4 ways to get rid of mealybugs

4 ways to get rid of mealybugs
4 ways to get rid of mealybugs

Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on plant sap. Despite their small size, they are capable of seriously damaging your garden and plants if you don't treat them. If you notice that your plants are starting to wilt and die, mealybugs could be the cause. Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate these insects in order to keep your plants green and healthy.


Method 1 of 4: Remove small infestations using rubbing alcohol

Kill Mealybugs Step 1

Step 1. Dip a cotton swab in 70% isopropyl alcohol

Be careful not to use other types of alcohol so as not to damage your plant.

Kill Mealybugs Step 2

Step 2. Rub the surface of the affected plant with the wet cotton swab

Take care to reach the underside of the leaves and the inside of the cracks in the branches. Mealybugs often hide in hard-to-reach places. It is therefore essential to treat all parts of the infested plant with rubbing alcohol.

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Step 3. Use a spray bottle

Use a spray bottle to treat tall plants. Fill the bottle with rubbing alcohol and then spray it all over the surface of these infested plants.

Kill Mealybugs Step 4

Step 4. Remove any mealybugs from your plant

These insects are similar to small bugs that are white in color and covered with a layer of wax. Remove them with your hands and then throw them in the trash.

They don't bite, but you can use gardening gloves so that they don't leave traces of their waxy coating on your fingers

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Step 5. Repeat this treatment every week

Do this until they are completely eliminated. Since these insects are good at hiding in hard-to-reach places, it may take several treatments with rubbing alcohol to get rid of them all. Even if you don't see them on the plant, it is best to repeat the application several times in case there are any that persist.

You can be sure that you have eliminated them all when there are none left on the plant and it remains healthy and green

Method 2 of 4: Use neem oil to treat potted or shade plants

Kill Mealybugs Step 6

Step 1. Prepare your solution

Make the mixture of water, neem oil and dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Mix two to three drops of dishwashing liquid with 5 ml of neem oil. Neem oil is a vegetable oil extracted from neem that can be used to kill mealybugs.

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Step 2. Spray the mixture on the plant to be treated

Do this until it is soaked. Make sure that the spray mixture reaches the parts of the plant such as the base of the branches, the undersides of the leaves and the surface of the soil where the plant is located. You must ensure that the insects are completely suffocated with this mixture.

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Step 3. Put the plant in the shade to dry

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or high heat so as not to burn it. If these are outdoor plants rooted in the ground, wait until it is a day where there is shade and the outside temperature is below 29 ° C.

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Step 4. Spray the plant weekly

Do this until the mealybugs are completely removed. You probably won't be able to kill them all with just one application of neem oil. These insects have a very fast life cycle, you will need to regularly eliminate the newly hatched ones every week until you can exterminate them.

If you notice that your plant looks healthy and there are no more mealybugs, then you should know that they have probably all been eliminated

Method 3 of 4: Use insecticides

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Step 1. Cut all infested branches

Do this before applying your insecticide. When the branches are infested, there is a waxy layer of white color. Removing them eliminates a good number of mealybugs and makes the insecticide more effective since the insects will have few places to hide.

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Step 2. Use insecticides suitable for ornamentals

If in doubt, take the time to read your insecticide label. To avoid destroying your plant, avoid the use of insecticides that are not designed to treat ornamentals.

Insecticides suitable for ornamental plants and which can be used to control mealybugs include acephalus, malathion, carbaryl and diazinon, among others

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Step 3. Spray the product on the plant until it is soaked

Make sure the branches and leaves of your plant are coated with insecticide. Make sure that the product has reached the base of the branches and the undersides of the leaves.

Follow the insecticide application instructions for the best results

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Step 4. Apply the insecticide regularly

Do this until all mealybugs are completely removed. One application may not be enough to rid the plant of all these insects. Take the trouble to read the instructions for use so that you know how often the product should be applied without destroying your plant.

If you notice that the plant is developing well and there are no mealybugs on it, know that you have probably killed them all

Method 4 of 4: Prevent mealybug infestations

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Step 1. Check for the presence of mealybugs

You must do this on any new plant before it is introduced into your garden. Look for small, round insects that are white in color and covered in wax. If you see mealybugs on new plants, remove them and throw them away. If there is a lot of it on the plant, you may need to discard that plant or return it to where you bought it.

Be careful never to introduce a plant to your garden if it is infested with mealybugs. You would thus avoid infecting others

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Step 2. Check your plants regularly for the presence of mealybugs

Large infestations are easier to prevent if you take care to eliminate small outbreaks on a regular basis. If you see this insect on a plant, remove it with your hands. In case this plant is more seriously infested, remove it from the garden to avoid spreading the infestation.

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Step 3. Get rid of your garden tools if they are infested with them

These insects may crowd on tools like shovels, plant tongs and pots. Always check your tools for the presence of mealybugs and avoid using them if you find any, so as not to let them invade other plants.

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Step 4. If possible, avoid using nitrogen for fertilizing your plants

High nitrogen levels can create a breeding ground for mealybugs to reproduce faster. If nitrogen fertilizer is not necessary for your plants, opt for a nitrogen-free fertilizer instead.

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