use rubbing alcohol

Isolate your plant

think about it this way – bugs go everywhere, right? That means they will quickly and easily move from one plant to another.

When you separate your infected Schefflera from other plants, you will prevent them from infesting them too.

Remove the affected area

Any leaves and branches that might be affected by diseases or pests should be removed.

Use clean and sterilized pruners when you do this.

However, do not cut more than 25% of the leaves. Cutting back too much will cause stress on the plant.

Also, make sure to use gloves when you’re pruning – you don’t want bugs or sap on your fingers.

Handpick the pests

If there are not many pests on your umbrella plant, you can handpick them. Do not forget gloves when you do this.

Pick or wipe the bugs off and flush them or dump them outside.

Use water

Take some running water and put your Schefflera under it. Focus on the leaves and their undersides to remove the pests.

I personally like to put my plants in the shower to really give them a good washdown.

Do this process only in the daytime so the plant can fully dry off – wet leaves at night can lead to rot!

Rubbing alcohol solution

Make a solution from three parts water and one part rubbing alcohol. Spread over a cotton ball and dab over the infested areas of your plant. This will help to clear the pests.

After you’ve done the treatment, all you need to do is leave your Schefflera some time to heal.

Taking care of the common umbrella plant pests can be a little time-consuming. However, when it comes to your plant’s health, you need to do everything within your power to make it better.

If you like this blog, then please download our free PDF umbrella plant care guide below!

Umbrella Plant plant care guide

Thanks for reading!

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