Mealybugs excrete a sticky substance called honey dew which ants like to feed on. In large numbers, mealybugs can kill off a heavily infested plant and can spread across your home or garden to other healthy hosts. However, safer insecticides like pyrethrins, organophosphates and pyrethroids are effective against root mealybugs. The best way to control a mealybug infestation is to move the infected plant away from all your other plants to stop the spread. You can use one or a combination of the following methods to combat against mealybug infestations on your beautiful succulents. Fill this solution in a spray bottle and spray this on the affected plants. Mealybug Life Cycle. Pour the 3-percent hydrogen peroxide into a sprayer. This will kill mealybugs under the soil. You need to make a simple solution using two garlic cloves, and one spoon of isopropyl alcohol in a cup of water. Larger infestations may require throwing the plant away to avoid the spreading of mealybugs to other plants. 5. Root mealybugs are small, segmented insects, no more than 1/10 inch long. Glasshouse mealybugs are common insects that tend to live together in clusters in inaccessible parts of plants, such as leaf axils, leaf sheaths, between twining stems and under loose bark. Mealybug treatment for a few bugs. Imidacloprid can also be used on non-food-producing plants. Getting rid of mealybugs … [ source] Mix one gallon of water with two tablespoons of mild dish soap. Mealybug infestations appear on plants as tiny, soft-bodied insects surrounded by a fuzzy, white mess around the stems and leaf nodes. Pesticide soil drenches are the only reliable treatment in the landscape. Related Post: How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Houseplants, For Good! Mealy bugs (or Mealybugs) (Pseudococcidae). You will find little white Mealybugs on the undersides of leaves or near the base of stems. Dracaena Fragrans – That’s How It Got Its Name, Agave Colorata Care Tips: Growing The Ash Agave. If you find these pests in your new houseplants, use the above methods to get rid of mealybugs in the soil before introducing the new plant in your space. Below are 11 natural home remedies and aids to control or destroy mealybugs. University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: Root Mealybugs, North Carolina State University Extension Integrated Pest Management Program: Root Mealybugs, University of Hawai'i Maona Extension: Root Mealybugs: Preventing the Serious Pests, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension: Growing Cactus, University of Hawai'i at Manoa: Mealybugs and Slugs, Tiny White Insects in the Soil of an Orchid. The bugs will turn brown and die. Mealybugs are small insects covered with a white mealy coating; some have white hairs attached to their bodies. Mealybugs excrete a sticky substance, called honeydew. While a mealybug infestation will take a long time to kill the infected plant, it is easiest to get rid of the bugs when they are found in smaller amounts. This will deter mealybugs from living in your plant’s space. If you are using the same pot, you should use alcohol to disinfect the inside of the pot before putting in new soil. If desired, you can dilute the peroxide further by combining the hydrogen peroxide with an equal amount of water. Large numbers of soil insects cause wilting in the plant. Mealybugs aren’t just surface pests, the go into the soil and attack the plant roots too. When the bugs are not prominent on the plant, it can be more difficult to find a mealybug infestation. Mealy bugs use every part of your plant for their home and living needs. You can also sprinkle some around the edges of the planter just to cover your bases. Dispose of the cut stems & leaves safely far away from the plants. By entering your email address you agree to receive a daily email newsletter from Plant Care Today. They can usually be spotted on leaves, stems and fruits of plants but also in the soil itself. 2. A good sign of mealybug presence is unusual residue on leaves or soil with a cottony white looking wax. Mealybugs are usually found feeding in colonies in somewhat protected areas such as between two touching fruits, in the crown of a plant, in branch crotches, on stems near soil, or between the stem and touching leaves. Additionally, ants often pick up mealybugs and carry them to other plants, spreading the pest problem. Dryout The Potting Mix: Another tip is to dry out the soil. The bugs feed by sucking on plant juices. When mealybugs claim a plant as their home, they can cause quite a bit of damage, including killing the plant. Detection may be difficult, since plants may not show signs of ill health until they are heavily infested. In addition, dipping the roots of many houseplants in 120-degree water until the root ball temperature reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit internally will decimate root mealybug populations. Root mealybugs in potted plants are much easier to see than in the landscape. The tiny insects secrete wax as they feed on the root system of their host plants. The mealybugs you can see are reasonably easy to deal with, but many gardeners are unaware that another mealybug lurks below the ground. An alcohol spray is also good to keep the mealybug away. Desert Rose Varieties: Are There Other Types of Adenium Plants? How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Mandevilla Vines. Since these bugs are prone to infesting your plant fast and thoroughly, it’s vital to take action as soon as you are aware of their presence. Before you try to get rid of mealybugs, you need to make sure you have a real infestation on your hands. … Common Tiny White Bugs in Houseplant Soil Mealybugs Mealy bugs are little, white furry bugs. Mealybugs spread quickly and you don’t want to risk other plants getting infected. Due to this, mealybugs are insect pests plant owners should be aware of. The only real way to tell if mealybugs have infested your houseplant is to simply look. The best way to deal with mealybugs is to remain vigilant. They have pink bodies with waxy, white cottony tendrils that cause them to appear fuzzy. First off, immediately quarantine all of your infected plants to prevent the spread to other plants, regardless of whether you see a single bug or an entire infestation. Unusually high populations of ants around the base of plants that appear otherwise free of insect pests may be the first sign that your landscape plants are harboring soil mealybugs. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of Neem oil, 1 tablespoon of mild liquid soap in a liter of lukewarm water. Root mealybugs in potted plants are much easier to see than in the landscape. Mealybug infestation can occur … Aphids and mealybugs will burrow into the soil and become apparent at watering when they crawl to the surface. Simply uproot the plant, and then sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around the roots and into the soil. If mealy bugs do accidentally fall on the soil, do try to carefully remove it if visible. An easy way to rid your plants of mealybugs is to spray infected plants with a hose that has a high pressure nozzle attached. It keeps the plant clean, soil does not splash up onto the leaves. [source]. The fatty acid in soap can break down the bug’s outer shell and kill them. Drench the soil with insecticidal soap upon the appearance of soil insects. I would not recommend this option. To keep mealybugs at bay, spray your plants once a week with a solution of neem oil in water. Start applying garlic juice periodically Garlic juice is one of the best home remedies to remove the bugs like mites and aphids. Preventing Mealybugs. To kill the mealybugs with the alcohol, simply spray the alcohol directly on the mealybugs, wherever they are on the succulent. It prevents water from evaporating too quickly on hot days. Mealybugs are common foliage-feeding insects, closely related to scale. How do I get rid of mealybugs in the soil? As populations increase, however, the soil may take on a bluish appearance from the wax that root mealybugs secrete; plant leaves often wilt and turn yellow. They often give birth to live offspring, allowing their populations to explode in a short time. spray the plant at weekly once with alcohol or neem oil or insecticide spray to prevent mealy bugs. Household Treatment for Houseplants – You can use 1 tbsp Mild liquid soap mixed with 1 liter of water to spray on the parts of the infested plants. We'll respect your privacy and unsubscribe at any time. How to Get Rid of Mealybugs Naturally Modern gardeners and farmers are now embracing organic methods of control to preserve beneficial insects and protect wildlife and human health concerns. While the warm, wet potting mix is perfecting for harboring their eggs, the leaves and stems make for a tasty treat. In addition, the oil coats any eggs or crawlers and will smother them. They show up everywhere -- in houseplants, vegetable gardens and landscapes. 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. 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. Controlling mealybugs on your indoor plants is a very important step in maintaining plant health. And it really ties the look of your planting together, while masking the look of the bare soil. They are wingless, almost cotton like creatures that are usually found in warmer climates. Soapy Spray: The University of Wisconsin recommends using a soapy-spray to eliminate mealybugs. When you first notice the mealybugs, move your infected plants away from everything else. When my plants are infected with mealy bugs, I simply hit them with a spray of water until they drown in it and fall off. There are some less harsh methods you can try first if you only see one or a few bugs: How to Get Rid of Mealybugs . How to Get Rid of Mealybugs on Succulents Fortunately, due to their slight lack of tenacity, there are a couple of ways to control mealybugs. Leave the plant in the water for ten minutes. Plantcaretoday.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. The honeydew attracts ants to the area, and the ants may prevent natural predators from getting at the mealybugs effectively. Detecting Mealybugs . It takes a week or two for the eggs to hatch into nymphs, and then another 6-9 weeks for the nymphs to mature into adults. Removing the rootball from the pot will often reveal the insects congregating between the rootball and pot wall. There are a few ways to get rid of these common garden pests. These insects arrive when purchasing new plants at the garden center or from a nursery. Kristi Waterworth started her writing career in 1995 as a journalist for a local newspaper. Remember to empty the old flower pot and wash it before you re-plant. Save potted plants by removing all the infected soil from their roots, and repotting them in a sterilized pot with new sterile soil. This treatment can eradicate the mealybugs and any other kind of pest infestation or fungal growth, gradually, after a … Mix one gallon of water with two tablespoons of mild dish soap. Larger numbers of root mealybugs may need chemical solutions. Watering causes the small insects to scatter, so check roots for mealybugs when the soil is dry for an accurate assessment of their numbers. Liquid Fertilizer: How To Feed Plants, Grow Better & Improve Yield. Using contaminated potting soil when repotting your plants. As mentioned, they love warm environments, so it’s not uncommon to see them during the warmer months of the year. Treating Pest and Mealybugs on Succulents. Since 2010, she's written on a wide range of personal finance topics. What is Mealy Bug. 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