If you have a mealybug infestation on outdoor plants, you can turn the garden hose on the plants. Sometimes it may be virtually … Young mealybugs. This article is a complete guide to getting rid of mealybugs on plants. – which is why they’re often referred to as “plant-sucking pests”.. As they eat the sap, they release honeydew onto your succulent’s leaves that can promote rot. There is a form of mealybug which forms on cacti as well. Phenacoccus solenopsis, ‘Solenopsis mealybug’. Individual mealybugs are tiny oval-shaped and hard to spot. There is also scientific evidence for the effectiveness of using neem oil solutions to eradicate mealybugs. However, these voracious plant-suckers can literally suck the life out of your plants if you’re not careful. There can be multiple generations of mealy bugs in a given year. Source: Sam Fraser-Smith, Various stages of the mealybug life cycle, with filaments of wax. You can also use alcohol to disinfect the inside of the pot before adding a new potting mix. So, to confirm the presence of mealybugs, identify the minuscule bugs by their oval white bodies with tiny spines. Mealybugs like lush foliage, so avoid over-fertilizing with excess nitrogen. The pink hibiscus mealybug doesn’t limit itself to just hibiscus plants. Honeydew is sticky and can support the growth of sooty mold fungi, which are not harmful to the plant, but if present in high enough concentrations, can impair photosynthesis in the leaves. If you don’t get rid of mealybugs fast, the plant damage can be so extensive that they cause the houseplant to die. These scale insects can also look like white fuzzy bugs on plant leaves and stems. As they grow, they bite into plant tissue to feed on sap. Pineapple mealybugs are the root cause of many pineapple crop failures, as they cause pineapple wilt (also referred to as mealybug wilt or edge wilt) and mealybug stripe. The adult female mealybugs will mate with the males, lay eggs, and continue to eat up the plant. Grape mealybugs tend to favor grapevines. Be persistent with mealybug treatment. Options for getting rid of the insects vary with the severity of the infestation. Maconellicoccus hirsutus, ‘Pink hibiscus mealybug’. Source: entophile, Coconut mealybug. You can also make a mealybug killer spray by diluting 1 cup of alcohol with 1 quart (1 l) of water in a spray bottle and apply to the affected plant. The short-lived adult male mealybug resembles a two-winged fly and are rarely seen. The force of water should be enough to dislodge the majority of the tiny white plant bugs. With one of these options, you should be able to eradicate the mealybugs on your prized plants and keep them from coming back. Apart from being toxic to humans and pets, the pesky bugs can build resistance to chemicals. Light to moderate mealybugs infestation can be easily and successfully treated. Discard contaminated soil in the trash can, rather than putting it into compost. It’s best not to use soil from your garden. Females tend to remain stationary on their host plant (although they can still move, unlike other scale insects). These are unusual in that the wax they produce is a bright yellow color. Let me know in the comments! All mealybugs consume the saps or juices of the plant on which they attach themselves. This waxy appearance can become powdery, which gives the bugs a furry appearance. When using neem oil as a homemade pesticide spray, it’s vital to remember that it takes time to work. They love to thrive on leaf joints and leaf crevices, which makes them hard to spot and kill right away! To get rid of mealybugs on plants dip a cotton swab in 70% rubbing alcohol and apply directly to the tiny fuzzy pests. We all want to protect the environment, our families and our food, but most non-manmade chemicals available have limited effectiveness. Soap sprays and oil sprays can also help control mealybugs without the disruption that can be caused by toxic chemical sprays. The easiest way to identify mealybugs is by their fuzzy white appearance. Mealybugs, a cousin to other garden pests like scale and whiteflies, can damage many flowering and ornamental plants by direct feeding and by introducing diseases into the garden. They will die out in a couple of days from starvation. Others merely secrete extra protective wax and live openly on cactus pads or leaves where they are more exposed. Pseudococcus longispinus, ‘Longtailed Mealybug’, ‘Long-Tailed Mealybug’. The white cottony mealybug eggs stick to leaves, bark, or twigs. Pseudococcus comstocki, ‘Comstock mealybug’. Make a neem oil spray to get rid of mealybugs on houseplants by mixing two teaspoons of organic neem oil and one teaspoon Castile soap with 1 quart (1 l) of lukewarm water. However, there are variations of mealybugs that prefer ornamentals or other trees. They also leave behind sticky honeydew that can attract other plant pests. A lack of humidity is one of the main reasons why this parasite appears, which absorbs nutrients from plants. Adults are larger with more pronounced pyramid spikes and appear to be more yellow due to their thicker wax coating. Look for tiny white creatures that look like grains of rice. A common greenhouse pest or nursery pest. It really depends on the particular species and plant as to where they’re most likely to be found, but it’s quite likely that a buildup of waxy secretion will be visible, especially if eggs are present. Only a tenth to a quarter of an inch long, tiny mealybugs don’t look particularly dangerous. Pseudococcus viberni, ‘Pseudococcus affinis’, ‘Obscure mealybug’, ‘Tuber mealybug’. Lacewings also eat the eggs, but will help control both crawlers and the adult scale. The presence of black sooty mold fungi inhibits the ability of plants t… Typically does not impact grasses. Gardening And Landscaping Mealybugs are sap-sucking scale insects that can do a lot of damage to your houseplants or outdoor plants. Most of the mealybugs that I focused on above are those which are common on fruit or nut trees or on food crops. They will die out. Once you’ve read the information below, you should know everything you need to get rid of these little pests and keep them out! They can be quite active and quickly infest nearby plants, so the first action is to isolate the affected plant and keep a keen eye on others that were near it. Also, they like to lurk under leaves, between fruit, in stem joins, or on stems near the soil. Source: entophile, Growing Cucumbers: The Ultimate Guide To Cucumis Sativus, African Violets: Sensational Saintpaulias You Can Grow At Home, Mealybugs, longtailed mealybug, long-tailed mealybug, citrus mealybug, Gill mealybug, Gill’s mealybug, Comstock mealybug, grape mealybug, solenopsis mealybug, obscure mealybug, tuber mealybug, pink hibiscus mealybug, coconut mealybug, pineapple mealybug, and a number of other names, Pseudococcus longispinus, Ferrisia gilli, Pseudococcus comstocki, Planococcus citri, Pseudococcus maritimus, Phenacoccus solenopsis, Pseudococcus viberni, Pseudococcus affinis, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, Nipaecoccus nipae, Dysmicoccus brevipes, Pseudococcus brevipes, Dactylopius brevipes and many more. The Best Plants for Hedges: 23 Types of Hedges (With Pictures), Drought Tolerant Plants That Don’t Need Water (Or Very Little Water), Types of Ferns: Varieties of Indoors and Outdoors Fern Plants (Including Name and Picture), Types of Yucca Plants (With Pictures) - Identification Guide, Mealybugs on Plants: Effective Ways to Kill These White Bugs, Common Houseplant Pests: Types, Identification, and Control. Using organic soaps to get rid of bugs doesn’t pose any health threat to kids and pets. (1), Related: Common Houseplant Pests: Types, Identification, and Control, Make sure to inspect and isolate new plants before bringing them indoors to prevent mealybugs infestation of other plants. NEEM OIL. Look for tiny white bugs that crawl around dark places on your plant. Check out my post on ant control tips for good ways to get rid of them! A very wide majority of food and ornamental plants and trees. What is neem oil? They usually grow naturally in warm and humid climate. Ants spread the mealybugs infestation as well. Small nymphs, called crawlers, are light yellow and free of wax. As a general rule, you should always check new houseplants for signs of pests. These pinkish mealy bugs are usually covered in white wax, and may also have a covering of long, crystalline filaments. Blast mealybugs and other scale insects off your plants with a hard spray of water. The cycle continues as the next series of adult mealybug females lays their eggs (or live young, for longtailed mealy bugs), and then die off. Products such as Botanigard ES have a low-risk biological fungus in it. Before planting the houseplant in fresh sterile soil also sterilize the container. For longtailed mealy bugs, the life cycle is only the crawler stage and adult, as female longtailed mealy bugs give birth to live young. This article contains incorrect information, This article is missing information that I need. The tiny bugs crawl around the plant, leaving a waxy substance on them. Have you battled with mealybugs before? Using Neem Oil for Potted or Shaded Plants Mix together water, liquid dish soap, and neem oil in a … Mealybugs can go unnoticed in the early stages of infestation. Finding safe, non-toxic pesticides for the garden that actually work can be a challenge. They do not typically chew up leaves, but a large infestation can cause visible signs of yellowing. To repot an infested plant, carefully remove the root ball and shake the soil into a garbage bag. You can also prevent mealybugs by creating a healthy environment for plants to grow well. They are active early on, but move little once a suitable feeding site is found.Note: There are approximately 275 species of mealybugs known to occur throughout the United States. Nymphs tend to have less wax buildup and thus look more goldenrod or orange. Thoroughly wash the container with warm soapy water. A mealybug infestation will cause leaves to lose color and wilt. Using a good insecticidal soap can eliminate mealybugs and clear away egg debris. With some patience, you can soon get these pesky fuzzy bugs under control. It’s easy to mistake them for white plant fungus. So what can you do to get rid of them? This crawler phase will last for 6-9 weeks, during which time they mature. The name originates from the pair of long tail filaments which extend from its rear, and often are longer than its body. Isopropyl Alcohol 70% The first method is very simple: get a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a cotton … These have many different hosts including various tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. Indoor ornamentals may be at risk from the citrus mealybug. Mealybugs on plants look like small white bugs or they may appear as white fuzzy stuff on plant leaves and stems. Simply dip the tip of the swab into the alcohol and dot the pests. Mealybugs are common indoor pests. Stunted growth, yellowing leaves, leaf drop, are all ways that these tiny fuzzy white bugs damage plants. Thoroughly inspect all parts of the plant—around leaf joints, under leaves, and in the top layer of soil around the stem. By definition, mealybugs are soft-skinned and sap-sucking scale insects that can multiply and form colonies if not caught in time.. While not all mealybugs are cared for in this fashion, many species can be. A mycoinsecticide can handle the larger-scale infestations, too. Closely related to the grape mealybug, the obscure mealybug does not originate in California. Because mealybugs feed on sugary plant juices (photosynthates), their waste contains a high sugar content and is referred to as honeydew. Isopropyl alcohol kills many houseplant pests, including mealybugs on contact. Take infested plants to the bathroom and rinse off mealybugs under the shower. However, the average adult female can lay 300-600 eggs, making population growth startlingly fast. And, yard soil can contain several types of parasites that are detrimental to houseplants. While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? On succulents, you may find it easier to use a light mist of pure rubbing alcohol in a sprayer, but be careful with how much you use. But, looking up close, you’ll identify tiny white insects with a soft, oval body. Shake well and spray the bug killer all over the plant. The citrus mealy bugs have short filaments of equal length distributed around their bodies, and can occasionally have a dark stripe running down the back. A little more about me. Some species of mealybugs have long filaments at their rear end, giving them an appearance of having long tails. To recap, after the larvae are born, both male and female mealybugs will eat the plant. While crawlers may be able to go back up the plants, the adults will not. 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