2003), coffee trees, cassava, ferns, cacti, gardenias, papaya, mulberry, sunflower and orchids. Looking at close-up pictures of mealybugs, you’ll notice microscopic spines sticking out from their oval bodies. If you don’t get rid of mealybugs, they can end up killing your plants. Grape mealybugs tend to favor grapevines. Soap sprays and oil sprays can also help control mealybugs without the disruption that can be caused by toxic chemical sprays. The classic sign of a mealybug infestation is tiny white bugs on plants. Closely related to the grape mealybug, the obscure mealybug does not originate in California. The grape mealybug is from and resides mostly in central and northern California. Pseudococcus comstocki, ‘Comstock mealybug’. Mealybugs, which usually infect the plant bodies, can easily be identified and contained, but when it comes to root mealybugs, they are extremely hard to detect. Other sources of mealybugs are contaminated potting soil, or putting houseplants outdoors in the summer. Root feeding mealybugs. Its white to greyish-white body is usually coated in a thick layer of white or off-white wax. Adults (1/10 — 1/4 inch long) are soft, oval distinctly segmented insects that are usually covered with a white or gray mealy wax. If the spray doesn’t damage your plant, you can repeat the spray treatment once a week until all the mealybugs are gone. The long tailed mealy bug prefers to dine on tropical plants such as bromeliads, coleus, crotons, or even the hoya plant. Spray your succulents, cacti, or tropical houseplants regularly with neem oil for it to be effective. It can safely be used on food, leaves no dangerous residue in the soil and effectively reduces or kills pests, as well a… The most serious pests are mealybugs that feed on citrus; other species damage sugarcane, grapes, pineapple (Jahn et al. To get rid of mealybugs on plants dip a cotton swab in 70% rubbing alcohol and apply directly to the tiny fuzzy pests. This highly common mealybug is found on a wide variety of crops. Rubbing alcohol, insecticidal soap, mycoinsecticides, neem oil, and a variety of beneficial insects including ladybugs, lacewings, and the mealybug destroyer. Have tips I haven’t mentioned here? Water will also help wash away any unsightly cottony residue from foliage. The first step to getting rid of mealybugs is to isolate infected plants from other houseplants. Dysmicoccus brevipes, ‘Pseudococcus brevipes’, ‘Dactylopius brevipes’, ‘Pineapple mealybug’. Although a few mealybugs won’t stress a plant too much, it’s only a matter of time before you’ve got a full-blown infestation. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Isopropyl Alcohol 70% The first method is very simple: get a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a cotton … Some other types of houseplant pests cause similar plant damage as mealybugs cause. Look for tiny white bugs that crawl around dark places on your plant. They’re also quite fond of fig and citrus trees, grapes, and a number of other ornamentals. Blast mealybugs and other scale insects off your plants with a hard spray of water. For example, mealybugs are common in succulents where they hide in the tight crevices between fleshy rosette leaves. Rinse the roots with water to ensure that no root mealybugs are lurking there. The nymphs look almost like a mealy wax patch in their young form. After hatching, nymphs molt several times before reaching adulthood. Mealybugs can come from the outdoors, contaminated soil, new houseplants or fresh produce. It is best to avoid using chemical pesticides to kill mealybugs. Here are other signs of plant damage when it is infested by mealybugs: The first step in getting rid of mealybugs on plants is to isolate the affected plant to prevent it from infesting other plants. Mealybugs on plants look like small white bugs or they may appear as white fuzzy stuff on plant leaves and stems. The very basic fact that root mealybugs affect the roots of the host plants makes their elimination difficult. Honeydew is sticky and can support the growth of sooty mold fungi, which are not harmful to the plant, but if present in high enough concentrations, can impair photosynthesis in the leaves. They are active early on, but move little once a suitable feeding site is found.Note: There are approximately 275 species of mealybugs known to occur throughout the United States. These scale insects can also look like white fuzzy bugs on plant leaves and stems. The females can look like small patches of cotton, especially when laying eggs. This long, oval-bodied mealybug has small filament protrusions from its sides. Falling under the larger category of scale insects, mealybugs are part of the family Pseudococcidae. The pink hibiscus mealybug poses the greatest hibiscus threat because of its toxic, leaf-curling plant-stunting saliva, but all mealybugs disfigure and weaken the plants. Cottony, glassy filaments of wax and cotton-like egg pouches may also be noticed on the plant. There are over 2200 species of mealybugs, but only a portion of them are considered common garden pests. A mealybug infestation will cause leaves to lose color and wilt. The tiny bugs crawl around the plant, leaving a waxy substance on them. Mealybugs on outdoor plants tend to live in colonies. The eggs will hatch within 5-10 days in good weather conditions. Fighting the mealybug and eliminating it from plants is not easy… Feeding plants should give them just enough nutrients to grow healthy. Wash your hands after you come into contact with them to be sure you don’t have a problem. Using Neem Oil for Potted or Shaded Plants Mix together water, liquid dish soap, and neem oil in a … Also, the residual effect of neem oil helps control mealybug populations. Then very quickly, clumps of white furry stuff suddenly appear on plant leaves and stems. They are quite mobile compared to adults and later nymph stages. A little more about me. An uncommon, but equally-effective beneficial insect is the mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. The female mealybugs are the ones that do the main damage to the plant. The Best Plants for Hedges: 23 Types of Hedges (With Pictures), Drought Tolerant Plants That Don’t Need Water (Or Very Little Water), Types of Ferns: Varieties of Indoors and Outdoors Fern Plants (Including Name and Picture), Types of Yucca Plants (With Pictures) - Identification Guide, Mealybugs on Plants: Effective Ways to Kill These White Bugs, Common Houseplant Pests: Types, Identification, and Control. You can also make a mealybug killer spray by diluting 1 cup of alcohol with 1 quart (1 l) of water in a spray bottle and apply to the affected plant. Pseudococcus longispinus, ‘Longtailed Mealybug’, ‘Long-Tailed Mealybug’. They’re quite useful in greenhouses as well as outdoors and will happily eat all life stages of mealy bug. Be persistent with mealybug treatment. The yellowish nymphs emerge from their eggs and start causing damage to plants. For longtailed mealy bugs, the life cycle is only the crawler stage and adult, as female longtailed mealy bugs give birth to live young.