Home Plant Pests Mealybugs: A Comprehensive Guide to Identification and Control

Mealybugs: A Comprehensive Guide to Identification and Control

by Gregory
1 minutes read

Mealybugs: Identification and Control

What are Mealybugs?

Mealybugs are tiny, white insects that feed on the sap of plants. They’re often found on houseplants, especially cacti and succulents. Mealybugs have a white, waxy coating that makes them look like tiny cotton balls.

Symptoms of Mealybug Infestation

  • White, waxy insects on leaves and stems
  • Sticky honeydew on leaves
  • Sooty mold on leaves

How to Control Mealybugs


  • Inspect new plants before bringing them indoors.
  • Move outdoor plants to areas where birds can eat mealybugs.
  • Dispose of fallen leaves that may have mealybugs or eggs.


  • Small infestations: Remove mealybugs with tweezers.
  • Large infestations: Use a predatory ladybird called Cryptolaemus montrouzieri. Release them in summer when temperatures are warm.
  • Spray plants with fatty acids or plant oils: Apply several times to kill mealybugs.
  • Severe infestations: Destroy affected plants to prevent spread.


  • Avoid overwatering plants, as this can attract mealybugs.
  • Keep plants clean and free of debris.
  • Monitor plants regularly for signs of mealybug infestation.

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