When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.
After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.
If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.
Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:
Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs.
Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents.
If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine.
If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.
Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.
So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.
How can mealybugs be stopped?
Take out all observable mealybugs by dipping cotton balls and swabs in alcohol. Clean the leaves with balls, and the spaces with swabs.
1 quart (32 ounces) of water, a few drops of Dawn dish soap, and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol should be combined. Fill the spray bottle with the solution.
Spray the entire plant, not just the areas where mealybugs may be seen. Spray stems, top, and undersides of leaves well.
- To prevent harm to any furniture or floors, be sure to cover the area where you are treating the plant.
- Before contacting other plants, remember to wash your hands and your tools after working on any plant that has a problem.
What do mealybugs on succulents look like?
Let’s talk about the Mealybug, the bane of every succulent lover. We despise them. We hate them. We despise them. See what I mean? They are the worst people ever. Beautiful succulents can be destroyed by them in an instant when they appear out of nowhere. Mealybugs on your succulent typically appear as a white, cottony substance close to the new growth. On rosette-type plants, they can be found right in the center of the plant, on the stem, or at the base of the leaves. Even if there are no outward indications of them, mealybugs can sneak up on you, so it’s a good idea to periodically inspect your plants. Most of the time, your leaves will start to become twisted and deformed before you even detect the real bugs. This occurs when pests congregate close to your fresh growth.
If you don’t properly examine the entire plant, Mealybugs may occasionally be more difficult to notice. The leaves on a plant like this Aeonium tabuliforme grow so closely together that mealys are unable to pass through them. Instead of having a plant that is obviously malformed, the insects are skulking underneath, feeding on older leaves and recent growth close to the stem. Mealybugs can breed in this potentially hazardous environment, making it simpler for them to spread to neighbouring plants undetected.
The above-mentioned mealy conditions are tolerable, and plants like these will probably recover soon with some help. However, other times the plant may be so contaminated and broken that it is advisable to JUST KILL IT WITH FIRE! Not particularly, however you should remove it as soon as you can from your other succulents to prevent the infestation from spreading.
Mealybugs—are they harmful to succulents?
Mealy bugs, a type of scale insect that sucks the juices from plants and causes stunting, yellowing, and malformed leaves, frequently pose issues for even succulent house plants.
Mealybugs are difficult to see on succulents because they hide in leaf crevices and other nooks and crannies.
Mealy insect infestations can take some time to manifest their problems and damage, and if left unchecked, they can have a fatal effect on succulent plants.
Are mealybugs able to infest your home?
Mealybugs are drawn to plants both inside and outside. The pests will target a variety of plants, including African violets, gardenias, and fruit trees. Mealybugs conceal themselves under leaves and flower petals, making it even more difficult to see their tiny bodies.
These pests are frequently found in gardens, flowerbeds, and indoor plants. The warm spring and summer months are ideal for the mealybug to flourish.
These pests damage plants by puncturing their leaves and stems and ingesting their sap, which causes the leaves to wilt and turn yellow. Mealybug honeydew, the pests’ sticky excrement, attracts additional insect pests and encourages mold growth on plants. Mealybugs do not eat people or infect them with diseases.
Preventing the introduction of infected plants into the interior of the house is one of the simplest strategies to control mealybug infestations. Any plants that are bought can be carefully examined by the homeowner before being brought inside or planted as part of an outdoor landscape. It is a good idea to “quarantine the plants for around two weeks,” even if the plants don’t seem to have mealybugs. Cutting off or culling infected leaves or stems will prevent mealybugs from having a chance to increase their population on the infected plant, preventing damage. To stop mealybugs from spreading to other, uninfected plants, simply disposing of infected plants may be the most effective way to prevent damage as a last resort.
If a minor mealybug infestation is found, the afflicted plant(s) may need to be treated with alcohol-soaked cotton swabs to get rid of the pests, exposed to running water to kill the pests, or washed with soapy water.
If the mealybug infestation is severe, the treatment strategy can call for a solution that not only kills mealybugs but also kills ants that eat the honeydew that the mealybugs create. This is crucial because ants can carry mealybugs from one plant to another and shield them from predators, increasing the number of infected plants. If the treatment plan calls for the use of a product, it is typically better to let your pest management professional administer it because his or her training and expertise ensure that the product’s labeled use instructions are strictly followed.
Mealybugs are tiny, oval-shaped insects with soft bodies that are coated in a white, powdery wax. Additionally, several species of mealybugs have projections that protrude from their bodies, creating the impression that they have numerous legs on the side and back of the body. They resemble tiny cotton specks when spotted on plants.
Mealybugs move slowly, but when they locate a good spot on the plant, they frequently become motionless and group together.
Mealybugs consume plant liquids for food, which weakens the plant and causes the leaves to droop, wilt, and become yellow. Additionally, the insects create honeydew, a gooey material that encourages mold growth on plants and draws in ant predators. The plant may perish if the mealybug infestation is not eradicated.
Mealybugs & Ants
Mealybugs draw ants by excreting honeydew, which the ants eat because it is sticky and delicious. Mealybug infestations typically manifest as yellowing and wilting leaves on plants, and if the infestation is not resolved, the plant may eventually perish.
Mealybugs feed on plants and will infest the majority of the host plant’s tissues. They commonly inhabit various outdoor plants, including annuals, bushes, and shrubs, where they are typically found on the underside of plant leaves and stems. Nearly any plant in greenhouses, households, or businesses will become severely infested by mealybugs. They consume plants by driving their needle-like mouthparts into them and sucking out the plant juices.
How did mealybugs arrive on my plant?
My husband and I sometimes make the joke that after appreciating someone’s succulents in their home, the first thing I say is, “Oh, sure, you have mealybugs. How humiliating! However, it really comes from a good place. I wish to assist those who, like me, are unaware of their problems. Immediately after this, a helpful “…and here’s what you can do about it” is always added.
I initially believed that having a mealybug infestation was a wonderful thing. It started to appear in areas with recent growth, and I thought, “Oh cool, it’s expanding! I wasn’t worried until my jade plant began to lose leaves rapidly. After I treated it, that same Jade briefly came back to life, but in the end it went to Flora Heaven.
What exactly are mealybugs, then? They are a very prevalent indoor plant pest. By bringing home infected plants from a nursery, they can enter your home (or outside plants) from warmer climes. They disperse among plants and eat the growth tips. They are small white creatures that build cottony nests where they feed. Even in the roots, they may survive.
How do you recognize them? You should periodically check your plants for bugs and any other problems. These small creatures are masters at camouflage. Although they can be seen with the naked eye, they frequently tuck themselves into areas that are difficult to view, such as leaf joints and plant undersides.
What can you do about it then? Move the sick plant far from your healthy plants first. Move it into a different room, not simply a foot or two over. Simply wipe them off with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill them. Remember that a mealybug has a 30-day life cycle. Therefore, even if you successfully set up the nests the first time, you will need to maintain this routine once a week for at least a month to make sure you got them all. Other possibilities include spraying insecticidal soap on the plant, making your own dishwashing liquid and water, applying neem oil, and I’ve even heard of using Windex. Always read the label because some of these treatments can make you more sensitive to light and risk a sunburn if you expose your succubabies to the sun right away.
How can you avoid acquiring them? The greatest thing to do after purchasing your new plant baby is quarantine it so you have time to see if any problems arise. But who wants to do that? Not me! But hey, at least I made it clear what you needed to accomplish.
Being selective in the nursery is occasionally the simplest solution. Before making the purchase, carefully inspect your prospective plant child, and once you get home, develop the habit of looking for them on all of your succulents.
Get into the habit of spraying all of your succulents with an insecticidal detergent before you bring them inside and again when you first set them outside in the spring if your climate requires you to move them indoors during the winter.
What draws mealy insects?
Mealybugs are drawn to specific plants that contain a lot of the liquids they like to eat. Mealybugs can be a major hazard to some commercial crops, like mango, and citrus trees are particularly vulnerable. Numerous indoor houseplants, particularly tropical species, are susceptible to mealybug infestation.
Mealybugs may occur if you overwater and overfertilize your plants since they are drawn to plants with high nitrogen levels and soft growth.