Mealybugs can eat off your plants if they infest them. Before you can devise your pest control strategy, know about the causes, the places they target, and natural remedies to ward them off. – Gro Indoor
Skip to content


Preventive Measures to Quickly Eliminate Mealybugs from Your Plants

by 09 Apr 2023

Preventive Measures to Quickly Eliminate Mealybugs from Your Plants

Whenever there is a garden, field, or even a forest, they are home to harmful and beneficial bugs alike. As a gardener, you must be wary of different pests and insects that can damage your plants. One of the most common garden pests that you shall be aware of is mealybugs. It is essential to know the options that can help you get rid of these bugs. Whether you are dealing with a mealybug infestation at present or not, you will know how to tackle it if you ever come across such an infestation. Mealybugs are tiny white-scale insects that leave behind honeydew on plant foliage that can cause issues.

This article will benefit you with tips to identify these pesky white bugs and some preventive measures to halt their infestation. If you still have some persistent infestation, you can find both natural and chemical-based remedies to deal with it. Before we jump on to a solution, let us know a little more about these troublesome insects.

Mealybugs: Introduction

Mealybugs belong to the Pseudococcidae family containing more than 300 species of similar insects. These bugs can be a big nuisance to handle for outdoor growers, and they can also wreak havoc for indoor growers. Some cases have reported that they can even invade a drying crop, making the growers and gardeners feel miserable and frustrated.

Mealybugs prefer warm and humid conditions, and the indoor grow room are their ideal spot to reside. They nourish themselves by sucking all the juices from foliage and young stems. They also leave their sap, known as honeydew, which serves as an invitation for other insects, including wasps, aphids, and ants.

Honeydew can also attract black sooty molds and other mildews. Mealybugs are two-pronged. They not only eat your leaves, but they also damage them further by leaving their sap on them. For these reasons, it is vital to put a halt to their infestation on your plants quickly.

Hoe to Recognize Mealybugs?

Are you looking for signs or tips to help you identify and distinguish mealybugs from other pests? Mealybugs are tiny, but they have some distinguishable features that can help in their identification. They are rounded, soft-bodied that are noticeably segmented, and covered with wax. You can also track them by tracing the honeydew trails they leave behind. A mature female bug ranges from 1/4th to 1/3rd of an inch.

Once hatched, their nymphs will keep crawling until they find a plant of their choice. A grasshopper or other pests often move to new food sources, but mealybugs do not move around much once they have found a home (plant). Their reproduction is too fast than one can imagine, and it can quickly overrun your whole garden. The number of eggs a female mealybug can lay varies from species to species.

But on average, a female mealybug lays 200 or more eggs in one season that take 10-19 days to hatch. You will find their egg sacs attached to the underside of leaves, stems, and twigs. Some of the species carry their egg sacs with them until they hatch. A mealybug completes its lifecycle in 30 days, provided the temperature is warm and the climate is humid. There can be 3-4 generations in a single outdoor growing season. They can be troublesome year-round in indoor growing mediums.

Vulnerable plant parts to mealybugs?

You won't identify the bug by seeing it but by noticing the signs of damage on your plants, like honeydew trails or a white moldy substance resembling powdery mildew. The best sign for identifying their infestation is the cottony white protectant these bugs use to cover themselves. At the same time, they munch away at your plant. Many growers say that seeing that white protectant on their plants made them think it was powdery mildew (PM), but closer examination led to mealybugs’ infestation.

Usually, mealybugs feed in clusters or colonies. Whenever you are looking for them, don’t look for one but a group. They creep into hiding spots like branch crotches, cracks in the stem, and the underside of leaves. You can also trace their presence by tracking the abundance of ants and aphids attracted to their honeydew trails.

Reasons why mealybugs infest a plant

Suppose we intend to get rid of the mealybug infestation or prevent them from infiltrating our garden. In that case, we must know about infestation causes. In outdoor plants, it is more likely possible for mealybugs to stumble upon your plants. They reside outdoors, and you are growing plants in their home, so it is quite likely for them to feast on your plants.

Although it is impossible for any pest to infest your plants in indoor growing mediums, you have an option to seal your growing area from the rest of the surroundings. There is no surefire way you guarantee that your indoor plants will remain safe from pests. These mealybugs love hot and humid conditions, which are the dominant features of a grow room or a grow tent. Other factors that can lead to mealybug infestation in your plants are:

Bringing an infected plant or other infected materials from the nursery to your house.

Using uncleaned or contaminated potting mixtures or soil frequently.

Keeping the outdoor potted plants right after rain with your indoor plants.

Measures to prevent infestation

Fortunately, if you are presently dealing with an infestation and want a quick fix, there are plenty of natural remedies and beneficial bugs to your garden’s rescue. Are you still looking for preventive measures to get rid of mealybugs? Here is what you should do.

Inspect and countercheck all the new arrivals, isolate, and monitor the mother plants before introducing them to your garden.

Keep a check on your plants. Examine the under leaves services for any early signs. Early detection can save you from a huge loss.

Introduce beneficial bugs like ladybugs or green lacewings that feed on mealybugs.

Keep your grow room environment in check and look for temperature changes. Hot and humid temperature fasten their reproduction. A colder temperature (below 55-degree F) can kill these bugs.

Use soil with excellent drainage to prevent any mold or mildew infiltration in the growing medium.

Provide substantial airflow through plants by strategically placing your outdoor plants or placing fans in your indoor growing medium.

Organic methods to avoid infestation

If your garden is currently bearing the consequences of mealybug infestation, do not worry, we can help you with different controlling strategies. If you notice a mealybug or two on your plant, pick them off your plant and throw them far away from your garden. Mealybug does not colonize or reproduce before 19 days, so they won’t reproduce the moment they set on your plants. You can spray or steam the affected areas of your plant with water. Douse your plants well to cleanse off any of these nasty pests. If they persist, try one of the following options.

Plant washes and Neem oil

Mix 1 liter of water with 5-7 ml of plant soap, and shake it well. Spray it on the leaves surface, tender shoots, branches, and underneath the leaves to wash them completely in the evening. The next morning, wash the entire plant with plain water.

Doing so will cleanse off these bugs and their honeydew from plants. Repeat the process every third day until you get a hold of the situation. You can use budget-friendly options like Monterey lawn and garden or Earth Juice. In case you are looking for OMRI-approved options, look for Biosafe AzaGuard.

Apple cider vinegar

It is an all-purpose natural remedy for many things, including mealybugs. Mix 2-3 ounces of water with an ounce of apple cider vinegar. Spray this liquid on your plants in the evening. Spraying it on plants blocks the mealybugs’ molting procedure and kills other pests on plants. It is completely safe for plants, and you do not have to repeat this procedure on consecutive days.

Diatomaceous earth

Another preferred and most effective natural remedy is DE or diatomaceous earth. It helps you get rid of mealybugs by stopping their support from other insects like ants. Spread the DE around your plant’s stem, and it will stop the ants from climbing up on the plant. Preventing ants from getting to mealybug reduces the infestation. You can try one of these OMRI-listed options for DE, like Safer brand DE is one of the best in market.

Bottom line

With all the tips and information you have gathered about mealybugs, you are more than ready to fight them off if they ever infest your garden. If you wish to learn more about them, have a look at our complete guide on common garden pests and diseases at These pests can give your plants a tough time rejuvenating; having preventive measures at hand can help get rid of them.

Sep 23rd 2022
Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items