If you have a plant in your garden, that looks withered, and has cotton-like substance on its leaves, then the plant is mealybug infested. Mealybugs are a part of the family of scale insects.
These pests are a reason for scorn, as they damage the plant in which they have taken abode. An infestation on a larger scale can lead to grave consequences; Riverland, in southern Australia, was a victim of such an infestation in the summer of 2011.
How to Control Mealybugs
Before starting with the methods of mealybug control, it's important to know why mealybug infestations are difficult to control. In the initial stage of the infestation, mealybugs reside in the folds of the plants, such that they are not visible, due to this, you cannot detect the infestation, and take necessary measures to terminate it.
These pests have white fuzz all over them, this fuzz forms a protective covering. They secrete a wax-like substance, and they lay their eggs in it, thus providing a waterproof cover for their eggs, and as a result, low pressure jets of water do not affect these eggs.
A key aspect in controlling the infestation of the mealybugs is proper identification, once you have identified and isolated the prime area of infestation, it becomes easier to control them.
Mealybug Attack in Home
Even the thought of having any kind of infestation in your home might disgust you. Mealybugs will suck the life out of your wonderful house plants.
- If you have a plant that is infested, isolate it from the other plants.
- Wash the infected area with a mixture of water and vinegar.
- You can also use rubbing alcohol, just apply the alcohol on the pests.
Mealybug Attack in Garden
Seeing your favorite plants get ruined by mealybugs is terrible. A garden is more prone to the mealybug attacks. Any infestation should be treated pronto!
- A low intensity infestation can be treated with rubbing alcohol. Observe, and repeat the rubbing alcohol treatment if necessary.
- Pesticides can be used, use pesticides that will not harm your plants. Spray pesticides for a couple of days to see an improvement.
- Release Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, the mealybug destroyer, in your garden. They have the ability to terminate the infestation.
Mealybug Attack in Farm
An infestation in your farm is very difficult to control, but if control measures are not taken, you might face a major dip in production.
- Spray pesticide on the infested plants. Regulate the amount of pesticide used, on the basis of the improvement.
- You can release mealybug destroyers in your farm, they will help in the control of the infestation.
- The number of mealybug destroyers released should be with respect to the area and intensity of infestation.
- Release 8-10 destroyers for each tree infested by the mealybugs, and 2 destroyers per infested plant.
- In a situation where you are not able to control the infestation, get rid of the infested plant.
Did You Know?
- Only female mealybugs infest the plants.
- The mealybug destroyer is actually a bug from the beetle family.
- The excretion of the mealybug is known as honeydew.
Mealybug infestation may also cause yellowing of leaves of plants, and cause the fruits and vegetables, on the plant to drop off prematurely. If you love your plants and do not want them to have an untimely death, take necessary measures to control the infestation.
The tips mentioned earlier are not so difficult to implement, they will surely help you fight the dreaded mealybug attack, and keep your plants healthy.