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Mealybug Proper Treatment & Application

Scientific Name: Pseudococcidae (family)

Entry: 4 of 4

It’s treatment time! Here’s the mixture recipe again: mix a 1:1 ratio of water and 3% isopropyl alcohol, then add a few drops of baby soap or Dawn. Adding some neem oil is a good idea too, but that part is optional. Make sure you shake it well before spraying, especially if you add neem!

We have our own pest and fungal treatment made up as well if you'd like to save yourself the effort of mixing all that stuff up!

A word of warning before beginning your treatment: this is not a quick process, so make sure you have an hour or two set aside for this. You can also expect to have to repeat the treatment every 3 - 5 days until the bugs are completely gone (although two or three treatments most often does the trick).
This repetition is the most crucial aspect of treatment, and is also the most often where people fail to follow through!
The reason you are repeating the treatment is to ensure that you are wiping away the adult mealybugs as they hatch, as you cannot usually remove all of the eggs from your plant in one treatment.

Before beginning, take a pair of sharp, sterile scissors and trim all of the brown and yellow off of your plant. It’s important to go into this with no plant damage so that you can see any new damage that might pop up in the next few days, if any. If there are so many mealybugs in the crevices of some of the stems that proper treatment isn’t feasible, remove those stems.

There are two steps to this treatment process:

  1. Generously saturate every possible inch of the plant. Get in the crevices, on the undersides of the leaves, in between the stems at the base of the plant where it meets the soil - every single possible spot on the plant. You want your plant to be positively dripping with your treatment mixture. Anywhere you miss is fair game to the bugs.
  2. Wipe off the mealybugs with paper towels. If there are areas of the plant that cannot be reached with a paper towel, use a Q-tip for those areas. Remember that any mealybugs left behind will lead to much more work for you in the near future.

Regularly applying neem seed oil to your plant is an excellent preventative measure to keep new mealybugs from latching on, and it's also a very effective leaf polish!

Between treatments and after you’re sure they’re all gone, keep a close eye on your plant for a few weeks and maybe inspect your plant habits to ensure you aren’t accidentally re-introducing your plants to situations that are conducive to mealybugs. If you see one or two more pop up, you should repeat the treatment again.

If you have any further questions or you find yourself frustrated, please feel free to reach out to us and send us some pictures of your infected plant! We’d be more than happy to take a look.

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