Ticks on my majesty palm – House Plant Journal

Ticks on my majesty palm

Plant: Majesty Palm

How long have you had the plant? 1 to 6 months

Plant Parent:

I discovered these pests on the plant today and I cannot figure out what they are. They look A LOT like ticks, but I don’t understand how it’s possible to have ticks living on my plant. To my understanding, ticks need to feed on blood, and I certainly do not have any tick bites; and I do not have any pets. If they are ticks, I can’t find any resources online about ticks infesting a houseplant.

If they aren’t ticks, what are they?

In terms of treatment, I started by removing the most heavily infested part of the plant, and sprayed the rest with diluted rubbing alcohol.

I’m mostly concerned with what exactly the pests are, so that I can understand if they will travel to other plants or other parts of my home. Thanks!

Darryl:

The pests you’re dealing with are aphids – a common houseplant pest.  Ticks are arachnids (8-legged) whereas aphids are 6-legged:

Cutting off heavily infested sections of the plant is good but spraying diluted alcohol won’t really do much.

Since the leaves of the majesty palm are quite tough, I would use a LINT ROLLER or MASKING TAPE to physically remove as many aphids as possible followed by treatment with INSECTICIDAL SOAP (not dish soap).

Expect to continually treat the plant on a weekly basis for a few months (you can do the lint roller/masking tape any time).  If the plant is easily replaced, you may even want to just discard it and get another one.

Aphids can definitely spread to other plants so I would keep this plant away from others (I’d say at least 6 feet away).

Good luck!

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