How to Get Rid of Bugs on Clematis – ISPUZZLE

When it comes to knowing how to get rid of insects on Clematis, you must first know the signs of insects or pests.

You can then try to identify what type of insects are attacking your clematis and stop them.

As always, it’s also important to know how to prevent them in the first place or in the future.

Luckily, we’re going to cover it all so you have everything you need to know.


Signs of pests on a clematis

There are many types of insects that can be attracted to a clematis and not all are easily visible, so you will often notice the symptoms before the insects.

Some signs that you have a pest infestation may include the following.

  • hanging leaves
  • rolled up leaves
  • understory growth
  • The leaves are turning yellow
  • The leaves turn white or pale.
  • brown leaves or tips
  • leaves or black spots
  • Holes in the leaves
  • bumps on the surface
  • Cottony ovals (cochineal)
  • Cobweb-like material (red spider)
  • visible errors

Note that although these are insect symptoms on a clematis, some of these symptoms could definitely be caused by something else.

If you are unsure of the cause of any of these individual symptoms, you can check the linked symptom articles to find out.

Types of pests that can affect clematis

Below are some types of pests that you may encounter or are currently encountering on your clematis growing journey.

Although it doesn’t matter what type of pests you’re dealing with, since you want to get rid of them anyway, it helps to know what you’re dealing with.


Aphids are fairly small creatures ranging from (1/16 to 1/8 inch) and can appear in a variety of colors such as black, yellow, brown, pale green, or gray.

These pests are quite annoying to deal with as they feed on leaf sap causing nutrient and water loss, leaving your clematis dry and unhealthy.

While these errors are minimal, if you look closely enough or know what to look for, they are visible to the naked eye.

Aphids often rest on the leaves and stems of clematis, but they can also burrow into the ground and unfortunately affect the roots.

scale errors

Mealybugs or scale insects are another type of pest you may encounter when growing a clematis.

Scales are slightly larger than aphids and can range from 1/8 to 1/2 inch, making them much more visible than most pests.

These are often found on the stems of plants and are often mistaken for simple bumps on the leaves or stems.

They can vary in color, but most will be in the white or brown range.

Unfortunately, these critters also feed on the sap of your clematis and cause nutrient loss, even through darkness, which leaves behind a honey-like substance.

To top it off, they also have two main shapes, soft scales and armored scales.

The latter is, unsurprisingly, more difficult to remove.


Thrips are also quite small pests, usually around 1/10th of an inch in size, and some even have wings.

They can often be recognized as small dark flecks on your plant and may even look a bit like small insect-like locusts.

Fortunately, thrips do not survive very long in the ground, so it is very rare to see them there.

That being said, they can certainly attack your plant’s leaves in the same way as others, feeding off cells and stealing nutrients.

They can also cause holes in leaves and even drop leaves after the damage has been done.

white fly

The whitefly is another common pest that can be attracted to a clematis and it is also quite small (1/16 to 1/10 inch).

They are white in color and have wings, hence the name whiteflies.

Like other pests, these also feed on the sap of your clematis, stealing essential nutrients in return.

They are often found on plant leaves and can be seen by the human eye.

Fun fact: Whiteflies are attracted to the color yellow, so sticky traps are a good way to get them to leave your clematis alone.

How to get rid of pests

There are several ways to get rid of insects on a clematis, so let’s review the most popular and effective ways.

water and a little pressure

If you have a light pest infestation or don’t currently have pest control equipment, a good way to get rid of at least some of the pests is to simply use water with some pressure.

You can simply use a garden hose and spray the leaves and stems of your clematis with a little pressure to forcefully remove the insects from the plant.

Pro Tip: Start with very low pressure and work your way up until you see the creatures fly away, then keep the pressure constant so you don’t break the leaves or other parts of the plant.

Keep in mind that some types of pests, such as armored scales, are harder to kill and you will need to spray often as there is no repellent in the water.

cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol

Another proven method of pest control is to use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

You can simply clean the leaves or other affected parts of your clematis to remove the insects one by one.

Please note that it can be time consuming and quite tedious if you choose this method.

Sure, it’s good at getting rid of errors, but it doesn’t really work at protecting them.

insecticidal soap

One of the most effective ways to get rid of insects on Clematis is to use insecticidal soap which can be purchased online or in stores or made at home.

This works very well because direct contact with the pests will deprive them of oxygen, so it’s quite effective.

If you want to do it yourself, you can combine the following items.

  • 2 tablespoons pure liquid soap
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 liter of water

You can then add it to the soil or put it in a spray bottle and spray your clematis where you suspect the insects are.

It’s really nice that you can make your own pest control if you have the materials.

take oil

One of my favorite ways to get rid of insects is to use a fairly popular pest control product known as neem oil.

This product works as an insecticidal soap, but it also acts as a repellent to keep insects away after using it.

Moreover, it also acts as a fungicide, which is very useful.

With neem oil, all you have to do is shade your plant before spraying, as you can burn the leaves if left in the sun before they dry out.

When your clematis is shaded and ready to go, mist the entire plant and, if necessary, the soil as well.

You may need to spray more than once, but after just a few applications the pests will be gone and will help keep them away for a while.

I recommend this neem oil by the way if you want to use it.

How to prevent insects on a clematis

One of the best ways to control insects and pests is to not trap them in the first place.

Although the appearance of pests can be completely random, they are more common if your plant is not healthy or the growing conditions are not the best.

Here are some ways to prevent or reduce the risk of contracting pests or insects.

  • Isolate all affected plants from others to reduce the possibility of spread
  • Provide good air circulation
  • Provide good humidity
  • Keep the growing environment clean.
  • Use pest control products regularly
  • Also monitor your plant and the soil regularly.
  • Do not overwater the roots or let them rot.

final thoughts

With everything mentioned above, you can determine if you really have pests and get rid of bugs on your clematis for good.

Once that’s done, you can move on to what really matters: growing a happy, healthy clematis!

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