Your beloved succulent plants are growing beautifully until, one day, you notice tiny white creatures crawling on their leaves and stems. Those fuzzy white things are mealybugs, devastating to plants if left unchecked. Explore how to get rid of mealybugs on succulents to ensure your plants stay healthy.
We’re all used to seeing aphids, beetles, and other pests on outdoor plants. Yet, we don’t expect insects hanging out on a houseplant. Unfortunately, the mealybug, spider mite, and fungus gnat are notorious for infecting indoor plants, and an infestation turns a vibrant plant into a sickly one.
Mealybugs often go unnoticed since they spend most of their time on the underside of plant leaves. However, they are one of the most common pests to affect succulents, and it’s vital to figure out ways to kill mealybugs as soon as you notice their activity to keep them from destroying the entire plant.
Getting Rid of Mealybugs on Succulent Plants
Bugs are a part of nature, whether a beneficial insect or harmful pests, but that doesn’t mean we want them in our homes and plants. Find out how to eliminate and control mealybugs on your succulent plant and home remedies for aphids on succulents to prevent an infestation and the loss of your houseplant.
What are Mealybugs?
Before getting rid of mealybugs on succulents, it’s helpful to learn what mealybugs are and what causes an infestation. Understanding their life cycle and habits may help you stop a root mealybug infestation in the future.
Mealybugs, or scale insects, are small insects covered in a white, powdery wax that resembles meal or sooty mold, and they munch on new plant growth, sucking on sap and plant juices. They form large colonies, and there are over 2,000 species of mealybugs.
Female mealybugs lay up to 600 eggs that only take six days to hatch, and it doesn’t take long before you have an infested plant.
How to Treat Mealybugs on Succulents by Repotting
Mealybugs can live in a houseplant’s soil, leading to recurring infestations. Treating the entire potted plant is vital to eliminate these pests. Discover how to treat mealybugs on outdoor plants and succulents by cleaning the plant and pot and repotting it in fresh dirt.
It’s vital to quarantine your infected plant before you do anything else to ensure the infestation doesn’t spread to other plants. Remove the succulent from the pot and rinse the whole plant under running water.
Discard the dirt in the trash because it may contain root mealybugs, and wash the container with hot soapy water. Allow the plant and pot to dry completely, and repot the succulent in fresh potting soil.
Getting Rid of Mealybugs on Succulents Using Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is the cheapest method for mealybug control tips on succulents. The liquid completely evaporates in minutes, so it doesn’t damage plants, and it effectively eliminates succulent pests.
Move the affected plant to a room away from other plants and check the healthy plants for bugs. Transfer rubbing alcohol to a spray bottle, spray the liquid over the succulent plant foliage, and leave it there. The mealybugs turn brown as they die, and you can wipe them away with a paper towel.
Discover How to Get Rid of Mealybugs on Succulents
Consider using Neem oil if you prefer home remedies to kill mealybugs on succulents with a natural insecticide. This oil kills all stages of mealybugs on contact and is safe for plant use. Prepare and apply a Neem oil solution to eliminate mealybugs.
Pour a liter of water into a bottle and add a teaspoon of Neem oil and a half teaspoon of dish detergent. Shake the container gently and spray the insecticidal soap on your plant’s leaves. Do not use straight Neem oil, which burns succulents.
If you don’t have a spray bottle, mix the three ingredients in a bowl and apply the liquid to the leaf with a Q-tip. After several hours, rinse the plant with clean water and quarantine it until you’re positive all the mealybugs are gone.
Another natural insect killer is diatomaceous earth. This soft sedimentary rock is naturally occurring and kills pests fast. You can use DE for mealybugs by sprinkling it in the dirt around the plant.
Ways to Prevent Mealybugs on Succulent Plants
Once you know how to treat mealybugs on succulents, it’s beneficial to stop them from returning. Keep this plant pest off succulent leaves and out of the potting soil.
When purchasing new plants from the nursery, isolate them for two to three weeks to see if they’re infested. Always keep infected plants away from other houseplants to stop the spread of this pest. Check your plants each time you water them for signs of mealybugs, spider mites, and other bugs.
If you’re unsure if you have mealybugs, check your plants for ants since they like the honeydew left behind by the citrus mealybug. Additionally, ants carry mealybugs from plant to plant, and it’s as important to eliminate an ant infestation as it is to get rid of mealybugs.
Consider adding worm casting to the soil to repel the mealybugs. The casting helps to suppress bacteria, fungi, and pathogens. In addition, it contains an enzyme that breaks down chitin, killing and repelling this harmful bug.
While mealybugs are a common problem for succulents, there are home remedies for getting rid of these succulent pests. Give your plant a clean pot and soil to grow in, and treat the leaves to kill the bugs, and your succulent will continue to thrive.
Now that you know how to get rid of mealybugs on succulents to ensure your plants remain healthy, why not share our tips for eliminating mealybugs on succulents with the plant lovers in your life on Pinterest and Facebook?