What are Mealybugs?
Mealybugs are scale insects that suck the sap out of the leaves and stems of plants, resulting in stunted or deformed leaf growth, yellowing of the leaves, and leaf drop.These little white bugs on plants are most commonly found on new growth, along the veins of leaves, and at the leaf joints, but they can be found anywhere on the plant.Mealybug damage is not as quick to occur or as devastating as it is when you have spider mites on houseplants.But if a mealybug infestation goes left untreated, the plant will eventually die. Although it will usually take a long time for them to kill a plant.
What do Mealybugs look like?
Mealybugs are tiny white bugs on houseplants, and most commonly look like white fuzzy stuff on plants leaves and stems. Mealybugs can also appear brown or cream colored, and waxy in immature stages.At first glance they don’t look like insects, and are commonly mistaken for fungus or mildew rather than plant bugs.
How to control Mealybugs?
If the infested plant can tolerate the cold, place the plant on a windowsill during cold weather. This will attract the mealybugs to the leaf furthest from the window, where they can be wiped off with a cloth.
Ladybird larvae and adults feed on mealybugs, and can be used to control an infestation.
Mealybugs can be controlled using the fungus Lecanicillium lecanii.
Insecticidal soap is effective against mealybugs. It is commercially available and can be purchased online or at a supermarket.
Diazinon can be used, but often requires multiple applications.