How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs: Effective Solutions For Your Plants
Ugh, mealybugs. These pests are very common and they love to wreak havoc both on indoor and outdoor plants. They latch onto your beautiful plants and start feeding on their sap. This causes the plants to stop growing, their leaves start turning yellow, and the plant eventually dies. Yikes! Just a few of these small pests can quickly lead to an infestation on all the surrounding plants. That’s why it’s very important to do regular plant inspections, so you can ensure early detection. This way you can start getting rid of them as soon as possible, before they get the opportunity to start rapidly increasing and causing a ton of damage. After all, it’s much easier dealing with a few bugs rather than a full infestation. That’s why in today’s guide we will show you how to get rid of mealybugs easily and effectively.
These pests are very common and they love to wreak havoc both on indoor and outdoor plants
In this article
What Are Mealybugs?
Mealybugs are tiny insects that love to suck the life out of your plants. They measure around 1/10 to 1/4 of an inch and can come in a variety of colors, including gray, pink, and most commonly – white. They have a cotton-like or powdery texture due to the waxy substance that covers their small body. Mealybugs spread like wildfire and quickly increase their numbers once stuck to a plant. They are usually found to congregate in areas of new growth on the plant. This includes buds, new leaves, and stems. These pests prefer warmer and humid climates and can be found both inside and outside. It’s important to remove them as soon as possible to prevent infestation and damage to our plants. They also produce a sugary, sticky substance that tends to attract other pests, like sooty mold and ants. So, if you do not get rid of them on time, you will not only be left with dead plants, but you will also be battling a variety of pets.
Mealybugs have a cotton-like or powdery texture due to the waxy substance that covers their small body
How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs
When it comes to mealybugs, time is of the essence. The faster you catch on you have a problem, the easier it will be to get rid of it. Make sure to regularly check your plants for any white, cottony masses and pay attention if any of your plant’s leaves has suddenly started to wilt or tun yellow with no apparent reason. If you notice any mealybugs, it’s time to take action. So, let’s see how to eliminate these pesky bugs and save your plants from total destruction.
The faster you catch on you have a problem, the easier it will be to get rid of it
#Hand pick them off
If you catch the mealybug problem really early on and there isn’t a ton of pests on your plant, you don’t need to do anything more than simply pick them off. Mealybugs may be menaces to plants, but they don’t bite or carry any diseases, so it’s more than fine to take them off by hand. You can use a glove for your own comfort. Gently take them off your plant and gather them in a place they cannot get away from, such as a jar. Then make sure to dispose of them or eliminate them far away from any plants.
Gently take them off your plant and dispose of them far away from any plants
#Wash them away
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty picking them off or they are a bit too much to handle, you can wash them off. These tiny pests can easily be dislodged with a good, steady stream of water. This method is safe, it’s easy, and it’s quite effective. However, it does work best for lighter infestation, so keep that in mind. Oh, and some more delicate plants may also not like this vigorous treatment. Other than that, hose away.
These tiny pests can easily be dislodged with a good, steady stream of water
#Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol does a great job at unlatching these pests from your beautiful plants. Simple soak a cotton ball with some isopropyl alcohol and wipe it onto the mealybugs. This will instantly kill them and they will be easy to remove with another wipe. Just make sure you are using a solution that has no more than 70% isopropyl alcohol, as you don’t want to burn your plant. It’s also a good idea to apply it to at least one leaf and see how it reacts before applying it to the whole plant.
Rubbing alcohol does a great job at unlatching these pests from your beautiful plants
Neem oil is a natural way to get rid of these tiny menaces. This substance is derived from the neem tree and is a powerhouse when dealing with mealybugs, as well as other similar pests like spider mites and gnats. It affects an insect’s ability to develop, grow and eat, which means they will soon wither away. Neem oil also acts as a repellent and is safe to use on edible plants as well as ornamentals. It can be found in most garden related stores and is easy to use. Just use it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Neem oil is a natural way to get rid of these tiny menaces
Insecticidal soaps are made from potassium salt from fatty acids and are a great, safe for plants way to get rid of these pests. Just get yourself a spray bottle and mix in the soap with some water (ratio according to the manufacturers instructions). Then just spray away. It’s recommended you look for soaps that have minimal additives and don’t have any perfume in them. Keep in mind that this method is more effective on the larvae than the adults, as the adults have a waxy coating that protects them. But it is a great way to stop them from progressing.
Insecticidal soaps are made from potassium salt from fatty acids
You can always make your very own homemade spray to deal with these annoying pests. All you need to do is take your food processor and blend together a bulb of garlic, one onion, and just one teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Blend it into a paste. Then mix this paste into 1 quart water. Let it steep for around an hour. After the hour has passed, strain through a cheesecloth and add a tablespoon of dish soap to the liquid. Mix everything well and transfer it into a spray bottle and spray the mealybugs. This solution lasts around a week in the fridge. Do not go overboard, as this treatment may be harsh to some plants. Always try on a small spot before spraying the whole plant.
You can always make your very own homemade spray to deal with these annoying pests
These were some of the most effective solutions when it comes to how to get rid of mealybugs. We hope you found this article useful. Now you can easily get rid of these pests and enjoy mealybug-free plants.
These were some of the most effective solutions when it comes to how to get rid of mealybugs