Mealybugs leave behind a honeydew-like residue which can be an irritant to your skin. Mealybug females feed on plant sap, normally in roots or other crevices, and in a few cases the bottoms of stored fruit. Both of these work well.

Since the majority of them like to feed on the roots of the plant under the soil, you’ll have to uproot the plant to do this. Diatomaceous earth also kills a wide variety of other pests like cockroaches and stink bugs. Get a tub of hot water (120F), and dunk the plant in there for minutes. Insecticidal soaps don’t have any residual effect to prevent houseplant pests from coming back, so it’s important to continue to spray regularly until there are no more signs of bugs. Anyway, to be safe, always wash your hands with soap and warm water after you touch mealybugs or any of their sticky, nasty residue. Plant oil and fatty acid products are less likely to affect larger insects such as ladybird adults. Honeydew is the top food source for ants, and that’s why they protect mealybugs from predators and transport them to other plants. Then check around the rim of the pot and its base. Biological control suppliers (pdf document). Mix the solution and put it all in a spray bottle. If you have mealybugs on your basil plants, there are several things you can do to get rid of them.

Mealybugs will eat up both indoor and outdoor plants. The little white bugs develop a powdery, waxy layer, which gives them a fuzzy look. Steam cleaners are relatively cheap if you can just get a small portable unit to accomplish this. honeydew-like residue which can be an irritant to your skin.
Glasshouse mealybugs are found mainly on greenhouse plants and houseplants, especially cacti and succulents, African violets, bougainvillea, Some other mealybug species can attack outdoor plants, such as, Glasshouse mealybugs thrive in warm conditions and are rarely found on outdoor plants.

Tiny wingless insects, mealybugs are only 1/5 inch long and have a waxy, gray or white appearance. This is better if you just have a few plans that are indoors or outdoors. Honeydew is the top food source for ants, and that’s why they protect mealybugs from predators and transport them to other plants. Mealybug nymphs resemble the adult insects and can complete their development in about a month in mid-summer. I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown). Step 2: Take a cotton swab or paper napkin and dip it into the alcohol. Mealybugs suck sap from plants and then excrete the excess sugars as a substance called honeydew. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. After they become adults, they have completely different tasks. You can see that warmer weather does indeed produce more mealybugs.
To the untrained eye, mealybugs may be mistaken for mildew or plant fungus rather than an actual pest. I am hoping I can just spray with the soap/water mixture daily and kill them? It shouldn’t be enough to kill the plant since it’s not boiling, but it should be enough to kill the mealybugs instantly. Based on a study from 2013, a group tested four different essential oils from aromatic plants. So you need to be careful with it if you plan to use it as a pesticide for mealybugs. As with any other plant bugs, mealybugs can come from anywhere.

This is a safe and natural way to get rid of them. I have found Ajax dishwashing liquid with vinegar and lime really useful. You can identify mealybug infestation on plants by their distinctive white furry clumps on the leaves or stems. The second section covers some commercial pesticides you can use that are effective against mealybugs. Even plants bought in reputable stores can have unwanted pests lurking in their foliage or potting mix. After an hour or two wash the plant with a damp cloth to reduce the chance of the soap damaging the plant. Mealybugs on plants look like small white bugs or they may appear as white fuzzy stuff on plant leaves and stems. Check for mealybugs hiding under the pot tray.

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