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How to Get Rid of Slaters on Rex Begonia Plant

Updated: July 2, 2023


Rex Begonias are known for their stunning foliage and vibrant colors, making them a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardens. However, these beautiful plants can sometimes attract unwanted pests, such as slaters. Slaters, also known as woodlice or pill bugs, are small crustaceans that feed on decaying matter and can cause damage to your Begonia plant if not properly managed. In this article, we will discuss effective methods to get rid of slaters and protect your Rex Begonia’s health.

Identify the Problem

Before attempting any pest control measures, it is essential to correctly identify the presence of slaters on your Rex Begonia plant. Slaters are small, oval-shaped creatures with segmented bodies and seven pairs of legs. They have a greyish or brownish color and are often found hiding in dark and damp areas around the plant’s base or under its leaves. Take note of any signs of feeding damage, such as irregular holes in the leaves or stems.

Prevention Tips

Preventing slaters from infesting your Rex Begonia plant is the first line of defense. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

1. Proper Plant Placement

Slaters prefer damp and dark environments, so avoid placing your Rex Begonia plant in areas with excessive moisture or shade. Instead, choose a location with well-draining soil and sufficient sunlight exposure.

2. Remove Debris

Regularly clean up fallen leaves, dead plant matter, and other debris around your Rex Begonia. Slaters are attracted to decaying organic material, so by keeping the area clean, you can reduce their food source.

3. Maintain Adequate Air Circulation

Proper air circulation helps keep the soil dry and discourages slater infestations. Make sure there is enough space between your Rex Begonia and other plants to allow for good airflow.

4. Watering Techniques

Overwatering can create the perfect habitat for slaters. Water your Rex Begonia plant at the base, avoiding the leaves, and allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again. This will help prevent excessive moisture and reduce the chance of attracting slaters.

Natural Remedies

If you have already spotted slaters on your Rex Begonia plant, there are several natural remedies you can try to get rid of them:

1. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder made from fossilized algae. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of your Rex Begonia plant. The microscopic particles in the powder will stick to the slaters’ bodies, causing dehydration and eventually leading to their demise.

2. Coffee Grounds

Slaters dislike the strong smell of coffee grounds. Spread used coffee grounds around the base of your Rex Begonia to deter them from approaching. Additionally, coffee grounds can provide some nutrients to the soil, benefiting your plant.

3. Beer Traps

Create beer traps by filling shallow containers with beer and placing them near your Rex Begonia plant. Slaters are attracted to the yeasty scent of beer and will crawl into the container. Once they fall in, they will drown in the liquid. Check and empty the traps regularly.

4. Garlic Spray

Garlic has natural insect-repelling properties. Blend a few garlic cloves with water and strain the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray this garlic solution around the affected areas of your Rex Begonia plant, focusing on the soil and lower leaves. Reapply every few days until the infestation subsides.

Chemical Control

If natural remedies fail to eliminate the slater infestation, you may consider using chemical controls. However, it is essential to choose products that are safe for indoor plants and follow the instructions carefully. Consult with a professional or your local garden center for suitable insecticides or pesticides specifically designed for slaters.


Slaters can be a nuisance for your Rex Begonia plant, but with the right preventative measures and natural remedies, you can effectively manage and eliminate the infestation. Remember to regularly inspect your plant for signs of slater activity and take immediate action to prevent further damage. By providing your Rex Begonia with optimal growing conditions and maintaining good plant hygiene, you can ensure its health and beauty for years to come.