The Q&A Archives: Hens And Chicks Pest

Question: I have 2 questions regarding pests and hens and chicks that are outdoors:
1. I have some hens and chicks outdoors that seem to have a small flea sized white bug. Do you know what type of pest this would be and how to get rid of it?
2. Do you know what animals eat hens and chicks? I've found several uprooted and spread across the yard. My suspicion is either squirrels or magpies, but I have not known them to eat them in years past - only this past summer.

Answer: Sedums such as Hens and Chicks are generally pest-free. If insects are attacking your plants, it may indicate the plants are under stress of some sort. If the insects fly away when disturbed, they might be aphids or whiteflies. If they remain stationary, they might be mealybugs or scales. You can wash aphids and whiteflies away to temporarily discourage them. You can pry mealybugs or scale insects from the plants with a fingernail.

Make sure your plants are in well-draining soil that remains relatively dry, and they're getting full sunshine. Water deeply every 10-14 days to keep your plants healthy and stress free.

Birds might be trying to feed on the insects on your plants and, because they have shallow roots, may be upsetting the plants. Or squirrels or raccoons might be dining on them. You can try covering the plants with bird netting for a few weeks to discourage the critters trying to eat them.

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