Rubbing alcohol is another effective way to kill mealybugs at home. If possible, I fill a large container with water and mix some dishwashing liquid into it, and then submerge the infected plant pot into it and gentle swish it until no more bubbles come up. I created this site to offer my 8 years of natural pest control experience to the public. Mealybugs are destructive pests that are all over the US. Be sure to inspect every single day to make sure that you’ve completely gotten rid of the mealybugs as you don’t want to be accidentally ingesting them. are all very helpful for protection against mealybugs. This method is often overlooked but it does seem to work relatively well for smaller infestations. The residue can also be very difficult to remove from your clothes, furniture, countertops, or other surfaces. Note that rubbing alcohol may cause damage to sensitive plants. You’ll likely see bubbles coming from the roots as you do this. DE will dehydrate and kill mealybugs and is relatively safe for plants so you can easily control root populations with this stuff. Swirl around gently. Drowning almost never works for insects, since they can survive for weeks underwater. If you’re lucky enough to have these beetles in your garden, do everything you possibly can to ensure they stick around. Use water spurts to get rid of preparatory infestations. Mealybugs do not have a specific plan that they target. The insects also produce honeydew, a sticky substance that increases mold growth on plants and attracts feeding ants. Mealybugs will rapidly multiply as female adults can lay up to 500 eggs in a single clutch. Use indirect sunlight. These plants only seem to attract the “safer” species of mealybugs. Mealybugs are annoying little creatures that can sneak up on you like a plague- one day your plants look fine, the next day your plants are covered with gross, white fluffy substance. You should do this if you’ve been dealing with mealybugs for a long time and just can’t stand them anymore. Integrated Pest Management for Mealybugs These pesky pests affect a variety of vegetations, especially the tropical and subtropical plants. You do want to clean up the mealybugs that you killed in the process. And that’s exactly what they look like! These pests can survive underwater and drowning them with apple cider vinegar seems to kill them. Inspect your plants regularly as spotting bugs as early as possible is very helpful. Mealybugs were reported back in Egypt around the early 1900s, to which it then spread to the Caribbean. If you don’t this will check other pests to the same plant and counterproductive. They’re also excellent hiders, which makes them hard to find. Then let it sit overnight to infuse the water with the coffee ground scent. This only means that you’ll have more and more plants that are infested with mealybugs. Wiping off the plant will also remove the dead mealybugs that you killed during the process. Minor outbreaks can also be cleared with some alcohol on q-tips. Since then, the pink hibiscus mealybug has been eating up many of Florida’s cash crops and has done extensive damage to them. Buy Now. Glasshouse mealybugs are common sap-feeding insects found on a wide range of houseplants and greenhouse plants. I used neem oil for about a month and thought they went away,then I found the berlap/mossy nest they had made in the roots. The rubbing alcohol is okay, but the mealybugs that remain on the plant will need to be removed. The most effective oils were the citrus oils from the lemon and orange peels. Don’t overlook this as this is one of the primary drivers of these infestations. Because they eat the plant’s sap, it leaves behind a perfect environment for mold to grow on the plant. For indoor plants, you can apply at any time. Mealybugs can also live in the soil so if a plant is plagued by recurring infestations of the bug, it is recommended that you remove the top layer of sand from the pot and replace it with fresh potting soil. Mealybugs do not bite humans, although coming into contact with these creatures can sometimes cause skin irritation. Mealybugs only feed in specific areas on the plant where they can extract sap. Whether or not you have carpenter ants, you can utilize the same techniques in the guide. If mealybugs are native to your area, it’ll be very difficult to prevent them other than to use natural repellents. Or if you’ve dealt with mealybugs before, go ahead and leave your words of wisdom to help out others who are dealing with the same pests. Neem oil comes from neem trees it has been proven to be an effective vegetable oil against many pests. They’re a very destructive pest. Look for small cotton-like bugs and manually remove them, dip the roots of the plant in rubbing alcohol common dip the leaves and stems in rubbing alcohol, look for mealybugs on the underside of leaves and around the stems. So this is why you want to remove it when you’re done applying it. Attracting natural predators will help you keep the population in check. This is better for smaller and localized infestations only. From this, we can probably see that you should stick with orange or lemon essential oils. Wash your hands and clothing after coming into contact with mealybugs to avoid any potential impact. These two oils won’t necessarily kill mealybugs, but they’re effective as natural repellents for these pests. Mealybugs will eat up both indoor and outdoor plants. Yes. I started off with a nasty fly problem, and was very interested in finding ways to get rid of them without having to use harmful chemicals and pesticides. This was tested on grape leaves, so these findings may not be safe for all plants. To your four-cup solution (three soap and one water) add half a cup of rubbing alcohol. The hot steam along with the burning mist will instantly kill the mealybugs that happen to be crawling on your plants. After they become adults, they have completely different tasks. When you use garden tools on an infected plant and then use it again on a clean plant, the mealybugs can transfer from one plant to the other. Or you might notice the charcoal soot. Repeat the steps if necessary depending on how big your plan is. The colonies of mealybug with their associated wax, honeydew and sooty mould can be very disfiguring to specimen plants. The University of Florida states that the annual cost and damages to the US economy overall from the pink hibiscus mealybugs have been estimated to be up to 700 million dollars. Not only do they eat crops, but they’ll also happily destroy succulents, orchids, cacti, palms, African violets, ornamentals, and hibiscus plants. You’ll want to first test it on a localized area such as one or two of these before you spray the whole plant. Only resort to commercial pesticides if natural methods don’t work for you. Rubbing alcohol is a nice approach because it’s cheap, safe for humans and pets, and most plants can handle it. If you are dealing with Sarrs, they will be fine in a bowl of water for a day or two which will drown some mealybugs. They overwinter themselves as nymphs and eggs and spreads through previously infested plants when the temperature warms up. They can spread from contact between plants or simply migrating from plant to plant. The second section covers some commercial pesticides you can use that are effective against mealybugs. The most common plants where mealybugs are found are the following: This guide will cover home remedies to get rid of mealybugs that are infesting these plants. Tiny wingless insects, mealybugs are only 1/5 inch long and have a waxy, gray or white appearance. Furthermore, a combination of rubbing alcohol with soapy water can be sprayed on the plants. Help. You want to make sure no damage is visible by testing first. So always be careful when you decide to squish them. As stated above, these bugs tend to breed faster in moist, humid conditions. How to get rid of mealybugs in the soil and roots, How to get rid of mealybugs in the pantry. A new plant from the nursery has a infestation of mealybugs. Adult males can also fly from plant to plant so this makes breeding easy. They feed on plants’ vital sap by inserting their needle-like mouthpart (stylet) and leave their hosts sabotaged. If you just have one or two small plants, you can go ahead and remove them manually. If the plant pot is too large or heavy then I pour the solution heavily through the potting mix in the pot to soak it, but this way isn’t as thorough as being able to submerge the pot. You can often find them on the hard-to-see parts of your plant. Archived. So be careful. If left untreated, mealybugs can quickly get out of control. Rinse thoroughly, especially in all the nooks and crannies, until you can’t see any trace. You can make your essential oil mix at home. The whole trick is to mix the DE with the soil that contacts the plant roots. Peppermint and thyme were moderately effective against mealybugs with minimal damage to the plant. The adult male and female mealybugs have completely different lifestyles. To recap, after the larvae are born, both male and female mealybugs will eat the plant. So if you see a mealybug flying around, you can be certain that it’s an adult male. This covering makes them look like bulks of cotton. They’re tiny, but they do pack a punch. Since they’re a relatively common plant pest, many other names have been concocted for this bug: They’re commonly called fuzzy white bugs or tiny white bugs. All you need to do is get some coffee grounds, usually one tablespoon, and pour it into a spray bottle. Many states are dealing with mealybug infestations and have production loss because of them. Consistent application will beat them, even if it takes a little time If not controlled, mealybugs can harm plants because they feed on the stems. If it doesn’t, you can go ahead and spray directly to the plant and leave it on there to repel mealybugs. If you notice that some of your plants have started to develop a dark charcoal or gray sooty like substance, this is probably mold that’s developing on your plant. 4 comments. This can easily lead to plant overheating from extreme heat so you don’t want to apply it when it’s hot outside. Mealybugs can develop quickly and multiply rapidly. Manual removal of the bugs: Hand-pick mealybugs from infested plants if there aren’t a prohibitive number of pests present. If mealybugs come back, reapply your treatment. Ferrisia gilli, ‘Gill Mealybugs’, ‘Gill’s Mealybug’ Stone fruits such as apricot or peach are at risk from gill mealybugs, as are some nuts like pistachio or almond. Essential oils are a proven method that can get rid of mealybugs on plants naturally. Adult nymphs don’t have developed wings so they can’t fly yet. Here you’ll find two ways 2 control your mealybug infestation. If you leave them alone long enough, they will eventually kill your plants. When they’re first born as nymphs, they have almost like a wax coat over them. Step 4: Dispose of the cotton swab or paper napkin. This is another nice home remedy that costs you nothing to do. The rubbing alcohol will kill the bugs on contact. Mealybugs feed by sucking plant juices which weakens the plant and causes the plant’s leaves to turn yellow, wilt and drop. Try to avoid using synthetic or dangerous compounds since they’re harmful to the environment, you, and your pets. Feel free to send it over to a friend who may be dealing with the same situation. But you just need to make sure that it doesn’t kill your plant first. Other vectors may include pests where the mealybug attaches to and carries it from one plant to another. We’ll cover natural ways to kill, control, and prevent mealybugs that you can do at home! Posted by 10 months ago. Essential oils have been lightly tested against mealybugs. For the majority of people, they’re just looking to get rid of these pests from their everyday plants. These insects can be easily purchased online and will be delivered to your house. These methods are to be used after you use natural approaches. That just happens to be the most common color. Use a drop of isopropyl alcohol … $5.97. Dish soap has always been an effective home remedy to get rid of pests. I use this to kill off any pests on my live plants before I move them into the home and it’s never failed. You can use mechanical pressure of water to hose off adult mealybugs and hopefully their eggs too. Mealybugs will attack plants by sucking up the nutritious sap from the various parts of the plant. Don't forget to wash under the leaves where these insects can hide. If you have indoor plants you can bring them outside, put them on the floor, and then blast them with your garden hose. Of course, using coffee grounds will leave a coffee scent on your plants and in the soil. This is the simplest and the cheapest method. You need to do this very often, almost every two to three days until all the mealybugs are gone. Help. If you notice the white fuzz on your plants, roots, or soil, you’ll want to act fast as these pests can easily destroy your plants. Here are a few of the most popular plants that attract parasitic wasps. Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems. They’re often found in hard-to-reach places, so make sure you check all parts of the plant for wandering mealybugs and egg sacs. Once you find a few that work, go ahead and scare them up. You can also sprinkle some around the edges of the planter just to cover your bases. Don’t overwater or keep your plant wet. 2. All you need to do is get a garden hose with a nozzle that has a spray, jet, or stream setting and blast mealybugs off your plants. Minor outbreaks can also be cleared with some alcohol on q-tips. From my experience, apple cider vinegar will kill mealybugs, but you’ll need to use a lot of it for it to be effective. Ants spread the mealybugs infestation as well. Required fields are marked *. With patience and persistence, you can effectively reduce or eliminate the mealybug problem on your plants. I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown). Step 2: Take a cotton swab or paper napkin and dip it into the alcohol. Fill up the rest with one cup of water. Rosemary grows in hardiness zones 8 through 10 and can grow pretty tall. The first report of mealybugs was the pink hibiscus species, which was discovered around 2001 in Florida. But pretty much any dish soap works and you don’t have to necessarily use Dawn. Check out this comprehensive guide I wrote on getting rid of carpenter ants at home. Mealybugs are extremely well-adapted to hide on plants. Keep the roots in the solution for up to 10 minutes. Because these pests cause such extensive damage to crops, you can bet that researchers have been looking for ways to eliminate them. To do this, all you need to do is get a spray bottle and fill it up with 70% rubbing alcohol. They also tested essential oils from fruit peels of lemon, basic, and orange. Mealybugs can be found on any part of the plants, but they prefer the tender new growth and grow on the concealed areas. Root mealybugs prevent the roots from operating properly and the plants may appear stunted, or wilt, especially in pots. But I wouldn’t recommend drowning mealybugs as a way to get rid of them. Many natural predators eat mealybugs, so attracting them should not be an issue. All plant species are pretty much at risk from mealybugs. If you have a pest problem that’s not covered here, feel free to contact me and let me know. The thing to keep in mind with this method is that not all plans can handle dish soap. The rubbing alcohol will instantly kill the mealybugs. Light to moderate mealybugs infestation can be easily and successfully treated. Do a thorough inspection of all new plants you introduced to your garden. The eggs hatch in about 10 days depending on temperature and environmental conditions. And female mealybugs aren’t capable of flight. Not all of them will work. They can also live in the soil around the plant roots. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of Neem oil, 1 tablespoon of mild liquid soap in a liter of lukewarm water. Though the average one is only about 1/16 th of an inch (1.5 mm) long, that is, about one-third the size of a mature common mealybug, it packs quite a punch… and to make things worse, it lives underground, out of sight. Dry the plant after applying the pesticide, Attract native predators that eat mealybugs, Kill ants to stop mealybugs from spreading, sucking up the nutritious sap from the various parts of the plant. However, the bug was first found in India and has spread throughout the world. If you live in a full sun environment, white clover is an effective plan for attracting parasitic wasps to control your mealybug population. But flight is limited to just the adult males. Another method that’s often overlooked is to simply use the natural predators that eat mealybugs to help control and prevent them. Insects that eat mealybugs can serve as the ‘guardians’ of your garden. You can get neem and ginger oil from any apothecary or grocery store. Once the eggs hatch, they’ll start to feed and gobble up your plant. The content on this site is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice, or to replace a relationship with a qualified professional. See if that works for you. If you look closer, they look like a small, flat oval with many legs protruding all around the body. This is a safe and natural way to get rid of them. Disclaimer: Always consult with a qualified professional exterminator prior to beginning any pest control plan. The females will continue to feed on the plant. However, they’ll also eat trees, shrubs, tropical plants, perennial plants, and all woody pine trees can also be infested by this pest. Food items, you have a mealybug infested plant, you may find them hiding the. 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