Mealybugs are small size white bugs. They are commonly found on small houseplants and on outdoor ornamentals. They live on the sap of plants. They drink all the plant contents and make them nutrients deficient.
Mealybugs live in colonies. In this article, you‘ll learn how to kill mealybugs. How to get rid of mealybugs in few hours.
The first step is to use common killing methods. Here we use rubbing alcohol and hands.
First of all, if the infestation is mild then use your hands to remove them from the plants. Pick them from the leaf surface and dispose them in the trash can. Here you need to wear the gloves because the mealybugs have a wax-like coating on them.
They do not bite and are harmless to humans. Do not worry about infections to humans because they do not carry any deadly viruses.
If mealybugs are present in large numbers, then use the isopropyl rubbing alcohol method. Here you need a small ball of cotton and pour some alcohol on it. Then wipe the plant leaves, stems, and other parts.
Small plants are easy to clean with a cotton ball. But for large plants, you need to make rubbing alcohol spray water. Take the spray bottle, fill it with rubbing alcohol and add 5 drops of water to it. Spray this mixture on the entire plant to kill mealybugs.
They normally hide in hard-to-reach places. Therefore, you need to closely inspect all parts of the plants.
Use of rubbing alcohol is totally safe on plants. The only drawback of this technique is it also kills the beneficial insects like leadybugs.
Neem oil and dishwashing liquid
Add 1 teaspoon of neem oil and 4 drops of washing liquid in a spray bottle. Then spray the mixture all over the plant. Do this process in a shady area. After the treatment leave the plants there until they get dry.
Remember that direct sun rays can burn the plant leaves. When they are treated with neem oil.
In case you are treating the outdoor plants. Then you have to wait for the shady day only if they are rooted in the ground.
Use the spray once a week until all the mealybugs got killed. Note that one application is not enough to get rid of mealybugs. You have to use it a minimum of 3 times to get rid of all mealybugs.
Use of insecticides
Before using it on plants you need to remove the infected parts of the plants. You can cut the plant leaves, flowers, and stems. But do not touch the main stem of the plant.
Buy an insecticide that is specially designed for the ornamentals. Do not use such mealybug-killing products that are not made for ornamentals. Because they have high potency. This can kill the small to medium size ornamental plants.
Spray the mixture on the only infected parts of the plants. Do not use it on the entire plant. Because this is not a preventive method. It is post-treatment.
How to prevent mealybugs?
Keep the growing area neat and clean. Also, clean the dust on plant leaves. Once in a week look at your plants and find the possible signs of mealybug infestation.
If you see a white cotton-like substance on plant leaves and stems or anywhere else. This means your plant is infected by the mealybugs.
For mild infestation, you can remove them with your hands. Just pick them and dispose of them in the trash can. If they are in large number then use other home-made or commercial methods.
Separate the affected plant from other plants. This way you can reduce the risk of infection to other plants.
Pests like mealybugs drink plant nutrients and make them nutrient deficient. So, you have to keep eye on the intake of plant nutrients. If your plant stops absorbing water. Then this means its uptake system is affected and the plant needs immediate help.