Majestic palm pest - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Gabriela Merkel
Oregon (Zone 7b)
Question by Gabymerkel
September 11, 2017
Anyone have any tips on how to get rid of these pests? Or a more natural approach? I've tried showering it in my bathtub and spraying a mixture of water with a little bit of dish soap, garlic and hot peppers. Picture quality isn't as great on this site but they look like gnats and black aphid looking bugs.
Thumb of 2017-09-11/Gabymerkel/be33d0
Thumb of 2017-09-11/Gabymerkel/093ebb

Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
Answer from ScotTi
September 11, 2017


If the palm is inside take it outside and with your garden hose blast (just hard enough to remove the pest) them off with water. Then spray with your soap and water mixture.

Name: Scott
Tampa FL (Westchase)
A comment from ScotTi
September 11, 2017
Looks like scale insects.

Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
A comment from ctcarol
September 11, 2017
The soapy water needs to be repeated at 5 day intervals to get new generations until the plant is free of them.

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Answer from WillC
September 15, 2017


If you are using this plant indoors, it is a lost cause. Majesty Palms have a terrible record as indoor plants. They need a lot of direct sun, lots of water, frequent fertilizing, generous air circulation and moderate humidity. They are very susceptible to spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. They are rarely presentable after being indoors for more than a year.

Your local climate is probably too cold to maintain it outside in winter, but it does better outside than in.

Soapy water alone will not be effective with scale or mealybugs. You will have to mix alcohol in with it. If you have flying gnats, that is an entirely different problem.

Frankly, I wish retailers would stop selling this plant for indoor use!

Name: Andrea Reagan
Astatula, Florida (Zone 9a)
I collect seeds
Answer from Kevalsha
December 18, 2017


Try airing your palm by taking it outdoors as much as possible. Use a horticultural oil (outdoors) and repeat the treatment in about two months. After that keep an eye on the plant for reinsfestation.

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