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How to Get Rid of Crusader Bugs on Curly Hoya Plant

Updated: December 27, 2022

Curly Hoya, also known as Hoya Carnosa Compacta, is a popular indoor plant that is loved for its unique curly leaves and easy care. However, like all plants, it is susceptible to pests, including crusader bugs. These tiny bugs can quickly multiply and damage your plant if left untreated. In this article, we will guide you through the steps you can take to get rid of crusader bugs and keep your Curly Hoya plant healthy.

What are Crusader Bugs?

Crusader bugs, also known as Red Shoulder Bugs or Cotton Stainers, are small insects that are about 1/2 inch long. They have a distinctive red and black coloration with a red “shoulder” marking on their wings. They feed on sap from plants, causing damage to leaves and flowers. Crusader bugs can lay eggs on the underside of leaves, which can hatch and cause even more damage.

Signs of Crusader Bug Infestation

The first sign of a crusader bug infestation is typically small white or yellow spots on the leaves of your Curly Hoya plant. As the infestation progresses, you may notice that the leaves turn brown or wilted. You may also see small black dots on the leaves, which are the bugs themselves.

How to Get Rid of Crusader Bugs

1. Inspect Your Plant

The first step in getting rid of crusader bugs is to inspect your Curly Hoya plant carefully. Look for signs of infestation, such as yellow or white spots on the leaves or small black dots (the bugs themselves). If you find any signs of an infestation, isolate your plant from other plants to prevent the spread of the bugs.

2. Remove Infested Leaves

If you find any leaves that are heavily infested with crusader bugs, remove them from the plant and dispose of them carefully. Do not compost infested leaves, as this can spread the bugs to other plants.

3. Wash Your Plant

Wash your Curly Hoya plant with a gentle soap solution to get rid of any remaining crusader bugs. Mix a few drops of dish soap with water in a spray bottle and spray your plant thoroughly, making sure to cover both sides of the leaves. Let the soap solution sit on the plant for 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off with clean water.

4. Use Insecticidal Soap

If the infestation is severe, you may need to use an insecticidal soap to get rid of crusader bugs. Insecticidal soap is a natural insecticide that is safe for plants and can be used to kill a wide range of pests, including crusader bugs. Follow the instructions on the label carefully when using insecticidal soap.

5. Monitor Your Plant

After treating your Curly Hoya plant for crusader bugs, monitor it carefully for any signs of a recurrence. Check your plant regularly for new infestations and take action immediately if you see any signs of a problem.


Are crusader bugs harmful to humans?

No, crusader bugs are not harmful to humans.

Can I prevent crusader bug infestations?

Yes, you can prevent crusader bug infestations by keeping your Curly Hoya plant healthy and well-watered. Avoid over-fertilizing your plant, as this can attract pests.

Can I use neem oil to get rid of crusader bugs?

Yes, neem oil is an effective natural insecticide that can be used to get rid of crusader bugs. Mix a few drops of neem oil with water in a spray bottle and spray your plant thoroughly, making sure to cover both sides of the leaves.

How often should I check my Curly Hoya plant for pests?

You should check your Curly Hoya plant for pests at least once a week to catch any infestations early.

In conclusion, crusader bugs can be a nuisance for Curly Hoya plant owners. However, with the right treatment and prevention measures, you can keep your plant healthy and free from infestations. Remember to check your plant regularly, remove infested leaves, and use natural insecticides like soap solutions or neem oil when necessary. With proper care, your Curly Hoya plant will thrive and bring beauty to your home for years to come.