Updated: October 14, 2022

Ficus rubber plants are a popular houseplant known for their easy maintenance and stunning foliage. However, many plant owners have encountered an unwanted guest on their ficus rubber plants – slaters. These small, grey insects can cause significant damage to the plant if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of slaters on your ficus rubber plant.

Identify the Problem

Before you can take steps to get rid of slaters, you must first identify the problem. Slaters are small, grey insects that measure approximately 1cm in length. They are known for their oval-shaped bodies and numerous legs. Slaters typically feed on decaying plant matter but can also cause damage to live plants like ficus rubber plants.

Remove Infested Leaves

One way to get rid of slaters on your ficus rubber plant is to remove any infested leaves. Look for leaves with bite marks or other signs of damage and gently remove them from the plant. This will help prevent further infestations and reduce the number of slaters present.

Reduce Moisture Levels

Slaters thrive in moist environments, so reducing moisture levels around your ficus rubber plant can help deter them. Avoid overwatering your plant and ensure that any excess water drains away from the roots promptly. You can also place a layer of gravel or sand around the base of the plant to absorb excess moisture.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized algae that can help control slaters on your ficus rubber plant. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of the plant and on the soil surface. The powder will dehydrate and kill any slaters that come into contact with it.

Use Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to control slaters on your ficus rubber plant. Mix a small amount of insecticidal soap with water according to the package instructions and apply it to the plant. The soap will suffocate the slaters and prevent them from feeding on the plant.


Are slaters harmful to ficus rubber plants?

Yes, slaters can cause significant damage to ficus rubber plants if left unchecked. They feed on the leaves, causing them to wilt and turn yellow or brown.

Can I prevent slaters from infesting my ficus rubber plant?

Yes, you can take steps to prevent slaters from infesting your ficus rubber plant. Avoid overwatering, remove any decaying plant matter, and keep your plant in a well-ventilated area.

Is diatomaceous earth safe for my ficus rubber plant?

Yes, diatomaceous earth is safe for ficus rubber plants when used correctly. However, it can be harmful to beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, so use it sparingly.

Can I use household insecticides to control slaters on my ficus rubber plant?

No, household insecticides are not recommended for use on houseplants as they can be harmful to both the plant and humans. Stick to natural remedies like insecticidal soap or diatomaceous earth instead.

In conclusion, slaters can be a nuisance for ficus rubber plant owners. However, with the proper identification and treatment methods, you can effectively control their population and protect your plant from further damage. Remember to always use natural remedies when possible and avoid overwatering your plant to prevent future infestations.