Orchid Pests & Disease

Useful Links:
Scale Net (yes, there is a website dedicated to scale)
Orchid Pests
Hark Orchideen
Leaftip Dieback
Damaged Leaf Removal
Boisduval Scale
Recognizing Spider Mite Damage
Bush Snail Treatment

Orchid Geeks Pest and Diseases
Orchid Board Pest and Diseases

The links provided here are not endorsed, screened or approved by The Oregon Orchid Society and information used or misused from these sites is not the responsibility of the Oregon Orchid Society


Anyone that has spent considerable time keeping orchids alive has probably encountered problems with pests or disease. The saying goes that if you say you don’t have pests among your orchids it’s a sure sign that you need new glasses. One reason that this is the case is that most every orchid we grow is from the tropics and its natural resistance against pests in its native land may not be as effective against the bugs that live in our temperate regions. This is probably the case to a certain extent, but the MAIN reason that orchids become susceptible to disease or pests is that they are unhappy. That is to say, you will have considerably less hassle with pest or disease if you follow this single preventative rule:


We can all stock up on poisons and medicines to treat our orchids when problems do arise, but the best strategy when it comes to pests and disease is avoidance. While the pests in our temperate region differ from those in tropical regions, it is must be pointed out that there is a much greater difference when it comes to temperature, light (especially in Oregon) and humidity between the tropics and the US. Plants that are getting improper amounts of something they want (or don’t want) will become weak and susceptible to disease. So the very first thing to know when it comes to pests and disease is that prevention is the best medicine. Do a good job with cultivation and your orchids should be able to ward off most if not all diseases and pests.

Don’t Forget Air Movement!One preventative feature that can really help but often gets overlooked when we talk about cultivation is air movement. All orchids will do better in moving air than stagnant air and most orchid-damaging pests don’t like air movement – so a basic lightly blowing fan is a great preventative tool (just make sure you don’t dry out your plant more than it would like).