The Death of Mealybugs | How To Treat Mealybugs On Any Plant
What Are Mealybugs?
Mealybugs are insects, apart of the Pseudococcidae family, that thrive in moist and warm habitats. These pests can be detrimental to your plants health because they insert their long sucking mouth parts, called stylets, and suck all of the sap out of your house plants. They can act as a vector for several plant diseases.
*Vector: "an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another." -Dictionary.com
How Do I Identify Mealybugs?
Mealybug species can vary in size ranging from 1/20 to 1/5 inches long. They are very distinct-able with their waxy white oval bodies. They have ringed waxy filaments that help them move slowly. They can lay 300-600 eggs that hatch within 1-3 weeks, so its important to treat these pests fast before they become deter your plants health.
What Are Some Of The Ways I Can Treat Mealy Bugs?
When you notice mealybugs on one of your plants, make sure to isolate it from all of the others to avoid transmission.
Things You Will Need:
- Rubbing Alcohol (At least 70%)
- Dawn Dish Soap
- Cotton Balls
- Spray Bottle
STEP ONE: Grab your cotton balls and rubbing alcohol.
This will ensure that your cotton balls are free of bad bacteria when cleaning the plant. If you have a bad case of mealy bugs, place the soaked cotton ball directly on the infestation (This will kill the bugs almost immediately).
STEP TWO: Spray the whole plant
Put rubbing alcohol and dawn soap into a spray bottle. Spray down your entire plant, under leaves, on stems, on top of leaves, EVERYWHERE! The more coverage you have the better chance of having an effective treatment.
STEP THREE: Water your plant.
After any major change or treatment, get into the habit of watering your plants. This will avoid shocking the plant and promote healthy growth.
STEP FIVE: Repeat treatment.
Repeat the above steps over once a week for 1-3 weeks to ensure that the mealybugs are gone.