Mealybug control is essential if you want to see your crops flourish throughout the season. You can get professional pest control to aid and maintain your crops even during bad infestations.
Description of Mealybug
Don’t be fooled by a mealey bugs “fluffy” appearance, they are not cute and can savagely destroy your cash crops! You can spot a mealybug by their fluffy-looking white dusted bodies, these are often the adult females. It almost looks as if they were dusted with some flour of some sorts hence the name. Most mealybug males have wings, but males often remain out of sight. Some mealybugs have twin tails while others don’t.
Mealy bug eggs will hatch within 10 days. Thereafter the mealybug larvae will move to another part of the same host plant until they develop into an adult, which takes around 4 to 8 weeks. These pests can grow up to 10 inches long.
Identifying Mealybugs Damage
Before getting to mealybug control insecticide and the lot, first you need to know what the damage is like.
For starters, mealybugs thrive off young plants and they will feed off the leaves and fruit as much as possible. Bad infestations will result in having to throw out the entire plant because damage would be beyond repair. With time, the damaged leaves will become excessively yellow and eventually drop off the plant. The damage they cause to new plants and vegetables will stint the growth and development which results in the fruit dropping off the plant prematurely.
Mealybugs also feed off many horticultural crops in greenhouses; however, identifying the host plant will depend entire on the type of mealybug species. Some host plants include false aralia, pothos, marigold, aglaonema and begonia to name a few.
Mealybug Control to Avoid Damage
Spotting mealybugs in their larvae phase is extremely difficult as they’re only around 2mm in length. In many cases, they are only spotted once in the adult phase (this is when it’s typically too late) and insecticides may not reduce numbers in large infestations.
There are many ways to get rid of mealy bugs naturally. Some methods include a mealybug biological control method, by which other species are incorporated to reduce mealiebug populations. A natural predator of a mealybug include Cryptolaemus montrouzien (beetles) and Leptomastix dactylopii (parasitic wasps).
You can also use organic means such as:
- Neem oil is often used in organic pesticides which is safe for vegetables.
- High-volume sprays must cover the entire plant as these pests tend to gather in hard to reach and spot places of the plant such as leaf petioles, leaf undersides, and leaf sheeths.
- Insecticide soap can be mixed with water to create a liquid spray because the adult mealybug’s outer layer body does not absorb water. The larvae or worms, however, do not have the same advantage.
- Insecticides can also be mixed with mineral oils.
Not sure what to do? Get the professionals in to help you with your mealybug control and start saving your crops! Contact us TODAY for all your Mealybug solutions