Typically found in warmer climates, mealybugs are soft-bodied, wingless insects that appear as white cotton-like masses on the leaves, stems and fruit of plants. They cause damage by sucking the nutrients from plants. Like most pests, mealybugs usually favor new growth. Their damage can cause leaves to yellow and eventually drop from the plant. Infestations are usually accompanied by honeydew, which makes the plant sticky and can lead to sooty mold.
To identify mealybugs, inspect your plants’ leaves thoroughly. The insects and their eggs may look like white cotton on the plant due to their masses of waxy threads. On certain plants, mealybugs concentrate on the growing tips, and on other plants they can be more dispersed.
In order to treat and manage mealybugs, use any of the natural treatments listed below. The treatment selected should be added to a spray bottle and applied to the leaves of the affected plant for three consecutive days. If no results are shown after two weeks of completing the treatment and the disease continues to spread, you may try another one of the remedies listed below. Do not apply the treatment while the plant is receiving full sun, apply early in the morning or after sunset.
1 cup of chamomile tea combined with 2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of cinnamon combined with 1 liter of water
5 cloves of garlic combined with 1 liter of water, place mixture in a blender for best results
1 tablespoon of baking soda combined with 1 liter of water
1 tablespoon of vinegar combined with 1 liter of water
1 cup of milk combined with 1 cup of water
3 drops of dish soap combined with 1 liter of water
For More Advanced Cases
combine 800 ml of water with 200 ml of milk and 20 g of baking soda