Succulent Mealybugs: How to Kill Common Pests on Succulents?
There is no surprise in witnessing people decorating their personal spaces. An in-thing today is to welcome succulents in your home.
Succulents are essentially plants, which come complete with thick fleshy tissues. As a result of this, they are capable of storing water. Succulents, which do not have leaves, store water in their stem. Contrary to this, few succulents possess small leaves, where they store water.
The reason why most people have softs for succulents is that they contribute to making the air fresh. They help in getting rid of the toxins in the environment.
The capability of succulents to sustain in conditions with less water and harsh temperatures makes them a viable plant.
However, when succulent mealybugs continue to stay put, it may end up becoming a matter of concern. As a succulent parent, your job should be to find answers to the question, how to kill mealybugs?
In this write-up, we will be talking expensively about these succulent pests and ways to combat them from killing your plant.
What are mealy bugs?
Unarmored scaly insects, which are usually found in moist and warm habitats are what we come to understand about succulent mealy bugs. Mealybugs are otherwise known as pests because they feed on plant juices.
In the presence of ants, mealy bugs turn into serious pests. This is because ants keep these insects protected from predators and parasites.
They usually occur out of nowhere. However, their introduction in your house is likely from another plant or a nursery or plant store that you had visited.
These bugs usually find a place for themselves underneath the plant leaves or stems. Once they make their way on your succulent, they end up heavily infesting your plants as a whole.
Succulent mealybugs have a tendency to support new growth, rather quickly. When these pests start infesting your plant, the leaves of your plant first turn yellow. In due course, they fall off from the plant.
These pests are so hazardous that they are capable of prematurely dropping off fruits, vegetables, and flower buds that may be sitting on the plant.
They are visible to the naked eye in the form of a white-colored growth that forms cottony nests when they are feeding.
In the cases, where they live in the roots of the plant, it may be difficult to spot them.
However, the end of the story is that irrespective of the variant of the mealybug, each one of them is a nasty pest that needs to be gotten rid of rather immediately. This is the only step you can take in the interest of your succulents. It is not possible to prevent them from finding a way on your plants. Thus, as soon as they become visible to you, killing them is the only option that you have.
Do ants support mealybugs?
Succulent mealybugs operate in close harmony with ants. Thus, if you see ants thriving around your succulents, you should start looking for mealybugs too.
There are situations in which ants are responsible for transporting mealybugs to your plant. Mealybugs produce honeydew residue, which ants feed on. Thus, there is no surprise to see these insects thriving on your succulents together
How to kill Mealy Bugs?
If you spot mealybugs on succulents, do not worry. Getting rid of these succulents pests is not an impossible task in itself.
The moment you realize mealybugs have found a way to your succulent, quarantine the plant immediately. This is a necessary step to prevent other plants in the close vicinity of your succulent from being infested.
Use Organic Pesticides:
If how to kill mealybugs is a question crossing your mind right now, then understanding organic pesticides will prove to be useful in this case.
It is not advisable to use synthetic pesticides because mealybugs are resistant to the chemicals present in such pesticides. In addition, when the same chemical pesticide is used on mealybugs repeatedly, they remain unaffected by the contained chemical.
Let us now view some home remedies that can help to kill mealybugs on plants.
When infected plants are exposed to soapy water, mealybugs are likely to find a way out. You can simply mix liquid soap with water and spray the mixture on your succulents.
If your succulent is heavily infested, you can use this water to wash off the leaves of your succulents. However, a subtle reminder here is that soapy water in its individual capacity cannot be considered as a treatment for mealy bugs. What is equally important is to follow the cleaning activity with a reliable treatment.
This is a powerful germicide, which can help in getting rid of succulents pests. All you need to do is dip cotton in this solution and wipe off the infected areas.
This may sound tedious, but is a sure-shot solution. While using this method, you may even try to get rid of some of the mealybugs by taking them off using your hands. Generally, mealybugs do not bite, but still, as a matter of caution, you can use gloves.
Getting rid of succulent mealybugs has now become a cakewalk with the help of organic neem oil. This oil helps in not just eliminating the existent mealy bugs, but also does wonders to restrict reoccurrence.
Its residual effect prevents you from having to treat the plant regularly, which saves time and effort.
One of the best ways of tackling mealybugs is to cover the soil of an infected plant with something like a sand soil cover.
Likewise, topping the soil with something like diatomaceous earth will also prove equally helpful.
Yellow sticky traps:
An inexpensive and non-toxic method that helps in getting rid of succulents pests is the yellow sticky traps.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
If you wish to end the molting process of mealy bugs, then apple cider vinegar can work as a miraculous ingredient.
All you need to do is mix apple cider vinegar with water and spray the solution on the infested succulent.
This solution is great for not only mealy bugs but an array of other harm-causing pests as well.
You can even use a mixture of dishwashing soap, neem oil, and water to get rid of succulent mealybugs. However, when using this treatment, you need to make sure that your succulent is not exposed to direct sunlight. If it is, it would be advisable to place it under shade.
Likewise, if you wish to complete the treatment, while still keeping the plant in the outdoors, then wait for a shady day with a lower temperature.
At first, you can try these home remedies to get rid of succulent pests. In most cases, you will not have to look any further.
Introducing predatory insects:
Even though it may sound difficult to execute at first, introducing predatory insects may help you in getting rid of mealy bugs that are trying to infest your succulents.
Lacebugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps make great predatory insects that help in killing down mealy bugs. Likewise, beetle, which is popularly known as the “mealybug destroyer” can do wonders in killing succulents pests.
You can purchase these predatory insects from commercial retailers online.
Insect Growth Regulators:
One of the best ways of restricting mealybugs from growing or reproducing is to turn to IGRs, which are better known as Insect Growth Regulators.
These products are usually mixed with a couple of insecticides, which help in killing insects such as mealybugs.
If you are interested in tackling mealybugs that are causing havoc on your succulents, go ahead and try out these methods.
How to keep a vigil on mealybugs?
To prevent mealybugs from destroying your succulents, it is important for you to keep an eye on them.
- Firstly, it is important for you to carry out a thorough check of your succulents at regular intervals. Regular examination is pivotal. Being vigilant would help to trace mealy bugs as soon as they start making their way on your plants.
- If you inspect your succulents only to find mealy bugs, it is time to kick-start the treatment procedures.
- If necessary, you can replace the container of the infected plant. Follow by putting the above-mentioned home remedies into play.
- If the level of infection is high, washing down your plant may be beneficial.
- Distance your succulent from other plants to avoid any part of it touching the other plants in the vicinity. This is necessary to control the infection from spreading.
- Keep checking the infected plant to see if your remedies are working.
- Make sure to keep the treatment going until all the mealybugs completely disappear. You should note that mealybugs have a tendency to hide temporarily. They may make a comeback very soon. So play smarter than they do.
- Even when you are sure that, you have killed down all the mealybugs continue to keep the recovered succulent away for a few weeks. Even then, if there are no signs of mealy bugs you can place in alongside your other plants.
Taking care of your Plants is the first step to keeping mealybugs away:
Even though it is quite possible to eliminate mealy bugs, you can prevent their occurrence in the first place.
How can you do that? Simply, by taking good care of your plants. Plants, which are weak and stressed, are more likely to contract mealy bugs. Hence, for starters, your focus should be on helping your succulent thrive instead of tackling with the growth of mealy bugs.
There is no denying that succulent mealybugs can pose a huge problem, if not treated immediately. No plant owner would like to see their succulents being destroyed before their eyes. Hence, immediate and appropriate action is necessary.
What should you do? Find ways to kill down mealy bugs. Don’t know how? A read of the about write-up will prove useful.
Likewise, you need to be careful when you go to purchase new plants. Avoid buying plants that have sticky honeydew or black mold on them. These are the first signs of mealy bugs making an entry on your plants, which is where being attentive will help.
Goodbye Mealy Bugs, it is time to witness succulents thriving.