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How to Get Rid of Lerps on Elephant Foot Plant

Updated: June 11, 2022

Lerps are small, white, waxy bumps that appear on the leaves of the elephant foot plant. These bumps are actually the protective coverings of tiny insects called psyllids. While lerps may not necessarily harm the plant, they can be unsightly and attract other pests. If you want to get rid of lerps on your elephant foot plant, there are several methods you can try.

Method 1: Manual Removal

One way to remove lerps is by manually scraping them off the plant’s leaves. This can be done using a soft-bristled brush or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Gently rub the affected leaves to remove the lerps and any psyllids hiding underneath.

Method 2: Horticultural Oil

Horticultural oils, such as neem oil or insecticidal soap, can also be effective in getting rid of lerps. These oils work by suffocating the insects and their protective coverings. Dilute the oil according to the package instructions and spray it directly onto the affected leaves. Repeat this process every week until the lerps disappear.

Method 3: Natural Predators

Another way to get rid of lerps is by introducing natural predators into your garden. Ladybugs and lacewings are both known to feed on psyllids and their eggs. You can purchase these beneficial insects online or at your local garden center and release them near your elephant foot plant.

Method 4: Pruning

If only a few leaves on your elephant foot plant are affected by lerps, you can simply prune them off. Make sure to dispose of the infected leaves in a sealed bag or container to prevent any psyllids from spreading to other plants.

Method 5: Preventative Measures

Preventative measures can also be taken to avoid future lerp infestations. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of psyllids and remove any infected leaves promptly. Keep your plants healthy by providing them with adequate water and nutrients, as stressed plants are more susceptible to pests. Lastly, avoid over-fertilizing your plants, as this can attract psyllids.

By following these methods, you should be able to get rid of lerps on your elephant foot plant and keep them from coming back.


Are lerps harmful to my elephant foot plant?

While lerps may not necessarily harm your plant, they can be unsightly and attract other pests.

Can I use chemical pesticides to get rid of lerps?

Chemical pesticides can be effective in getting rid of lerps, but they can also harm beneficial insects and pollinators. It’s best to try natural methods first before resorting to chemical pesticides.

How often should I inspect my elephant foot plant for psyllids?

It’s a good idea to inspect your plants at least once a week for signs of psyllids or other pests. The earlier you detect an infestation, the easier it will be to control.

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