Delivery Update:
We are delivering 7 days a week.
Choose your delivery date at the checkout.

At Bonsai Direct we use Biological Control to control some pests in our growing areas.

Some insects are friendlies and should be encouraged. In fact, Biological Control – or biocontrol – has been effectively used against invasive species for over 100 years, and is the use of living organisms such as insects or pathogens to control pest populations. Furthermore, this reduces the need for chemical pesticides, just one way in which we are doing our bit for the environment. We would like to introduce them to you so you know they are beneficial if you see them:

I am a friendly bio control to prevent aphid

Although we use bio-control on our nursery, Bonsai Trees can still get pests which may require treatment.

Like all plants, bonsai get bugs. However, most of these are harmless. Bugs most often come from infected plants nearby, and come in through windows, doors and vents. However, having bugs on a bonsai is not necessarily a bad thing; some bugs can even be beneficial! We actually use ‘friendly’ bugs in our greenhouse, as they help deter other, more harmful bugs. Furthermore, these ‘friendlies’ allow us to avoid using insecticides which contain nasty chemicals, as these can often be harmful to the environment.

How harmful are bugs?

Over the last 30 years, we have grown and sold hundreds of thousands of bonsai. This means that we have had all sorts of bugs on our bonsai. But in all this time, we have not lost a single bonsai to a bug problem. Therefore, bugs are really not much to worry about! Furthermore, a lot of bugs are completely harmless and can often be beneficial. However, even the not-so-friendly bugs are still a part of nature, and it is completely normal for bonsai to get bugs.

Use the table below to help you treat your bonsai

Bonsai BugsWhat you can seeHow to treat it (if needed)What it looks like
Aphid (greenfly and blackfly)– These little guys are small green/black insects normally found on leaves
– They can often turn leaves and pots sticky and leave their white skins on leaves
– Don’t worry though! A few greenfly isn’t the end of the world, and a tested insecticide spray will do the job.
Ladybirds will also do the job!
Whitefly– These dainty little white flies are easy to spot– Don’t panic! A tested insecticide spray will sort the problem.
Caterpillar– These little critters like you to know they have visited, by leaving white webs behind.
Curly leaves may be a sign of caterpillar
– Caterpillars will turn into beautiful butterflies or elegant moths in a few weeks, when they will fly away to find a new home!
– However, if you are worried about your resident caterpillar getting a little too hungry, pick caterpillars off or cut off leaves
– If you really don’t like caterpillars, a couple of squirts with a tested insecticide once a week for a month should do the trick!
Mealy bug– They creepy-crawlies look like tiny, fluffy white ‘woodlice’– An insecticide soil drench should ensure that these little guys do no more damage!
Scale Insect– Tiny small white/brown insects on the trunk and underside of leaves– There are a lot of natural predators of scale insect, including every gardener’s favourite insect: ladybirds!
– However, if you can’t find any little ladybirds around, you will need an insecticide soil drench.
Scarid Fly and Larvae– These little fellas are completely harmless to bonsai
– They are little black flies around the base of the tree or white worms in the soil
– Being completely harmless to bonsai, there is no need to try and treat these tiny bugs, and they will disappear naturally over a few weeks.
– However, if you don’t want these bug in your house, please stand your bonsai in a container of water for 1 hour so that the water just covers the top of the pot. Then allow to drain.
– If soaking doesn’t work, you will need an insecticide soil drench
Scarid Fly
Springtail Larvae– These small white insects live in the soil and are completely harmless to bonsai– These tiny fellows are completely harmless, and will naturally disappear.
– Don’t want them in your house? Please stand your bonsai in a container of water for 1 hour so that the water just covers the top of the pot. Then allow to drain.
– If soaking doesn’t work, you will need an insecticide soil drench
Red Spider Mite– These little bugs are too small to see!
– They main symptoms are web-like structures and pale mottling on the upper leaf
– For these guys you will need an insecticide soil drench
Vine Weevil– These creepy-crawlies can be identified by large black beetles on plants or small white larvae in the soil– As the beetles are fairly large, they are easy to pick off and re-home outside! Please stand your bonsai in a container of water for 1 hour so that the water just covers the top of the pot. Then allow to drain.
– Moreover, an insecticide soil drench will also do the trick, but please consider the environment!
Black Spot– As implied by its name, this disease presents itself in the form of large black/brown spots on leaves!
– PLEASE NOTE: these spots are very distinctive, and a few brown spots on leaves is unlikely to be black spot.
Infected leaves can be removed
– If the dreaded black spot is persistent, a fungicide will do the job!
Rust Fungus– Less common on bonsai, you will find orange, yellow, brown, black or white spore structures on leavesInfected leaves can be removed
– If this doesn’t work, a fungicide will!

We would like to thank Bioline AgroSciences for the use of some of their images relating to their products.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FREE DELIVERY to most areas.

Weekend delivery also available.