Mealybug pest - fight, species, preparations
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Plant pests Published: January 24, 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:
Mealybug - one of the most dangerous pests that harm indoor plants. A sucking insect that grows up to five millimeters in length. It mainly damages young shoots and leaf sinuses, and in case of massive damage to the plant, it also damages the leaves. There are both winged and wingless specimens. The second have an oval-elongated flesh-colored body, along the edges there is a bristle, and the body itself is covered with a mealy bloom of white color. Winged specimens have only one pair of wings.
The female mealybug can lay up to two thousand eggs along the veins, in the leaf axils and on the underside of the leaf plate, which are not afraid of water, because have protection in the form of pubescence. The larvae inhabit the entire plant, right down to the plant roots, and have the ability to move around throughout their lives. All types of worms secrete a sticky liquid on which a sooty fungus settles. In affected plants, leaves begin to turn yellow and fall off, shoots stop growing, the plant weakens and dies. Pests can accumulate under the bark or under the bulbous scales, making it difficult to find the pest.
Types of mealybugs
Grape / Pseudococcus citri
Males are rare, the main harm is done by females - a broad-oval body of yellow or orange color is covered with a white powdery coating. The legs are well developed. The larvae very quickly spread over the entire area of the plant and very quickly destroy the plant by sucking out the juice.
Seaside / Pseudococcus affinis
This type is one of the most common in indoor floriculture. Males are smaller than females, but have wings with which they fly from plant to plant. Females grow up to 4 millimeters in length and up to 2.5 in width, a pink-gray body is covered with a powdery coating of white. Oviparous females often hide in inaccessible places, and then lay eggs that look like a shapeless, cobweb, fluffy mass. The larvae are very small, yellow in color without plaque, they move easily and quickly and populate the whole plant, they are easily transferred by humans or animals.
Bristly / Pseudococcus longispinus
The plant is damaged by larvae and female worms. The body of the female is pink or orange, covered with a mealy bloom, reaching a length of 3.5 millimeters. Females of bristly mealybug are viviparous. The paws are well developed, which allows the pest to easily move from one plant to another. Worms are clearly visible on the plant due to their large size and white bloom.
If the plant is not heavily infected, then it is enough to moisten the cloth in a soapy solution and use it to remove the worms and their secretions from the plant. After that, you need to treat the plant three times with a solution of green soap, a decoction of cyclamen, tobacco or garlic infusion every seven to ten days.
How to get rid of mealybugs - comprehensive information
If the plant is seriously affected, then after mechanical removal of the worms, a three-time treatment after a week with one of the insecticides is necessary: Vertimek, Fitoverm, Actellik, Phosphamid, Tiofos, Fozalon. It is possible that treatment with several drugs may be required until the most suitable one is found.
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In recent years, scientists have found more than 100 species of rootworms. They belong to the genus Rhizoecus and to the family Pseudococcidae. Root bugs are close relatives of mealybugs. However, a significant difference between them is the size: the length of an adult does not exceed 1.5-2.5 millimeters. Therefore, they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Mealy and root bugs - methods of dealing with them on cacti
All varieties of worms that infest cacti are very dangerous for other indoor flowers. Therefore, you need to start dealing with them immediately, as the first signs of their appearance on cacti are noticed.
Mealybugs on a cactus:
Mealybug on cacti
The main symptom of the appearance of this pest on cacti is the formation of white or light gray small specks on their surface.
The pests themselves are small (up to 4 mm in length), with a white bloom on the body.
Usually this worm settles in places where it will not be particularly visible - between the ribs of cacti, in the intervals between the mother plant and its children. They can also hide in the transition from rootstock to scion. In the same places, females make their clutches.
In the photo, a mealybug on a cactus:
Insects are active and in a short time can settle on all cacti growing indoors... They feed on cell sap, which is why cacti quickly weaken.
If there are not too many plants, then you can pick up insects and their clutches by hand.
If this pest appeared on cacti, then you should carefully examine other plants standing nearby - suddenly the worm has already managed to crawl onto them. If this happens, then you need to treat all the plants at the same time.
After the treatment, the treated cacti should be examined for a few more weeks - they could have left clutches, from which larvae will gradually appear. If special insecticidal preparations are used, then you need to carefully read the instructions, it should indicate that the agent is effective against worms.
Otherwise, dishwashing liquid is added to the insecticides. However, this mixture destroys the waxy coating that adorns some cactus species.
Pests in the soil of cacti
Root bug on cacti
This type of worms settles on the root system of cacti. They can be noticed first of all when transplanting plants into new pots: on the roots, the waste products of the root worm are clearly visible - light-colored, cotton-like.
Experienced flower growers note that such a pest is very common on cacti among many lovers of such plants.
Therefore, after acquiring a new copy, it is carefully examined and transplanted.
And if typical waste products of the root worm are seen on the roots of these succulents, then it is necessary to remove all the soil from the root system of the transplanted cacti, rinse them and only then transplant them into fresh soil. And the pots where damaged cacti grew before are disinfected before re-use.
After transplanting the plants into the soil, they are spilled with an effective insecticidal preparation with a break of 1.5 weeks.
Mite and bug on cacti - video
Spider mites on cacti
Spider mites on cacti are almost impossible to spot due to their microscopic size. The body of the ticks is yellow or red in color.
These pests feed on the cell sap of cacti, primarily drinking it from the upper, younger part of the plants.
Ticks multiply incredibly quickly, are voracious, so they can quickly weaken most of the collection in the room.
If parts of cacti become paler, changing their color to white with a yellowish tint, small cobwebs appear on them, which means that the plants are damaged by spider mites.
Pest control on ficuses, cacti, avocados and other indoor flowers - spider mite
The plant is practically unable to restore parts damaged by mites, so cacti will lose their decorative appearance for a long time. If the defeat is too strong, then such a cactus will simply die.
Damaged plants are repeatedly treated with appropriate insecticidal preparations. The interval between treatments should be 1.5 weeks. - in this case, not only adults will be destroyed, but also the larvae that have just emerged from the clutches.
Spider mite on a cactus (photo):
Those cacti that are too damaged should be urgently isolated.
Why does it appear
Typically, parasites begin to multiply when conditions are favorable. Pests can enter the apartment or into the ground, both with infected plants and with infected soil. There are cases when growers themselves bring pests home on plant leaves or with seedlings, after purchasing them in a store.
The main conditions for the active reproduction of this parasite:
- High humidity.
- The temperature is about +25 degrees.
How to deal with mealybugs on indoor plants
Each flower is individual, which affects its care, its susceptibility to different types of diseases, pest control methods. In order to protect the plant, we will consider individual options for combating parasites, suitable for different types of crops.
How to deal with mealybugs on orchids
The mealybug on the orchid takes root quickly enough. The orchid does not like an abundance of moisture, which creates an ideal microclimate for hairy lice for life. Having noticed the first signs of the appearance of the parasite on the body of the plant, you need to act immediately. A natural question arises as to how to treat an orchid from a mealybug so as not to harm it. In addition to universal chemical compounds that can be purchased in specialized stores, you can use folk methods. For example, make a garlic solution or horsetail tincture.
Petals, orchid stems can be treated with an alcoholic extract of calendula. To do this, wipe the entire surface of the orchid with a cotton pad soaked in tincture, carefully removing adults, as well as larvae, plaque.
A hot shower will help against adult representatives of hairy lice. The orchid is abundantly sprayed with hot water (up to 50 degrees), which contributes to the death of insects.
Of the chemicals for the treatment of orchids, Aktara has worked well for mealybugs, the main active ingredient of which is thiamethox.
How to deal with mealybugs on violets and cactus
When the first symptoms of violet infection appear, it, like other types of flowers, should be isolated, preventing insects from infecting the entire flower garden. With numerous, abundant infection, it is better to immediately resort to chemicals. If the location of the hairy louse is small, you first need to remove the infected leaves, then proceed to the treatment with solutions.
Try to make a decoction of hot red pepper, it has a mild effect on violets, and fights pests well. Grind 30 grams of pepper, pour in a small amount of water, simmer for about an hour. The cooked broth is infused for a day. The resulting liquid is processed violet in several stages until complete recovery.
For cacti, the above folk remedies for pest control are suitable. You can also try using a vegetable oil mixture. Two tablespoons of vegetable oil (olive) are added per liter of water. The prepared solution is sprayed on the cactus several times a day. A fresh mixture is prepared for each spraying.
Mealybug on ficus
To begin with, ficus leaves are treated with soapy water (it is better to use 72% laundry soap). After thorough soaping, removing visible insects, larvae, ficus, they arrange a plentiful shower. Dried sheets are treated with Actellik's composition. The treatment will take about a month, the procedure should be repeated 3-4 times with an interval of at least 7 days.
Mealybug on boxwood
Boxwood has a large number of small leaves, as well as branched shoots; it is not possible to effectively wipe it with homemade solutions. Better to use chemical compounds. Treatment of boxwood Fitoverm from mealybug is quite effective, safe for humans. Its active ingredient is imidacloprid, which reliably protects the flower from pests.
How to deal with lemon mealybugs
Seeing the affected areas on a room lemon, the question immediately arises of how to remove a mealybug on a lemon. For citrus crops, all of the above folk methods are suitable, most of the chemical compositions.
Tincture from citrus peel is also effective. Orange, lemon peels are poured with boiling water at the rate of 1 liter of water per 35 grams of zest. The liquid is infused for a day, then filtered. A lemon tree is processed with a ready-made tincture several times a day.
There are many recipes for destroying the pest, but the main thing to remember is that it is necessary to follow the rules for caring for flowers, to regularly prevent diseases, then the question of how to deal with the mealybug will never arise.
How to get rid of a worm with chemicals?
The modern chemical industry offers flower growers a wide selection of insecticidal preparations that are effective in the fight against mealybugs. They have an effect on insect larvae, which are not protected by a wax coating. Chemicals are not able to destroy the eggs laid by insects, so the treatment is carried out 2-3 times with an interval of 10-14 days, after all the parasites hatch.
The following drugs are most effective in combating the pest:
- Fitoverm. The components of the product penetrate into the tissue of the flower, and then into the body of the larvae. Their death occurs in 2.5 hours.
- Aktara. Penetrates into the inner tissues of the orchid, due to which the protective effect lasts up to 3 weeks. The drug is active in the substrate for up to 2 months.
- Akarin. Highly toxic drug with a wide spectrum of action. It is capable of destroying the most viable pest populations.
- Actellic. It is used for massive damage to the plant. The treatment is carried out 2 times with an interval of 7 days. The roots are sprayed 3 times.
- Agravertine. The drug destroys adults and larvae. Works within an hour. The orchid is sprayed 3 times at intervals of 7 days.
After spraying with a chemical, a plastic bag is put on the plant and kept in this state for 2 days. If the pest has settled in the substrate, the flower is removed from the pot, the roots are cleaned and treated with an insecticide. The planting container is replaced or treated with boiling water, and then with an antiseptic. Then the orchid is planted in a new substrate.
Means of struggle
Chemical and biological products
For spraying plants, the dosage of the drug is 1 g per 1.3 liters of water. Watering the soil enhances the spraying effect. To do this, prepare a solution in a different concentration: 1 g of the drug is mixed with 10 liters of water.
Infected plants are sprayed 3-4 times with a break of 7 days. At high air humidity, the procedure is carried out less frequently - once every 10–12 days. The protective properties of the insecticide appear within 24 hours after treatment. Getting into the intestines of the pest, the drug deprives it of the ability to absorb food, and the insect dies.
A potent insecticide. It is not recommended for indoor use.
2 ml of the product is diluted in 2 liters of water and the infected specimens are sprayed. The maximum number of treatments is 2-3 times.
The consumption rate of the product when spraying is 1 ml per 2.5 liters of water. Plants are treated so that the solution wets not only the leaves, but also the top layer of the soil.
The product protects against pests for a long time, but has a strong odor. For the treatment of berry, flower, ornamental crops, 3 ml of the emulsion is mixed with 10 liters of water. From a mealybug, the drug solution is used 2 times.The last time - no later than 3-4 weeks before harvest.
Spark of gold
The insecticide affects the nervous system of the pest, paralyzing it. These properties are manifested already in the first hours after the drug enters the insect's body. The solution protects plants in hot and rainy weather. For 5 ml of the product, 10 liters of water will be needed. Re-spraying is carried out after 10–20 days.
Systemic insecticide of intestinal action. Acts on the pest within 1 hour, does not lose its protective properties within 3 weeks. The drug is odorless, effective in dry and wet weather. 2.5 g of powder is diluted in 1 liter of water, then water is added, bringing the volume of liquid to 10 liters.
For processing, a solution is prepared at the rate of 6 g of the drug per 10 l of water. Plants are sprayed in dry, calm weather. The liquid should evenly fall on the entire green mass. For berry bushes, grapes, roses and young trees, 1-2 liters of solution will be required, for an adult tree - up to 10 liters. The drug is active for 2-3 weeks, these periods are taken into account when processing fruiting plants.
Biological insectoacaricide for spraying leaves and shoots. It is not used for tillage.
The dosage of the drug is 1 ml per 1 liter of water. The solution is not stored, used within 2 hours after preparation. Treatments are carried out until the complete destruction of the pest with a break of 3-4 days.
To get rid of the pest, 2 ml of the preparation is mixed with 200 ml of water and the plants are sprayed 4–5 times every 5–7 days, depending on the size of the plant, weather conditions and the degree of infection.
- Spraying solutions are prepared from medicinal herbs. 100 g of dry horsetail or calendula is poured into 1 liter of hot water. Allow the solution to cool, filter and process the leaves and shoots.
- Chop 6 cloves of garlic and pour 1 liter of boiling water. The solution is infused for 4 hours, filtered and sprayed over the aerial part.
- 30-50 g of orange, lemon or tangerine zest is poured into 1 liter of boiling water. The mixture is infused for 1 day. The solution is filtered and the plants are treated with a spray bottle.
- In the fight against the pest, a soap-kerosene emulsion helps. 40 g of crushed laundry soap is poured into 1 liter of hot water, 5 drops of kerosene are added. The mixture is shaken well and the affected parts are sprayed from a spray bottle. Such processing is carried out at least 3 times, taking a break of 1 week.
- Kerosene can be replaced by 1-2 tbsp. tablespoons of alcohol. From small potted plants, the pest can be carefully collected with cotton swabs soaked in the emulsion.
- From the root worm, the roots are treated with hot water. The plant is removed from the pot, shaken off the ground and the flower is placed in a container with hot water (heated to a temperature of 50–55 ° C). Water should only cover the roots, not getting on the aboveground part. The affected specimen is kept for 15 minutes, then the roots are dried and transplanted into new soil.
- Water treatments are a simple remedy for a pest. Mealybug does not like wet processing. On plants that are often sprayed, bathed in the shower, the insect appears less often. Particular attention is paid to the underside of the leaves, a jet of water should wash these parts well.
- Garlic tincture: 5 cloves of a medium-sized garlic head pour 200 ml of boiling water, insist until it cools completely, dilute with boiled water 1: 1, spray or wipe all accessible parts of the orchid.
- Alcohol solution with soap: in 200 ml of boiled and cooled water, dilute with 30 ml of liquid soap and add 2 tablespoons of 70 percent alcohol. Mix thoroughly, apply with a small brush to the leaves and axillary places of the orchid in places where the insect colonies accumulate.
- Field horsetail infusion: Brew one packet of dried horsetail herb in 200 ml of boiling water, cool and wipe or spray the plant several times at intervals of 5-7 days.
- Onion tincture: peel the medium onion, chop, pour warm water (250 ml), stand for 5-6 hours, strain, spray the orchid leaves, once a week you can water the soil to disinfect the substrate.
There are many more products that can help kill mealybugs on orchids. In the fight against a pest, one should not despair and give up, if you do not retreat in this fight in front of an insignificant insect, then everything will be fine, and your orchid will delight you and your family for a long time, decorate the interior of your home and create coziness and comfort in it.