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What Are The Little Bugs on My Coontie Plant

Updated: July 8, 2022

Coontie plants, also known as Zamia integrifolia, are beautiful ornamental plants that are native to Florida. These plants are commonly grown for their attractive foliage and their ability to tolerate drought and extreme heat. However, coontie plants are also susceptible to various types of pests and diseases. If you notice little bugs on your coontie plant, it’s important to identify them to determine whether they are harmful to your plant or not.

Identifying the Little Bugs on Your Coontie Plant

The little bugs that you may notice on your coontie plant can be classified into two categories: beneficial insects and harmful insects. Beneficial insects are those that help control other pests that may harm your plant, while harmful insects are those that feed on your plant and cause damage.

Beneficial Insects

Some of the most common beneficial insects that you may notice on your coontie plant include ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps. Ladybugs and lacewings are natural predators of aphids, mealybugs, and other soft-bodied insects that may infest your coontie plant. Parasitic wasps, on the other hand, lay their eggs inside other insects, which eventually kill them.

These beneficial insects are a natural way to control pest infestations on your coontie plant without the use of harmful chemicals.

Harmful Insects

The most common harmful insects that you may notice on your coontie plant include scale insects, mealybugs, spider mites, and thrips. These insects feed on the sap of your plant, which can cause yellowing of leaves and stunted growth.

Scale insects appear as small bumps on the stems and leaves of your coontie plant. Mealybugs look like small cottony masses on the undersides of leaves or in leaf axils. Spider mites are tiny and difficult to see with the naked eye, but they can cause webbing on leaves and yellowing. Thrips are small, slender insects that cause browning and distortion of leaves.

How to Control Little Bugs on Your Coontie Plant

The best way to control little bugs on your coontie plant is to identify them correctly and take appropriate action. Beneficial insects should be encouraged, while harmful insects should be controlled before they cause significant damage.

Beneficial Insects

If you notice ladybugs, lacewings, or parasitic wasps on your coontie plant, it’s best to leave them alone. These insects will help control other pests that may harm your plant.

Harmful Insects

There are several ways to control harmful insects on your coontie plant:

  • Pruning: If you notice scale insects or mealybugs on your coontie plant, you can prune off the affected parts of the plant. This will help reduce the population of insects and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the plant.
  • Insecticidal Soap: You can use insecticidal soap to control soft-bodied insects like mealybugs and spider mites. Insecticidal soap is a natural product that is safe for your coontie plant and the environment.
  • Systemic Insecticide: If you have a severe pest infestation on your coontie plant, you may need to use a systemic insecticide. Systemic insecticides are absorbed by the plant and provide long-term protection against pests.


Are little bugs harmful to my coontie plant?

It depends on the type of bug. Some bugs, like ladybugs and lacewings, are beneficial and help control other pests that may harm your plant. Other bugs, like scale insects and mealybugs, can cause damage to your plant if left untreated.

How can I tell if my coontie plant has a pest infestation?

Look for yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, and the presence of insects on your plant. You may also notice webbing on leaves or cottony masses on the undersides of leaves.

Can I use chemical pesticides on my coontie plant?

It’s best to avoid using chemical pesticides on your coontie plant. These pesticides can harm beneficial insects and may also harm your plant. Instead, try natural methods like pruning and insecticidal soap to control pests.