Getting rid of mealybugs on houseplants can be tough, but it ’ s not impossible ! Follow these tips and treatment methods to kill them, and learn how to prevent mealybug from ever coming back !
If you see what looks like whiten downy cotton on your houseplant, then it ’ s a certain sign that you have a mealybug infestation. Booo !
Mealybugs are apt little devils, they like to hide and then come in for the slip attack. It seems like overnight there ’ randomness white cottony growth on plants that appeared out of nowhere .
Fighting these persistent pests is very frustrating, and takes some time, but it IS possible to get rid of them for good !
In this detail scout, I will show you precisely how to eliminate mealybugs from your plants, and prevent them from ever coming back .
What Are Mealybugs?
Mealybugs are scale insects that suck the blackjack out of the leaves and stems of plants, resulting in stunted or deformed leaf growth, yellow of the leaves, and leaf spend .
These little white bugs on plants are most normally found on new increase, along the veins of leaves, and at the flick joints, but they can be found anywhere on the implant .
Mealybug damage is not as quick to occur or a devastate as it is when you have spider mites on houseplants .
But if a mealybug infestation goes left untreated, the plant will finally die. Although it will normally take a long time for them to kill a plant .
What Do Mealybugs Look Like?
Mealybugs are bantam white bugs on houseplants, and most normally look like white fuzzed farce on plants leaves and stems .
Mealybugs can besides appear brown or cream colored, and waxen in young stages .
At beginning glance they don ’ t look like insects, and are normally mistaken for fungus or mildew rather than plant bugs .
If the white bugs you see on your houseplants look more like bantam flannel flies that fly approximately when the plant is disturbed, then those are whiteflies rather of mealybugs .
here ’ s how to get rid of whiteflies on your houseplants. otherwise, if they look like fuzz on your plants, those are decidedly mealybugs indeed keep reading…
What do mealybugs look like? This! Yuck, right? Related Post: How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Houseplants, For good !
Mealybug Life Cycle
The fully mealybug life cycle is about 7-10 weeks. It takes a workweek or two for the eggs to hatch into nymph, and then another 6-9 weeks for the nymph to mature into adults .
There can be several generations of mealybugs, and their life cycles can overlap, meaning that once they get started, the population can grow very quickly .
Since the eggs and nymphs are so modest, and it takes a while for the population to become large enough to be noticeable, most people don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate discover mealybugs on their houseplants until after the population explodes .
Different stages of mealybug life cycle
Where Do Mealybugs Come From?
Like I said before, mealybugs are furtive. One day everything is fine, and the future sidereal day your plant is covered with with gluey blank cotton, leaving many people wondering what causes mealybugs in the first place?
As with any other plant bugs, mealybugs can come from anywhere. The most common causes are…
- Bringing home a new plant
- Using contaminated potting soil
- Putting houseplants outside during the summer
- Fresh flowers, fruits or vegetables brought in from the garden
- Mealybugs can even come from fresh produce or flowers from the grocery store!
- Ants sometimes bring mealybugs to a houseplant so that they can feed off of the honeydew residue that’s produced by the bugs.
Read more about where houseplant bugs can come from .
Adult longtailed mealybugs on houseplant leaf
How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs On Houseplants
As with any houseplant plague infestation, when you first spot a problem, begin mealybug discussion immediately .
The first thing to do is quarantine the involve plant ( s ) so that you can prevent mealybugs from infesting your other houseplants .
The adjacent thing to do is to kill mealybugs using organic plague restraint products and methods. I don ’ t commend using man-made pesticides, because mealybugs are resistant to most chemical pesticides .
They besides have the ability to develop a resistance to any chemicals they are exposed to on a regular basis .
thus, skip the toxic farce and use the safe plague control methods listed below rather ! Learn more about natural houseplant plague control condition methods and remedies here .
Little white mealybugs on succulents
How To Treat Mealybugs On Plants
One manner to kill mealybugs on houseplants is by touching them with a cotton swab that ’ mho been soaked in rubbing alcohol .
The rubbing alcohol will kill the bugs on contact, but in order for it to be effective, it must come in direct contact with the mealybugs .
As you treat a houseplant, make indisputable to inspect underneath all of the leaves, around the leaf joints, in folds and at the root of the plant for mealybugs .
These baffling plant pests like to hide, so check the plant from respective angles, and besides under every leaf. besides, brush away a little crap to check the foundation of the stem turn at the point where it sticks out of the soil .
They can hide around the edges of the pot, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as on the bed. so be certain to thoroughly audit that besides, you may find some mealybugs hiding there .
It will take several treatments to get rid of all of the mealybugs, so be sure to treat your plant daily and kill any bugs that you see.
Rubbing alcohol kills mealybugs on contact
Make Your Own Homemade Mealybug Spray
You can buy an organic insecticidal soap spray, or make your own. My recipe for homemade mealybug spray is 1 tsp of mild liquid soap per 1 liter of water. The soap kills the bugs on touch .
If the implant is humble adequate, bring it to the sink or shower to wash the leaves with this soap and water solution, and then give it a good wash .
This will kill a big number of the mealybugs, and help to give you the upper hand .
Keep in mind that some types of soap can damage sensible plants, so it ’ south best to test the solution on a few leaves before spraying the integral plant .
Insecticidal soaps don ’ t have any residual effect to prevent houseplant pests from coming binding, so it ’ mho significant to continue to spray regularly until there are no more signs of bugs .
Use mealybug spray, homemade with organic soap
Mealybug Control Using Neem Oil
Neem petroleum is a lifelike pest dominance merchandise that is a very effective for getting rid of mealybugs on houseplants .
not only will it kill the bugs, it ’ mho besides great for residual plague prevention as well .
You can buy concentrated neem oil for reasonably bum, and a big bottle will last a hanker clock. just be certain to follow the instructions on the label .
If you get the dressed ore, you ’ ll need to mix in a short sting of soap to help the petroleum mix with body of water ( I always use this liquid soap since it ’ s so meek ) .
even though neem oil has a residual effect to help keep houseplant pests from coming back, it can still take respective applications to get rid of mealybugs .
It can besides take several days of using neem anoint to treat mealybugs before it starts to kill them, so be patient, and continue to reapply until the bugs are gone .
As an option to neem oil for mealybug, a pre-mixed horticultural anoint or hot pepper wax spray, and they besides work identical well when used directly on mealybugs .
Related Post: How To Use Neem Oil As Organic Pest Control
Mealybug control neem oil and soap
My Proven Process For Long-Term Mealybug Control
Mealybugs are hood to get rid of, and the process can be superintendent thwart ( trust me, I ’ ve been there many times myself ) !
The best advice I can give you when trying to get rid of mealybugs on your houseplants is to use a combination of the methods I ’ ve outlined above, and be relentless in your competitiveness .
You can ’ t merely spray a plant once, and expect the bugs to disappear. It can take several weeks, or evening months to kill the entire population .
here is the summons I use to get rid of these annoying white fuzzy bugs…
Step 1: immediately bring the invade establish to the slump and thoroughly wash the leaves and stems with my buttery water solution ( 1 tsp of balmy liquid soap per 1 liter of water ), and give the establish a good wash .
then I inspect the pot from top to bottom, and along the territory line to see if there are any hiding mealybugs, and wash the dribble tray with saponaceous water system .
Check for mealybugs hiding under the pot tray Step 2: Next I will wash the area where the establish was sitting with saponaceous water, and then use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to disinfect the sphere .
If there are other plants nearby, I inspect them thoroughly for any signs of bugs ( after washing my hands ) .
Step 3: Once everything has been cleaned and disinfected, I spray the plant with neem petroleum and move it to a location far away from any early plants .
Step 4: I check the infest plant day by day for any signs of mealybugs, and kill each one that I see using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol .
I will spray the plant with neem oil again after a week if I ’ m distillery killing mealybugs on it day by day .
I besides inspect any plants that were sitting nearby the infest plant every day to make sure there aren ’ metric ton any bugs on those plants ( being certain to wash my hands after touching each plant ! ) .
Step 5: If there are no new mealybugs found after several weeks of inspecting the implant, I ’ ll add it spinal column to my collection, but try to put it in a newfangled blot fair in encase .
How To Prevent Mealybugs From EVER Coming Back
Most of the clock time mealybug don ’ t appear to move, but farinaceous bugs can crawl around on a plant and move to other houseplants in the area .
The worst separate is that mealybugs will leave the houseplant to hide, and can live for a long time in spaces and crevices without having a host establish .
then fair when you think you have conquered the beast, they will come out of hide and re-infest your houseplant when you ’ re not looking .
Bad infestation of mealybugs on cactus plant here are a few things you can do to prevent mealybug from ever coming back…
- Mealybugs can live in the soil of a houseplant, so if a plant is plagued by recurring infestations, you could try removing the top inch of dirt from the pot and replacing it with fresh potting soil.
- I recommend washing the inside rim of the pot after removing the layer of soil using soapy water and/or a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to be sure to kill any bugs that are hiding there.
Look for mealybugs in soil around the pot edges
- Remove the plant from the area and clean any crevices where mealybugs could be hiding. Be sure check around the outside lip and inside edges of the pot and tray, and also the bottom of the pot for hiding mealybugs.
- Once you have the infestation under control, move your plant to a new location to get it away from any mealybugs that might be hiding in the spot where the plant was sitting before.
Mealybugs hiding on bottom of houseplant pot It ’ second hard to get rid of all of the mealybugs the first few times you try. even if you are able to kill all of the adults, the eggs and babies are bantam and easily overlooked.
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It can be frustrating, but it ’ sulfur worth it to save your favorite houseplants .
If you are tired of constantly battling bugs on your indoor plants, then my Houseplant Pest Control eBook is for you ! It will help you identify the bugs that are infesting your houseplants, show you precisely how to get rid of them, AND arm you with the tools you need to keep those filthy pests away FOR GOOD ! Download your copy today !
More About Houseplant Pest Control
How do you get rid of mealybugs on houseplants? Share your mealybug treatment tips in the comments below.