Mealybug – Control

Mealybugs can attack several kinds of houseplant. Mealybugs look like small white, cottony masses usually at the joint between a leaf and a stem. The insects suck plant sap and excrete sticky honeydew, which covers nearby leaves.

Jade plant, coleus, African violet and gloxinia are common hosts. It is easy to kill the adults with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol but because the young insects are so tiny, you never seem to get them all.

Most houseplant insecticides are in the ready-to-use spray form. On a mild day, take your plant outdoors and spray it thoroughly with a product labeled for houseplants. Leave it outdoors for a few hours and then bring it indoors.

Inspect the plant weekly for the pest. If it is discovered, spray once again as described above.

An excellent fact sheet on houseplant pests can be found here from the University of Kentucky.

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