How to Identify and Treat Common Orchid Pests: Damage Symptoms, Spread, Control, and Prevention

Welcome to our blog on Common Orchid plant pests and control! This article will explore the causal organisms, damage symptoms, spread, treatment options, prevention strategies, and management techniques for these pests. By partnering with us, learn how to safeguard your orchid plants and guarantee a good crop. So, let’s get started.

Pink Orchids

Major and Common Damaging Orchid Pests

Orchid is a metropolitan perennial flowering herb in the Orchidaceae family. Orchids are renowned for their exquisite beauty and captivating diversity. Orchids exhibit remarkable adaptations and evolutionary strategies, with a vast array of floral forms, colors, and patterns to attract specific pollinators.

They show a high degree of specialization, often forming symbiotic relationships with fungi and insects, leading to intricate mechanisms for reproduction and seed dispersal. Moreover, orchids have exceptional resilience, thriving in diverse habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to arid deserts.

List of Ten Major and Common Pests of Orchid

AphidsFeed on sap & excrete sticky honeydew. Leaf curl, distortion, & yellowing.
Western Flower ThripsFeed on leaves, flowers, & buds.Leaves silver or brown scars.Transmit viral diseases.
Red Spider MiteFeeds on lower leaf surfaces.Stippling, yellow spots, and leaf webbing.
MealybugFeed on orchid leaves and stems.They form white, waxy, cottony masses.Distorted, curled leaves & stunted growth.
Scale InsectForm waxy, protective shells and attach themselves to the leaves and stems.Yellowing, wilting, and stunted growth.
Giant African SnailMollusks are notorious for feeding on leaves and can quickly devour tender new growth.Irregular holes and slime trails.
Fungus GnatsLarvae feed on decaying organic matter and orchid roots.They are small flies that cause root rot.
Orchid WeevilsBeetles lay eggs in buds, and larvae bore into them, causing them to wither and drop prematurely.Adult weevils prefer flowers and leaves.
Orchid CaterpillarsFeed on flowers, buds, and leaves.Certain species destroy orchid plants.
Orchid WhiteflyWhite, powdery excrement on lower leaf surfaces.Yellowing and wilting of leaves, sooty mold growth, and reduced flowering.

How to Identify and Treat Common Orchid Pests

Aphids Pest Control in Orchid

  • Causal Organism: Aphis gossypii
  • Symptoms: They suck the plant sap and excrete a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew. The honeydew acts as a medium for the growth of black sooty mold. Infested plants show curling, chlorosis, wilting, and leaf and shoot deformation.
  • Favorable Conditions: They prefer warm and moist conditions of 20-30 °C, weeds, dense plantings, and alternative hosts like melons and cucumbers for feeding, reproduction, and survival.
  • Treatment: Spray potassium salts of fatty acids, neem oil, permethrin, or cypermethrin. Practice pruning and sanitation. Use natural predators like ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps, and yellow sticky traps to monitor and control aphids.

Western Flower Thrips Pest Control in Orchid

  • Causal Organism: Frankliniella occidentalis
  • Symptoms: Thrips feed by rasping the plant tissues and extracting sap resulting in a silver or brown scar-like streaks or patches on leaves and petals. Infested plants show twisted flowers, leaf stippling or flecking, curling, distortion, and silvery or bronze appearance.
  • Favorable Conditions: They prefer mildly warm and humid weather of 20-30 °C, ornamental flowering plants or weeds, stressed plants, and crowded plantations.
  • Treatment: Spray potassium salts of fatty acids, bifenthrin, permethrin, imidacloprid, spinosad, malathion, chlorpyrifos, acetamiprid, and thiamethoxam. Practice pruning, reflective mulches, spacing, sanitation, regular monitoring, and weeding.

Red Spider Mite Pest Control in Orchid

  • Causal Organism: Tetranychus urticae
  • Symptoms: They suck the sap from orchid leaves, and their webs serve as protective shelters. Infested leaves show yellowing, bronzing, webbing, stippling, curling, premature leaf drop, and dusty or dirty appearance.
  • Favorable Conditions: They prefer warm, arid, and dry climatic conditions of 25-30 °C and < 50% humidity, dense plantings, low air circulation, and weeds.
  • Treatment: Spray abamectin, bifenthrin, fenbutatin-oxide, hexythiazox, spiromesifen, etoxazole, and fenazaquin. Practice regular monitoring, pruning, and san