Updated: May 25, 2022

Dollar plant, also known as Silver Dollar Plant or Lunaria annua, is a popular ornamental plant with silver-green leaves and attractive purple flowers. Unfortunately, it is also vulnerable to a variety of pests, including crusader bugs. These small, brown insects feed on the sap of the plant and can cause significant damage if left uncontrolled. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of crusader bugs on dollar plants.

Identify Crusader Bugs

The first step in getting rid of crusader bugs is to identify them correctly. These bugs are about 0.5 cm long and have a distinctive shield-like shape. They are usually light brown or gray in color and have six legs. Crusader bugs are active during the day and can be found on the undersides of leaves, where they feed on the sap.

Natural Ways to Control Crusader Bugs

There are several natural ways to control crusader bugs without using harsh chemicals that can harm beneficial insects and pollinators.


If you only have a few dollar plants, handpicking crusader bugs can be an effective way to control them. Simply use a pair of tweezers or gloved hands to remove the bugs from the plant and dispose of them in a bucket of soapy water.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is another natural option for controlling crusader bugs. This oil is derived from the neem tree and has insecticidal properties that can repel or kill bugs. To use neem oil, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray it onto the dollar plant. Be sure to cover both sides of the leaves thoroughly.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. It is abrasive to insects but safe for humans and pets. To use diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it around the base of the dollar plant and on the leaves. The powder will stick to the bugs and dehydrate them, causing them to die.

Chemical Control

If natural methods fail to control crusader bugs on your dollar plant, you may need to resort to chemical control. However, it is important to choose a pesticide that is safe for your plant and won’t harm beneficial insects or pollinators.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective pesticide made from potassium salts of fatty acids. It works by breaking down the insect’s protective coating and causing it to dehydrate. To use insecticidal soap, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray it onto the dollar plant.


Pyrethrin is a natural pesticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers. It is toxic to insects but breaks down quickly in sunlight and poses minimal risk to humans and pets. To use pyrethrin, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray it onto the dollar plant.

Preventive Measures

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to controlling pests on your plants. Here are some preventive measures you can take to avoid crusader bugs infesting your dollar plant:

  • Keep your plants healthy by providing proper watering and fertilization.
  • Remove any weeds or debris that may attract pests.
  • Monitor your plants regularly for signs of pests or disease.
  • Use companion planting to attract beneficial insects that feed on pests.
  • Rotate your crops if you have a vegetable garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do crusader bugs bite humans?

No, crusader bugs do not bite humans. They are harmless to humans but can cause significant damage to plants.

Can I eat the leaves of my dollar plant if I’ve sprayed it with pesticide?

No, you should not eat the leaves of a plant that has been sprayed with pesticide. Pesticides can be harmful to humans if ingested.

Can I use dish soap instead of insecticidal soap?

No, you should not use dish soap instead of insecticidal soap. Dish soap is not formulated for use on plants and may harm them. Insecticidal soap is specifically designed to be safe for plants while controlling pests.

How often should I spray my dollar plant with pesticide?

The frequency of spraying depends on the type of pesticide used and the severity of the infestation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and application. It is important not to overuse pesticides, as this can harm beneficial insects and pollinators.


Crusader bugs can be a nuisance for dollar plant growers, but there are many effective ways to control them. Whether you choose natural or chemical methods, it is important to identify the bugs correctly and take preventive measures to avoid future infestations. With the right care and attention, your dollar plant can thrive and remain free from pests.