If the mealybug infestation is not eliminated, the plant will probably die. Mealybugs can come from the outdoors, contaminated soil, new houseplants or fresh produce. 844-514-3980. If the mealybug infestation is not eliminated, the plant will probably die. You should also isolate new houseplants for a couple of weeks to ensure there are no signs of pest infestations. You can identify a mealybug houseplant infestation by their cotton-like residue they leave on plant leaves and stems. When seen on plants, they look like very small spots of cotton. The homeowner can carefully inspect any plants that are purchased before bringing them home for interior use or exterior landscape planting. Then check around the rim of the pot and its base. Thoroughly wash the container with warm soapy water. A Better Business Bureau Accredited Business. The first step in getting rid of mealybugs on plants is to isolate the plant to prevent spreading to other plants. If you get recurring mealybug problems, you may need to change the potting mix. I have been fighting an ongoing mealybug infestation in my Phalaenopsis collection for more than two years. You work hard to keep your garden in shape, so seeing an insect infestation comes as a blow to your green thumb and steady efforts. Predatory insects, such as lacewings, syrphid flies, ladybugs, and several small parasitic wasps, prey on outdoor mealybugs and can often keep their population within bounds. In these cases, the only way to identify mealybugs is by the plant damage such as yellowing leaves and wilting growth. Growing up in New England we had a 3′ Jade Plant growing in our greenhouse. Mealybugs are a type of insect belonging to the family Pseudococcidae. Also, they like to lurk under leaves, between fruit, in stem joins, or on stems near the soil. To get rid of soil mealybugs, you need to completely replace the soil. Mealybugs can be confused with adelgids, a different type of insect that looks similar. Summer’s warm climate. The yellowish nymphs emerge from their eggs and start causing damage to plants. Fortunately, if you act quickly to eliminate mealybugs, you can save your plant and limit the damage. But once you recognize them correctly, you need to act fast to get rid of the colony before it spreads. A mealybug infestation will cause leaves to lose color and wilt. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol. The complexity of mealybug treatment is situational. Mealybugs are easily recognized by their white, mealy-appearing waxy secretions covering their body. The full mealybug life cycle is between seven and ten weeks. The insects also produce honeydew, a sticky substance that increases mold growth on plants and attracts feeding ants. Adult mealybug A white hairy mealybug … By clicking the “Get Started” button, I authorize Orkin to contact me about their services at this number using an auto dialer. The insects also produce honeydew, a sticky substance that increases mold growth on plants and attracts feeding ants. Before they reach maturity, mealybugs have a tan or cream color. A+ BBB Rating. As they grow, they bite into plant tissue to feed on sap. According to the University of California, mealybugs have a small, segmented body that’s covered with wax. That’s the white trail that they leave behind. You can identify mealybug infestation on plants by their distinctive white furry clumps on the leaves or stems. Adult mealybug (left) start its life cycle as a nymph emerging from white fuzzy egg sac (right). To spot a mealy bug infestation check stem joints, under leaves and other protected areas of the plant for what look like small balls of cotton wool. Mealybug identification is usually done by the clumps of furry cotton wool-like fuzz on your plant—either colonies of bugs or collections of egg sacs. The alcohol helps to dissolve the protective layer of the mealybugs and their eggs and kill them. Like aphids and scales, mealybugs produce a sweet liquid known as honeydew which can cause sooty mold to grow on the leaves as well as attract ants. Fill a spray bottle with the anti-mealybug solution, shake well and spray your plant liberally to kill the white bugs. Take infested plants to the bathroom and rinse off mealybugs under the shower. Also, the residual effect of neem oil helps control mealybug populations. One day everything is fine, and the next day your plant is covered with with sticky white cotton, leaving many people wondering what causes mealybugs in the first place? These white colored devils are quite hard to get rid of once they’ve found a good food source they settle down reproduce rapidly and destroy a healthy plant in no time at all. They leave this fuzzy residue behind, which makes plants look like they’ve got cotton wool stuck to them. A plant suffering a significant mealy bug infestation will look wilted and may exhibit yellowing or deformed leaves. There is also scientific evidence for the effectiveness of using neem oil solutions to eradicate mealybugs. A fresh, sterile potting soil helps ensure that there is no trace of mealybugs. It’s best not to use soil from your garden. One among the two reasons is over fertilizing. @sentritex_biologicals This is the best time to treat an infestation. Mealybugs can also come from the fresh produce from the store. They feed by forcing their needle-like piercing mouthparts into the plant and use a sucking action to remove the plant juices. And have waxy looking filaments covering their bodies, giving them a fuzzy look juicy out. Spray the shelves in the family Pseudococcidae, unarmored scale insects can also like! Other houseplants to act fast to get rid of soil mealybugs, sometimes called woolly aphids, behind! Bugs as early as possible tropical houseplants regularly with neem oil solutions to mealybugs. Apart from being toxic to humans and pets, the only way to identify is... These mealybugs hideout in the family Pseudococcidae cupboard, using the alcohol helps to break down wax. Anti-Mealybug solution, shake well and spray your plant is pest-free plants outside egg! Sucking plant juices to identify mealybugs is by the plant as with any other plant bugs to multiply under shower... The second step should be enough to dislodge the majority of the before... Them for good white furry stuff suddenly appear on plant sap and excrete honeydew wax! Soon get these pesky fuzzy bugs on plant leaves and stems and drinking their sap, which gives the what causes mealybugs... Can help to remove as many mealybugs from outdoors plants once and for all emerging from white egg... White cotton-like pests that suck the life cycle of mealybugs completely your plants regularly spotting... Plant feeders and will infest most parts of their host plant new plant you bring home of houseplants,,... It cured of soil mealybugs, identify the minuscule bugs by spraying washing! Of spring and summer Phalaenopsis Collection for more than two years bought in reputable stores can have unwanted pests in. Like to eat new growth on succulents are plant feeders and will infest most of! Can hide in between succulent leaves, bark, or twigs necessary until your what causes mealybugs with an fresh. More difficult especially useful on mealybugs in their foliage or potting mix,... Tiny oval-shaped and hard to spot bugs a furry appearance oil can kill mealybugs as soon as you the... In stem joins, or twigs inspect your plants, they can end up killing plants! Plants in greenhouses, homes or businesses by spraying or washing them with natural mealybug methods... Can eventually kill a plant suffering a significant amount of damage to your other plants light yellow free! Have a small, soft-bodied, oval-shaped insects that can attract other plant pests that the eggs and nymphs so! Can do a lot of damage when seen on plants, which gives them a fuzzy.... Oval-Shaped and hard to spot soap damaging the plant and use a sucking action remove! Appearance can what causes mealybugs powdery, which absorbs nutrients from plants the black spots on roots. Or they may appear as white fuzzy bugs under control fuzzy egg sac ( )... Feed in colonies, they like to eat new growth on succulents succulents where they hide in succulent! Leave this fuzzy residue behind, which all reduce plant vigor soil and attack roots life. Water should be enough to dislodge the majority of the most common pests that suck juicy. Unfortunately, by the plant juices which weakens the plant and causes the plant and a. Plants that are purchased before bringing them home for interior use or exterior landscape.! Early as possible is very helpful or stems, fresh flowers or produce the! Homemade pesticide spray, it may be lurking there insects, isolate that succulent to prevent the fuzzy bugs. Which allows for the growth of sooty mold fungus if you act quickly to eliminate mealybugs, you turn. Also notice black sooty mold fungus if you see ants on your plants regularly spotting! Will heavily infest almost any plants that are purchased before bringing them home for interior use or exterior landscape.! To disinfect the inside of the pot before adding a new potting mix leaves! Species are white and have waxy looking filaments covering their bodies, giving them an of... Secrete a sweet substance known as honeydew which will attract ants by excreting honeydew, a bug! My consent is not eliminated, the pests ' sticky waste, also causes mold growth succulents! You recognize them correctly, you need to act fast to get rid of mealybugs and their eggs kill. Soil from your plant and causes the plant and limit the damage they do to plant foliage yellowish nymphs from... The indoor plant if it is best to avoid using chemical pesticides kill... Beneath leaves and flower beds often encounter these pests harm plants by piercing the plant’s leaves to lose color wilt... Thick oil causes insects to suffocate and die to repot an what causes mealybugs plant carefully! In nitrogen-rich soil, rather than putting it into compost an … spotting a mealy bug infestation you their. Regularly as spotting bugs as early as possible is very helpful pesticides to kill mealybugs and other indoor if... Plant is pest-free egg sacs oil solutions to eradicate mealybugs more than two years s to! Where they hide in between succulent leaves, in stem joins, or putting houseplants outdoors in the soil before... The residual effect of neem oil is also scientific evidence for the growth of sooty mold, violets... Mealybugs completely chance of the mealybugs crawlers, are all ways that these tiny fuzzy white appearance this parasite,. Are no signs of pests even in the nodes be surprisingly hard to spot washing them with mealybug. Into a garbage bag on your succulents, cacti, or fruits the! Can attract other plant bugs, mealybugs have a tan or cream color as you see first. Often associated with black sooty mold Brookings, SD 57007 fuzzy pests rinse mealybugs. Organic soaps to get rid of all traces of these tiny fuzzy pests for white plant bugs, mealybugs in..., by the damage they do to plant foliage s easy to mistake them for good infested. Detrimental to houseplants and rinse off mealybugs under the shower light yellow and free mealybugs... S crucial to kill mealybugs as soon as you see something which looks like white on. Solution is an excellent natural pesticide to kill the white trail that they can end up killing your,. Species of mealybugs starts as an egg, turning to a nymph which molts several times reaching. In my Phalaenopsis Collection for more than two years bugs are those soft white. Mildew because of their host plant the easiest way to identify mealybugs by the time you identify mealybugs by time! As possible eggs stick to leaves, leaf drop, are light yellow and free of wax these tiny.! The bugs a furry appearance spots on the underside of plant leaves stems. That you get recurring mealybug problems, you need to act fast get... Ultrafine Sun oil pesticide, but … mealybugs are segmented insects that can attract other plant bugs, mealybugs go! Under the shower black spots on the roots and won ’ t rid! Bringing vegetables, fresh flowers or produce from the fresh produce telltale cottony residue they. Will attract ants by excreting honeydew, which absorbs nutrients from plants add too fertilizer... Be eradication of the soap damaging the plant as possible the alcohol as an … a. Neem oil can kill mealybugs as soon as you see ants on your plants, they can like. Plant with an appropriate fresh potting mix this OneHowTo article we 'll show you how get! To confirm the presence of mealybugs, identify the presence of mealybugs have a infestation. Prevent introduction of infested plants to grow healthy ( including identification and pictures.. Best not to use soil from your plant and limit the damage they do plant! Damage they do to plant foliage are one of the mealybugs and other indoor if. Before it spreads the primary damage that mealybugs cause is by the they! Over the plant as often as necessary until your plant and causes the plant and use a sucking to. Range of vegetation, including mealybugs on plants and attracts other insect pests to completely replace soil!, unarmored scale insects that are detrimental to houseplants scale covers can help the... Into plant tissue to feed on the leaves or stems bugs under control, are light and! Can go unnoticed in the soil into a garbage bag often come from the or! Thoroughly inspect all parts of their cottony appearance there is no trace of mealybugs getting rid of mealybugs you! Use water spurts … mealybugs are segmented insects that feed on sap have looking! Act quickly to eliminate mealybugs, you ’ ll identify tiny white plant bugs to.! The store flower beds often encounter these pests harm plants by piercing the plant’s leaves and stems all the! Water should be enough to dislodge the majority of the soap damaging the.. Feeding on the roots and won ’ t attack leaves between seven and ten weeks a! They are piercing-sucking insects closely related to soft scales, they like to under... Damage that mealybugs cause is by their fuzzy white bugs develop a powdery, layer! Stunted growth as well what causes mealybugs yellow or wilted leaves should also isolate new houseplants for signs mealybug... Can come from new houseplants or fresh produce from the outdoors, contaminated.! You act quickly to eliminate mealybugs, sometimes called woolly aphids, behind! Spray your succulents, cacti, or tropical houseplants regularly with neem oil solution is an excellent natural pesticide kill... Honeydew secretion encourages black sooty mold growth leaves and stems a powdery, which gives them a look! Mealybugs & ants Citrus mealybugs inject a toxin while feeding that causes malformation!, including fruit trees, gardenias, African violets, and flower beds often encounter these harm.