Plant Graded

Do Snake Plants Attract Gnats?

Snake plants are gorgeous plants that look right at home in all sizes and types of gardens. These plants are known to grow in different conditions. Unfortunately, snake plants are also found to be susceptible to insect damage.

do snake plants attract gnats

Insects play a critical role in the environment, with most of them helping to maintain balance in nature. But insects and plants don’t always go well together. How about snake plants, then? Do snake plants attract gnats, for example?

Are Gnats Attracted to Snake Plants?

Yes, gnats are attracted to snake plants, just like other common pests such as scales, whiteflies, aphids, and spider mites.

Snake plants are sturdy plants that thrive and grow in almost all types of conditions. But dealing with pests on your snake plants can be a serious nuisance. Flying bugs such as fungus gnats can show up around or in your snake plants for many different reasons.

However, most of these reasons have something to do with how well you maintain your plant and the soil you use. Poor air circulation, high humidity, and overwatering are some of the main culprits behind pest infestation in snake plants.

The good news is that with proper treatment, you can get rid of these nuisance pests and make your plant thriving and healthy all over again. You can keep gnats at bay by using organic neem-based pest repellent, keeping an eye out for pests, and avoiding overwatering.

Continue reading below to know the common causes of the gnat infestation in snake plants and what you can do about them accordingly.

Overwatering Your Snake Plants Attracts Gnats

Overwatering is usually the main reason why snake plants suffer from fungus gnat infestations. Fungus gnats as well as other similar flying insects love dampness and moisture.

Snake plants can still thrive even without excessive moisture. Your plant is overwatered if there are small puddles of water, and the soil stays very soggy.

The easiest way to eliminate fungus gnats on your snake plants is to lessen the amount of your watering. The only time when you should water your snake plant is when the soil’s top layer already looks dry.

In case you are using automated plant watering systems or self-watering pots, you might need to reconfigure the watering frequency that the device has been set to. While these devices can make things more convenient for you, they can also trigger fungus gnat issues because these are meant to keep the plant’s soil damp all the time.

Gnats Flourish in Snake Plants with Poor Quality Soil

Don’t be surprised if your snake plants attract fungus gnats, especially if you are using poor-quality soil. There is also the possibility that you brought in a snake plant that has been potted in soil that has already been infested with gnats.

The current soil might also have poor drainage and it further adds to the concerns brought about by overwatering mentioned earlier. If you think that the problem lies in the soil itself, you have to repot your snake plant to a pest-free and high-quality potting mix.

Use Yellow Sticky Traps to Remove Gnats on Snake Plants

Putting some yellow sticky traps around your snake plants can help eliminate adult fungus gnats. However, these won’t necessarily solve the main reason for the bug infestation. To remove the flies surrounding the snake plants, it is also important to eliminate the eggs and larvae present in the infested soil.

However, repotting is not an easy and simple step because household plants such as snake plants tend to be very sensitive to environmental changes and might even experience transplant shock.

An alternative method to repotting is to use mosquito bits. Allow them to soak in the water you use on your snake plants. It is recommended to let the mosquito dunks or bits soak for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure the effectiveness of this method.

Common Insects in Snake Plants

Fungus gnats, aphids, scales, spider mites, and whiteflies are some of the most common insects attracted to snake plants.

Fungus Gnats

Adult fungus gnats are delicate small-bodied flies with long legs. These bugs are harmless bugs because they don’t feed or bite. However, they can still create a nuisance when in groups. They also tend to grow in damp soil.

Larvae fungus gnats feed on plant roots, fungi, and algae. They have whitish to transparent bodies with shiny black heads.

The most common signs of fungus gnats include:

  • Damaged cuttings, seedlings, and young plants
  • Decayed plant matter
  • Loss of vigor
  • More noticeable in fall and winter months
  • Poor growth
  • Sudden wilting
  • Yellow leaves


Aphids vary in color. These very small and soft-bodied bugs come in different sizes and shapes. These bugs secrete honeydew that leads to black sooty mold.

The most common signs of aphids in snake plants include:

  • Curled foliage
  • Decline in overall vigor of the plant
  • Energy deprivation in the plant
  • Inhibits photosynthesis
  • Poor growth
  • Yellow leaves
  • Wilting


There are two types of scales: armored scales and brown soft scales. Armored scales have covering made of molted skins and they feed under this protective layering. They also don’t produce honeydew.

On the other hand, brown soft scales are flat scales that are broader at the tip and oval in shape. These scales vary in color and secrete honeydew. Adult scales are 2mm wide and 3 to 4mm long. Scales feed by inserting their needle-like mouthparts into the plant tissue and sucking out the plant’s sap.

The following are the signs of scales in snake plants:

  • Black fungus
  • Discoloration
  • Blocks light that inhibits photosynthesis
  • Leaf yellowing
  • Leaf drop
  • Slow growth
  • Reduced vigor
  • Wilting
  • Yellow spots

Spider Mites

Spider mites are relatives of spiders. These bugs are hard to see with the naked eye. They target the stomata of the leaves and can be pale or reddish-brown in color.

Spider mites create stippling or patterns of silvery dots on the leaves of snake plants. You can find them on the underside of the leaves where they pierce the plant tissue and suck the fluids.

The most common signs of spider mites on snake plants are the following:

  • Brown spots
  • Curling
  • Discoloration
  • Holes in the leaves
  • Leaf drop
  • Plant death
  • Small spots on leaves


Whiteflies can be very annoying and even lead to issues for the overall health of your snake plants. They secrete honeydew that can attract other pests and increase the risk of fungal diseases. Watch out for these signs that will let you know the presence of whiteflies:

  • Leaf yellowing
  • Reduced vigor
  • Stunted growth
  • Transmit plant virus
  • Weak plant