How to detect and treat Mealy Bug infestation
Mealy bugs are part of the family Pseudococcidae and occur in every part of the world. They are found in warm-moist climates, feed on plant juices and can be deadly to any plant.
Once a Mealy Bug affects a plant, the infested plant stops growing. Leaves are discolored and the plants start to shrivel. Because of this, ants will become problematic. Ants breed and help guard mealy bugs for their honeydew secretions and will help spread the infestation through the collection. A weakened plant/tree can also be prone to fungi and rot. Before any new plant is added, it should be thoroughly examined and infested plants must be quarantined.
Finding a tree service may be your best choice to assist with the infestation. Although, there are a few different ways to treat and prevent Mealy bugs. If infestation isn’t severe, Mealy bugs can be picked off with tweezers or sprayed off using warm water. You can trim and cut off the severely infested areas. If plants are in a windy area, check plants nearby because eggs and nymphs can easily spread.
You need to manually remove nests and insects and make sure the wooly covering is gone. This will prevent pesticides from doing their job. An insecticide called “Malathion” is often used to help remove these annoying creatures. If the infestation is severe then several treatments over a matter of weeks is required. If the problem consists in the root, then you should remove all soil and destroy it. Preventative measures can be taken by adding moth balls to the potting mix or using fumigant smoke. Make sure to remove dead leaves and flowers because mealy bugs like to hide under them.
Mealy bugs can be bothersome and effectively preventing them will allow healthy growth in your greenery.