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Mealy Bugs Won't Move Out

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  • Mealy Bugs Won't Move Out


    I have been battling mealy bugs for 2 1/2 years. I have tried dish detergent, alcohol, neem oil, volk oil, Bayer 3 in 1, ladybugs ... but they just won't die!!!!! I have lost many beautiful plants and I am afraid to get any more.

    I live in zone 10b, with a patio container garden. My patio door is open most of the year, so of course the wind has carried these demons into the condo and onto my house plants.

    Is there any way to get rid of these things once and for all? Or do I slowly watch all my plants die, wait 6 months, then start over???

    Any help is greatly apppreciated!!!!!

  • #2
    Hi SFLadybug,

    I wonder if what you have might be another pest that looks like mealy bugs. Cottony cushion scale is often mistaken for mealy bugs. You can read about them here.

    Another pest that is sometimes mistaken for mealy bugs is the citrus flatid planthopper aka frosted flatid planthopper.

    Whatever it is you have, persistance is the key to eliminating these pests. Insecticidal soap is my 'solution' of choice, but must be applied every 5 to 7 days so the newly hatching pests can be dealt with. Be sure to spray thoroughly under leaves and where leaf stems join the stems.

    It sounds like the plants you have outdoors are also infested. They will also need to be treated regularly.

    If you have been fertilizing with a synthetic fertilizer, I would suggest you stop until the problem is gone or almost gone. Synthetic ferts are like steroids for your plants and will cause a flush of succulent growth that pests love. Stressed plants are also subject to attack, so try and make sure that no plants are stressed from lack of water or a pot that is too small or too large.



    • #3
      Definitely Mealybugs


      I looked at the web sites/pests you posted, and looked at mealy bugs on those sites. I definitely have mealy bugs.

      They offer forms of control, but not extermination. I have tried most of the products they suggested, but with limited success.

      I have tried the insecticidal soap, but it did almost nothing. With the temps running cooler at night, I have taken to moving any plant that becomes infected outside, as the cooler temperature is keeping their numbers down. The latest victim is a draceanea. One of the two plants in the pot has died, and I am trying to save the other.

      I water the trees and shrubs with Bayer 3 in 1 once a month, and have recently bought Bayer Rose & Flower insect killer, which killed at least most of them on contact. Of course, with spraying the leaves, you are bound to miss a lot of the smaller ones. It is supposed to work up to 30 days, but we shall see.

      Do you know of any plants I can grow in pots that are mealy bug resistant? I have found they don't seem to like cacti, will only go after the desert rose as a last resort, and I have yet to see any on my snake plants. I would like more variety, so if you can suggest anything else, I would appreciate it.

      Thanks for your help!!
      Last edited by SFLadybug; 02-01-2009, 09:05 AM.


      • #4
        SFLadybug, I realize it's been a while since an update from you on your mealybug problem. I googled for plants resistant to mealybugs and didn't find a list of plants. There are so many different species of mealybugs that they seem to like just about everything.

        I've found the best way to fight them is to be persistant. If you are still having problems with them you might try horticultural oil. I prefer the organic Organocide that is made from sesame seeds. There is another product called Organicide that is made from petroleum.