Updated: October 4, 2022

Crossandra plants are beautiful, tropical plants that are popular for their vibrant flowers and easy-to-grow nature. However, like all plants, they can fall prey to pests and diseases. One common pest that can infest crossandra plants is the crusader bug, which is also known as the red-banded thrips. These tiny insects can cause significant damage to the plant if left unchecked, so it’s important to know how to get rid of them.

What are Crusader Bugs?

Crusader bugs are small insects that are about 1-2 millimeters in length. They are reddish-brown in color with a distinctive red stripe across their backs. These bugs feed on the sap from plants by piercing the leaves and stems with their mouthparts. This can cause discoloration, stunted growth, and even death of the plant if left untreated.

Signs of Crusader Bug Infestation

The first sign of a crusader bug infestation is usually the appearance of white or silver streaks on the leaves of the plant. This is caused by the bugs piercing the leaves and sucking out the sap. As the infestation progresses, you may also notice brown or black spots on the leaves and stems, as well as distorted growth and stunted development.

How to Get Rid of Crusader Bugs

If you’ve identified a crusader bug infestation on your crossandra plant, don’t panic! There are several steps you can take to get rid of these pesky insects.

Step 1: Isolate Infected Plants

The first step in dealing with a crusader bug infestation is to isolate any infected plants from your other plants. This will prevent the bugs from spreading to other parts of your garden or houseplants.

Step 2: Prune Infected Leaves and Stems

Next, you’ll want to prune any leaves or stems that are heavily infested with crusader bugs. This will help to remove the majority of the insects and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the plant.

Step 3: Spray with Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to control crusader bugs on your crossandra plant. Simply mix the soap with water according to the package instructions, and spray it directly onto the affected areas of the plant. Be sure to cover both sides of the leaves and stems thoroughly.

Step 4: Repeat Treatment as Needed

You may need to repeat the insecticidal soap treatment several times over the course of a few weeks to completely get rid of the crusader bugs. Continue monitoring your plant for any signs of re-infestation, and repeat the treatment as needed.


Can I use neem oil to get rid of crusader bugs on my crossandra plant?

Yes, neem oil can be an effective treatment for crusader bugs on crossandra plants. Mix the neem oil with water according to the package instructions, and spray it directly onto the affected areas of the plant.

Are crusader bugs harmful to humans or pets?

Crusader bugs are not harmful to humans or pets, but they can cause significant damage to plants if left untreated.

How can I prevent crusader bug infestations in the future?

To prevent crusader bug infestations, be sure to keep your crossandra plants healthy by providing them with plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients. You can also try using natural insect repellents like garlic or peppermint oil to deter pests from your plants.