Carnivorous Plants/Mealy bugs


Unfortunately I have developed mealy bugs on my nepenthes
And a couple of my other plants....
I looked through your old questions and I found that ortho systemic treatments acephate based works well
I looked on the Internet for this but I can't find it and was wondering if the name has changed or something.
All I found with acephate was fire ant killer and the question was from 2007.

ANSWER: Hi Cory,

Acepahte/Orthene has been taken off of the market for home use.  

Here's a couple alternatives.  If the infestation is not bad yet, Insecticidal Soaps work well since it can get through the Mealy Bug's waxy/powdery coating.  In the past we have not recommended this product, but we've found it safe on Nepenthes.  Just don't use it on sundews, butterworts or flytraps.  Also, use a commercial product formulated for plant use, don't do a homemade concoction.  There's a good chance of plant damage from homemade products.  Lastly, with insecticidal soap or any insecticide, be sure and follow label directions.

If your infestation is much worse, a systemic product may be more appropriate.  Imidacloprid found in Bayer products works well.  It's found for plant use in Bayer 3 in 1 and Bayer Rose and Flower insect killer.  Be sure and follow label directions.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Jeff
What do you recommend for the flytraps, butterworts and sundews?
I want to have something on hand just incase this turns out to have spread to other plants. I would rather be prepared than trying to find something that I have to order because I can't source it locally.

Aside from the infestation damage should I typically experience minimal plant leaf dage due to the insecticide spray if the directions are properly followed?

Hi Cory,

We've found no issues with the Bayer Products, and they are safe on Flytraps and Sundews.  Use with caution on butterworts.  I tend to just spray the crown of the plant where most of the bugs are anyway, not the leaves which are more sensitive.  Also, it's best to test it on some less expensive plants first if you have anything pricy or hard to obtain.  Same thing with the insecticidal soap on Nepenthes.  Most are fine with it, but plants that have very thin leaves such as N. mirablis and N. rafflesiana could be more delicate.  Here's a link to our insecticide podcast:  Disregard the part about Insecticidal soap in regards to Nepenthes.  We have found it safe for them, just not the more delicate cp.

One last thing.  Mealy bugs and scale often start on houseplants before they spread to carnivorous plants, so definitely check and treat them.  Plants like Ficus are really prone to Mealy Bugs.  Insecticidal soap would be my first choice for them, since insects can't build up resistance to it very easily.  We've had problems in our Nepenthes greenhouse with Scale insects building resistance to Imidacloprid.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

Carnivorous Plants

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Sarracenia Northwest


If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

Before submitting your question, please read their care guides on their main website. Many issues can be addressed by simply adjusting your growing conditions as recommended in the care guides. Click here to read the care guides.

Over 9,000 questions answered since 2005!


Jeff and Jacob are owners and growers of Sarracenia Northwest. They've been in business since 1995. Watch their professionally produced DVDs, Grow Carnivorous Plants. It is a three-volume set that covers all aspects of carnivorous plant care. They literally show you how to be a successful grower!


No terrariums. No myths. No nonsense.
Just the straight facts from guys who grow and propagate
thousands of carnivorous plants each year.

Our focus is to help help growers diagnose a specific plant problem and offer solutions. For example:
  • Why is my sundew not producing dew?
  • Is now a good time to divide my Sarracenia?
  • Why are the traps turning black?
  • What's a good substitute for perlite?
  • Why didn't my seeds germinate?
  • How do you deal with pests?
  • Can you identify this carnivorous plant for me?
We no longer answer general, how-to questions that are already posted on our website or demonstrated in our DVDs. For general plant care, please read our care guides:

For business questions:

Youtube Facebook
Follow us on Youtube and Facebook!

©2017 All rights reserved.