Uninvited Guest: Mealy Bugs

Sunday is here, and we take advantage of the time to check the plants out. To our surprise when I looked at my rain lilies they were invaded by mealy bugs. Were, is the word, after two hours, half a bag of q-tips and a quarter of a bottle of 70% alcohol. Problem has been taken care of.

It’s the season for these uninvited plant sucking pest to visit your plants, and it is of utter importance to regularly inspect them, know how to identify the intruders, and have a few tricks under your selves to get rid of them.

mealybug

rainlily
Rain Liliy after some well deserved TLC!

Mealy Bugs

Soft body insects covered in a white fuzz and they will literally suck the life out of your plant. Their life cycle lasts about 45 days.

mealybug_lifecycle (1)
Female go through three stages (instars) in their cycle  and can lay up to 600 eggs which means that in a good plan you must keep inspecting the plant constantly for the following month, to make sure you can take care of the following generation. Male pass through five stages (instars), they stop feeding once they reach the third stage when they develop their wings and dedicate the remaining of their life on fertilizing females.

Taking care of  Mealy Bugs

  • Dab a q-tip in 70% alcohol and simply wipe the mealy bugs out of the plant.
  • Blast them off  with a strong stream of water, sometimes I will add a tad of alcohol and dish washing detergent (concoction depends on the plants)
  • Allow the soil to dry it will make them come up the stems, making it easier to remove.
  • Remove dead leaves, usually it’s where you will find the adult females and the eggs.

 

 

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