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How to Get Rid of Scales on Crocodile Plant

Updated: June 28, 2022

Crocodile plant (Ficus microcarpa) is a common houseplant known for its unique and attractive foliage. However, like any other indoor plant, it can be susceptible to pests and diseases. One of the most common problems that crocodile plant owners face is scale infestation. Scales are small, sap-sucking insects that attach themselves to the leaves and stems of the plant, causing damage and stunting growth. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of scales on crocodile plant.

Identify the Scale Infestation

The first step in getting rid of scales on crocodile plant is to identify the problem. Scales are small, oval-shaped insects that range in color from yellow to brown or black. They are usually found on the undersides of leaves or along the stems of the plant. If you notice a sticky residue or black sooty mold on the leaves, it is likely that your crocodile plant is suffering from a scale infestation.

Remove Scales Manually

If you have only a few scales on your crocodile plant, you can remove them manually using a soft-bristled brush or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Gently brush or dab each scale until it comes off the leaf or stem. Be sure to dispose of the removed scales and clean your tools between each use to prevent spreading the infestation.

Use Neem Oil

If you have a more severe scale infestation, you can use neem oil as a natural insecticide. Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and is known for its insecticidal properties. Dilute neem oil with water according to the instructions on the label and spray it directly onto the affected areas of your crocodile plant. Repeat every 7-10 days until all scales have been eliminated.

Apply Systemic Insecticide

If neem oil does not work, you may need to use a systemic insecticide. Systemic insecticides are absorbed by the plant and travel throughout its tissues, killing any insects that feed on it. However, it is important to use systemic insecticides with caution as they can also harm beneficial insects and pollinators. Follow the instructions on the label carefully and avoid using systemic insecticides during flowering periods.

Maintain Good Plant Hygiene

Preventing a scale infestation is easier than getting rid of one. To prevent scales from infesting your crocodile plant, maintain good plant hygiene. Keep your plant in a well-ventilated area and avoid crowding it with other plants. Regularly prune dead or damaged leaves and stems, and clean any fallen debris from the soil surface. Additionally, inspect your plant regularly for signs of pest infestations and take action immediately if you notice anything unusual.


Are scales harmful to humans?

No, scales are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting and do not transmit diseases.

Can I use dish soap to get rid of scales on my crocodile plant?

While dish soap may help remove scales, it is not an effective long-term solution. It can also harm the plant if not used properly.

How can I prevent scales from infesting my crocodile plant in the future?

To prevent scale infestations, maintain good plant hygiene, inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests, and avoid overcrowding your plants. Additionally, avoid overwatering your plants as this can create a humid environment that is conducive to pest infestations.