name: "Mealy Bug" or "Long-tailed
Latin name: Ferrisia virgata, Phenacoccus solani,
Planococcus citri, Pseudoccous longispinus
1/5th to 1/8th inches.
Colors: White to pinkish. Life cycle: < 30 days
Mouth parts: Sucking
Transportation: People and pets may transport Mealy bug
indoors. Mealy Bugs can crawl from an infected plant to a non-infected
Mealy Bugs on Cardboard Palm
Houseplant Pest information: Mealy bugs are soft bodied insects that
suck fluids from houseplants. Their pinkish-white body is covered with a type of
waterproofing making chemical control difficult. They also like to nest
deep in the crotches of a plant, also making control
Signs of infection: Look for individual Mealy Bug insects near
the upper part of a plant. Inspect the upper and under sides of
the foliage along with the stems. Severe infestations will
resemble patches of cotton dispersed any where on the houseplant. Also
keep any eye out for a sticky substance called "Honey
Control: Mealy bugs don't reproduce as fast as
other insects so you have a good chance of clearing up the
problem. Your first line of defense should be physical control.
Squish as many of the bugs as you can find with your fingers. Next follow up with a cotton
swab dipped in rubbing alcohol dabbing the Mealy bugs that you
can't get to. Pay close
attention to where the leaf attaches to the stem. Applying
systemic granules to the soil and spraying with Safer's Ultra Fine
Oil will also help. Repeat this process until you have eliminated
all of the Mealy bugs.
If you have a severe infestation you may need to
spray the plant with chemicals. For chemical controls of
houseplant pests and bugs call or
visit one of our sponsors, or order this excellent indoor/outdoor pest and disease reference book
for alternative eco-friendly solutions.