Updated: July 2, 2023


Raindrop plants, also known as Lepismium bolivianum, are beautiful houseplants that have gained popularity among plant enthusiasts. With their trailing stems and delicate flowers, raindrop plants can add a touch of elegance to any indoor space. However, like any other plant, raindrop plants are susceptible to pests. One common pest that can infest raindrop plants is lerps. Lerps are small, scale-like insects that create protective coverings over themselves, making them difficult to eliminate. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of lerps on raindrop plants effectively.

Understanding Lerps

Before we delve into the methods of eradicating lerps from raindrop plants, it is essential to understand these pests and their life cycle. Lerps are tiny insects that belong to the family Psyllidae. They are often mistaken for scales due to their similar appearance. Lerps feed on the sap of plants by piercing the leaves with their mouthparts.

The most distinctive feature of lerps is the protective covering they create over themselves. This covering, known as a lerp, acts as a shield against predators and environmental factors. It is often shaped like a small dome or mound and can vary in color from white to brown.

Lerps lay their eggs inside these protective coverings, allowing the nymphs to hatch and grow in a safe environment. As they mature, the nymphs will eventually emerge from the lerp and start feeding on the plant.

Identifying Lerps on Raindrop Plants

To effectively combat lerps on raindrop plants, it is crucial to be able to identify their presence accurately. Lerps can be challenging to spot due to their camouflage-like appearance. However, there are a few signs that can indicate a lerp infestation:

  1. Presence of Lerps: Look for small, dome-shaped or mound-like structures on the leaves of your raindrop plant. These are the lerps that protect the insects.

  2. Sticky Residue: Lerps excrete a sticky substance called honeydew as they feed on the plant’s sap. If you notice a sticky residue on the leaves or surrounding areas, it could be a sign of lerp activity.

  3. Leaf Damage: Lerps can cause leaf yellowing, curling, and stunted growth. If you observe these symptoms on your raindrop plant, it is worth investigating further for lerps.

Natural Methods to Get Rid of Lerps

When it comes to combating lerps on raindrop plants, it is always advisable to start with natural methods before resorting to chemical treatments. Here are some effective natural remedies to eliminate lerps:

1. Manual Removal

One of the simplest and most straightforward methods to control lerp infestation is through manual removal. Carefully inspect your raindrop plant and remove any lerps you find by hand. Use a pair of tweezers or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently lift off the lerps from the plant’s surface.

Be sure to dispose of the lerps away from your raindrop plant to prevent reinfestation. Regularly monitor your plant and repeat this process as necessary until all lerps are eliminated.

2. Pruning Infested Leaves

If the lerp infestation is localized to specific leaves of your raindrop plant, consider pruning those leaves. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to remove the affected leaves completely from the plant. This will not only remove the lerps but also prevent them from spreading to other parts of the plant.

Remember to disinfect your pruning tools after each use to avoid spreading any potential pests or diseases.

3. Introduce Beneficial Insects

In nature, there are several beneficial insects that prey on lerps and other pests. Introducing these natural predators into your indoor environment can help control lerp populations effectively.

Ladybugs and lacewings are two common beneficial insects that feed on lerps. You can purchase these insects from garden centers or online suppliers and release them near your raindrop plant. Ensure that the environment is suitable for these insects to thrive, providing them with alternative food sources if necessary.

4. Neem Oil Solution

Neem oil is a natural pesticide derived from the neem tree. It has insecticidal properties and can be effective in controlling lerps on raindrop plants. Dilute neem oil according to the instructions on the packaging and spray it onto the affected leaves of your plant.

Repeat this treatment every 7-10 days until the lerp infestation is eliminated. Neem oil not only kills lerps but also acts as a deterrent, preventing future infestations.

Chemical Methods to Get Rid of Lerps

If the natural methods mentioned above fail to eradicate lerp infestation or if the infestation is severe, you may need to resort to chemical treatments. Always exercise caution when using chemical pesticides, as they can harm beneficial insects and pose risks to human health. Follow these guidelines when using chemical treatments:

  1. Choose Appropriate Pesticides: Look for pesticides specifically labeled for use against lerps or psyllids. These products will contain active ingredients that target these pests effectively.

  2. Read and Follow Instructions: Carefully read the label instructions of the pesticide before application. Pay attention to dosage rates, safety precautions, and any specific instructions for raindrop plants.

  3. Protect Yourself: Wear protective clothing, gloves, and a face mask when applying chemical pesticides. Avoid inhaling or ingesting the product and wash your hands thoroughly after application.

  4. Isolate Infested Plants: If you have multiple raindrop plants, isolate the infested ones from the healthy ones to prevent the spread of lerps. Quarantine the infested plants until the infestation is under control.

  5. Monitor and Repeat Treatments: Regularly monitor your raindrop plants for any signs of lerp activity and repeat chemical treatments as necessary. Follow the recommended treatment intervals to ensure maximum effectiveness.


Lerps can be a nuisance for raindrop plant owners, but with proper identification and appropriate action, they can be controlled effectively. Start with natural methods such as manual removal, pruning, and introducing beneficial insects. If these methods prove ineffective, consider using neem oil or chemical pesticides as a last resort. Remember to always prioritize the health and safety of your raindrop plant while combating lerp infestation. With patience and perseverance, you can successfully eliminate lerps and enjoy the beauty of your raindrop plant once again.