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Mealybug First Steps / Prep for Treatment

Scientific Name: Pseudococcidae (family)

Entry: 3 of 4

So, what do you do if you discover that one or more of your plants have gotten mealybugs?

First, to decrease the likelihood of contamination, you want to quarantine any infected plants away from the non infected plants. It’s really awful to go through all of the work of treating a plant back to full health only to find that the one next to it is now sick, so take preventative measures!

Please remember: mealybugs can contaminate plants through the air because the males grow wings. A properly quarantined plant is not in the same room.

Carefully inspect your plants and their surrounding areas to make sure there aren’t any mealybugs (adults or babies) on the bottom of your pots or hiding on the underside of a leaf. It’s a good idea to also thoroughly clean the area your infected plants are located in.

Once quarantined, we recommend spraying down the plants that weren’t infected with neem oil. It’s not totally required, but because neem oil is an organic pesticide it can go a long way to prevent the bugs from spreading to these plants and potentially save you some work. It’s also an all-natural leaf polish, so that’s a plus!

Next, you can get your tool kit ready! Things you’ll probably need include:

  • Sharp, disinfected scissors. Plants can get infections from dirty equipment just like people, so make doubly sure there’s no rust or other contaminants on the scissors before you use them. Dull scissors will tear or crush the plant rather than making a clean cut, which makes recovery harder and longer, so make sure they’re sharp. Here’s a link to some of our shears if you need a pair!
  • Paper towels you can discard
  • A spray bottle

How to mix the treatment: Mix 1:1 (equal parts) water and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Very easy! Neem is also recommended in this mixture; however, it usually comes in concentrate so you would mix in the amount according to the directions on the back of the bottle of concentrate.

We’ve also got our own pest and fungal treatment pre-made! This treatment will treat a multitude of both common household pests and plant fungal infections It’s a great thing to have ready in your plant parent toolkit!

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