If you have been growing plants and facing any kinds of bugs on them, the white bugs you see on your plants can be mealybugs.
Now before controlling or killing them, you should be sure if they actually are what you are thinking.
Mealybugs are cotton-like coating with soft wingless insects that are most prominently present on garden plants and houseplants all among the south and north areas.
As young insects, they harm the plants really actively, but this starts to slow down with them growing.
Not every white bug needs to be mealybug, so before spraying your plants with the necessary procedure, you can make sure by following a few steps.
- The size of mealybugs is near about 1-5 to 1/20 inches long, and their original color is pinkish-purple type, but the cotton-like-colored appearance is due to the wax formed on them.
- They might seem to have so many legs, but the wax creates this illusion on them.
- The cotton-like protective wax can also give them an illusion of having a tail, etc., by collecting wax at the end of the body and an antenna or tail-like look.
- There are hundreds or thousands of eggs laid by these female mealybugs and those eggs look like white tiny sacs.
Now that you have verified that the bug you are dealing with is mealybug, the next step is control.
How to kill, prevent, or control mealybugs
Mealybugs are really smart as they have protective wax around them which is made through sucking honeydew etc. from your plants so now all you need to know is how to outsmart them?
Mealybugs are not so attractive towards weak plants, so if you are dealing with only a few of them then you can try not feeding your plant enough for a while and washing the bugs off, it will give you enough time to deal with the issue if not the cure.
You can also make the bugs weak and you can spray your plant with some systemic bug control, and when bugs will suck your plants, they will be weak and then die.
Still, if the mealybugs return back, then you can retry the same procedure that once worked for them which might take time but will be the most effective choice to make.
Insecticides and systemic activities are used to prevent and kill mealybugs or stop their activity. Systemic insecticides work through root or vascular system absorption and this kind of application is safer for workers as the contact is reduced, and so is the case for loss of material through irrigation, light degradation or evaporation due to heat, etc.
There have been different researches on insecticides and systemic activities resulting in the control against these bugs. According to our thorough research here, we share 5 such insecticides that are the most trusted for this understudy.
Dyna-Grow Cold Pressed Neem Oil Insecticides:
There are various solutions to deal with mealybugs once they are found on your plants but different chemical procedures can be hurting and harmful for your family or garden.
Neem oil is one of the most known naturally found remedy/insecticides in this case and markets have many of its types to enhance the ability and protection against mealybugs.
You can simply apply the above mentioned two products to control infestation of mealybugs and the danger to humans, garden species or your pets will be the minimum. Depending on the area of issue or your garden need, you can use it as soil drench or foliar spray.
Crude or raw neem oil or pre-mixed hydrophilic clarified neem oil market product;
commercial neem oil products are made from Azadirachta indicia and it has prevention against bugs at different development stages. It has the ability to stop the feeding habit of the insects and thus it does not gain further growth and eventually dies.
While buying one, you can prefer cold-pressed one as neem oil is sensitive to heat, but it effectively works against not only mealybugs but also various other pests.
You can also use foliar spray for rapid degeneration and the best time for this is near dusk or around dawn as there will be less chance of pollinators.
Ortho Insect Killer (Ready to Use) Plant Spray:
Before digging deep, you have to know that this product is also beneficial for controlling ants, crickets, whiteflies, Japanese beetles, fleas, and aphids, to name only a few, so the benefit is huge.
This product keeps killing the listed and non-listed harming pests etc. for 4 months at the very least.
This is an easy to use product and requires no mixing so you can use it whenever you want without any long mixing procedures.
It has a quick-drying ability so there will not be an odor while it is equally favorable for indoor and outdoor use on shrubs and flowers etc.
We suggest using it at the very first sign of insects or mealybugs damage to be seen and it is a really effective product so you can use it once and for the next 120 days you can keep seeing the results; not only the insects present will be dead but the ones returning to the sprayed area will face same results so one spray and no harm for next 120 days.
3 in 1 Mite/Insect/Fung and Mealybug 32 Spray:
After getting to know about mealybugs on your plant, the first step is to decide what kind of treatment you will follow, natural one, organic or chemical one.
Natural procedures are always good, but the result might be time taking and not so promising in the long terms. If your plant is of any edible fruit, you will need to use organic products as it is safer and chemical-free.
The best thing about 3 in 1 is that it controls mealybugs and provides a shield against fungus. Many fungi live inside the mealybugs while many are grown with its help, so it’s good to have a safe organic product and deal with both issues.
To treat an area of 250-500 square ft., you need only 4 OZ per gallon amount of 3 in 1 insecticide and one spray per week is good until the mealybugs are not totally gone.
Then you can spray after every 15 days of inactive months and in months when there is less chance of attack, 1 spray per month will do the job.
Safer 567 Multipurpose Insect Killer 663615 MS 32 OZ:
If you are not so bothered by the fungus or the only problem is mealybug to be solved, you can use this spray, which is beneficial in terms of less use.
For a 500 square ft. area you might need only 6 OZ per one gallon of water and even in the most affected days of your plant, 2 sprays a month will result better.
This organic product is approved for garden usage and is made from potassium and pyrethrum salts of fatty acids. You can use it in your lawn, garden, trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables as it is effective against garden pets (of almost any kind), flies, aphids, tough pests, whiteflies, etc.
It does not come with a spraying end but you can always buy that at a cheap price from the market and this one can be sprayed on the plants until the very day of harvesting but it requires almost 20 hours to settle. Once or twice a week is healthy use but increase it if it rains etc. as there are chances of product being washed.
Prothor SC 27.5 OZ 2 Mealybug Concentrate Spray:
When it comes to non-edible plants then this concentrate is the best spray you can get against mealybugs. This is water based and creates no smell, and it can be used on any yard or indoor/ outdoor plant.
It is designed to take 2-3 days for it to work so that it gets all the time to spread to all the necessary areas. It can be used as a foliage spray for shrubs, plants and trees etc. It not only controls mealybugs but also provides protection against the honeydew attracted ants attacking mealybugs for this purpose so basically it offers double protection for your plants. When using it as a spray, find a spreader to target hidden mealybugs and to increase the output.
You can also use it as soil drench but this takes weeks to work while the effect will be worth considering as it will give a protective shield to the whole plant.
When using as a systemic, add one OZ in almost 3.5 gallons for trees having 12 inches’ width. Used once in early springs or winters will keep your plants safe for the upcoming whole season.
No matter what level of mealybugs attack is under discussion, make sure to what suits you plant the best, follow the instructions and let the product do its work in related time.