Yes, Mealybugs are harmful to plants. The mealybug causes plants to become weak by inserting a feeding tube into the tissue to collect the sap. The bug then produces a sticky, sticky sap that’s produced by sucking on the plant. And in the process of doing this even sometimes ends up killing that plant.
The number of insects (mealybugs in this case) on a plant will tell you what to do next. In some cases, when the population is too high and the better choice is to remove the plant.
Moreover, when it comes to using chemicals for indoor gardening, make sure that the label is labeled for indoor use. Look for lists of products that can harm certain plants.
There have been many instances, where the plant becomes so infested by mealybugs that it becomes super hard to get rid of the bug even after you take off a few of them. This has even led to many owners of plants just abandoning that specific plant and let it be on its own.
Should You Toss Your Plant If It Gets Infested By Mealybugs?
Unfortunately Yes, the best thing to do if your plant gets infested by Mealybugs is to throw it out. This might sound a bit harsh, but regardless of the emotional or fiscal value that specific plant holds, it is best to get it out, or otherwise, the Mealybugs would go on to infect other plants in the vicinity as well.
Can An Infested Mealybug Plant Affect Other Plants In The Vicinity?
Yes, as said above, Mealybugs grow quite rapidly and they can spread to their surrounding plants quicker than one expects so the best thing to do is getting rid of the infected plant.
Can Mealybugs Destroy Whole Trees?
Yes, they can but a tree is often times too big to be completely affected by a group of mealybugs. For Mealybugs to completely destroy a whole grown tree, there number would need to be atleast in the thousands (depneding on the size of the tree in question as well).
Getting Rid Of Mealybugs
Starting off, you should get cotton balls, alcohol, and swabs, then go on to dip the swabs into alcohol and then use the alcohol laced balls to clean the leaves and remove all the visible mealybugs one by one.
After you are done with the above mentioned step, move on to make a custom mixture of dish soap, alcohol and water and then spray the mixture on the whole of the plant (also the parts where there are no mealybugs). Don’t forget to spray the undersides of leaves, the stem or literaly any other part of the plant.
Identifying Mealybugs On Plants!
One of the easiest ways to identify mealybug infestations is by their fuzzy white appearance on the plant. They are often found on colonies of plants.
If you spot mealybugs crawling around dark parts of your plant, they’ll already have developed an extensive infestation.
They can also be spotted by damaging a plant’s leaves. They can also cause black patches to form on its surface. They can also encourage the growth of fungi.
Fun Facts On Mealybugs!
- The length of Mealybugs reaches anywhere from 0.04 inches to 0.1 inches. The color of Mealybugs vary in-between yellow, gray white, purple, and pink.
- Mealybugs have oval-shaped body with a segmented surface. Some species have tails at the end of their bodies or filaments that extend to create impression of numerous limbs.
- Females are covered with a layer of cottony wax that’s responsible for the appearance of mealy bugs. This layer prevents the loss of water from their bodies.
- Males have wings, but they do not have mouths. This is a bit off to some people as they are Mealybugs.
- Adult mealybugs can be found on the stems, leaves, and flowers. They use a special mouth apparatus to extract sap.
- These bugs also release a liquid called honeydew, which is their waste product. It’s a suitable medium for the fungi to prevent photosynthesis.
- Mealybugs reduce the nutrients in the plant tissue by secreting toxic saliva. They then inject toxic saliva to prevent the normal growth and development of the plants.
- Females lay eggs and give birth to live babies. The babies are then hatched and grow in a waxy cocoon.
- Adult mealybug larvae go through various stages before they become fully grown. They are known to develop an incomplete metamorphosis.
- Parasitic wasps are known to attack mealybug larvae. They hatch inside the insects and eat their bodies.
- Mealybug females are sexually dimorphic, with reduced morphological features and lack wings. Males are smaller and have wings.
- Female mealybug feed on the plant’s sap. They then secrete a wax layer to protect themselves from the plant’s juices.
- The female mealy bug feeds on the sap of the plant. It then secretes a powdery wax layer to protect itself from the stinging fruit.
- Mealybug species lay their eggs in the same layer of protection for up to 100 times. They hatch from the female.
- The most damaging pests are mealybugs that feed on fruits and vegetables. They can also damage various plants such as coffee trees, sugar canes, and gardenias.
- Mealybug infestations can also infect some carnivorous plants such as the Sarracenia. These pests can be difficult to eradicate without the use of insecticides.
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