How to Get Rid of Mealybugs Before They Destroy Your Plants

These plant-sucking pests are a familiar problem in greenhouses, in gardens, and on indoor plants. Here’s how to control mealybugs naturally with beneficial insects, insecticidal soaps, and other natural techniques.

Found in warmer growing climates, mealybugs are soft-bodied, wingless insects that often appear as white cottony masses on the leaves, stems and fruit of plants.

Adults (1/10 — 1/4 inch long) are soft, oval distinctly segmented insects that are usually covered with a white or gray mealy wax. Small nymphs, called crawlers, are light yellow and free of wax. They are active early on, but move little once a suitable feeding site is found.


Adult females deposit 300-600 eggs within an excreted, compact, waxy cottony-appearing mass mostly found on the underside of leaves (these egg cases can be confused with downy mildew).

Life Cycle

1. Prune out light infestations or dab insects with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Mealybug Control

2. Do not over water or overfertilize — mealybugs are attracted to plants with high nitrogen levels and soft growth.

3. Commercially available beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewing and the Mealybug Destroyer (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri), are important natural predators of this pest.

Read The Full Article Pest Problem Solving Houseplant Pest Mealybug Control

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