Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae) are hemiptera insects that are among the main pests of garden and indoor plants. Many crops, including cacti, can suffer from them. There are over 2,000 species of scale insects in the world. Other names for the insect are "felt" or "false pillow", as well as "hairy louse". They are all based on the appearance of the pest.
Mealybugs have a characteristic appearance and are quite large in size. These insects can be seen with the naked eye, but this does not always help novice gardeners recognize the threat to planting in time. But the more neglected the attack of the worms, the more difficult it will be to get rid of them.
The sizes of individuals can range from a couple of millimeters to 1 cm. Males and females differ significantly. Males resemble small winged flies. They have no mouthpieces, so they do not harm the flowers. The female differs from him in appearance. It has an oval body, covered with a waxy white coating, many small legs-strings and a long thin mustache. Insect larvae resemble a smaller copy of females.
The danger of insects for plants is that mealybugs feed on their juice. As a result, planting begins to slow down growth, and then stop it altogether. Worms can harm all parts of the plant, including the root system. Infection of one bush can quickly lead to the spread of insects to nearby specimens. In addition, a colony of worms, settling on a flower, begins to secrete a special dew or honeydew - sweetish and sticky drops. They become an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and provoke many diseases, including soot fungus. More than 300 varieties of worms live in European countries. Some of the most common are Australian, bamboo, seaside, root and bristly.
Mealybug is a malicious pest of indoor plants! How to get rid of a mealybug
Mealybugs prefer hot (25 degrees and above) weather and high levels of humidity. In such conditions, the risk of damage to landings increases. But the best way to deal with the mealybug pest is to prevent its appearance.
Most often, insecticidal preparations are used to combat mealybugs. It is advisable to spray in the fresh air. To do this, you can go outside or onto the balcony. If drugs can be used indoors, it must still be ventilated. Even chemicals of a low hazard class require the use of protective equipment. During use, be sure to follow the attached instructions. To avoid insects' addiction to poison, preparations can be alternated.
The following remedies are often used against mealybugs:
Despite the fact that the mealybug can live on many and very diverse plants, it is most often attracted by flowering species, including orchids and violets. Recognizing the presence of a worm is easy enough.
Any of these signs should already be an alarm. The sooner you manage to start the fight with the worm, the faster you will be able to cope with it.
The affected orchid must be separated from the rest of the plants, after making sure that the pests have not yet had time to switch to them. To treat the bush, you should prepare a solution of green soap (about 2 g for half a glass of water). With the resulting mixture, wipe all the green parts of the bush using a cotton swab or soft sponge. Particular attention should be paid to internodes and areas near the petioles. It is there that mealybugs usually prefer to settle. The easiest way is to treat such hard-to-reach areas with a brush dipped in a medicinal liquid. Leaves are rubbed on both sides. After such processing, several more stages of treatment will be required. For them, you can use any homemade remedy that scares away worms. Decoctions of cyclamen or garlic are suitable, as well as tobacco infusion. Treatments are carried out three times, but between them there is a break of about 7-10 days. It is important to go through the entire treatment cycle, even if it seems that the insects disappeared immediately after the first wash.
mealybug on orchid
Homemade products may not be able to cope with a large number of pests. In such cases, they resort to treatment with stronger insecticidal preparations. So for an orchid, Inta-vir, as well as Fitoverm and Bitoxibacillin, are well suited.
It will be much more difficult to find a worm that has settled on violets. That is why it is the greatest danger for such flowers. In this case, the pests live underground. It will be difficult to notice them, and getting rid of them will be even more difficult. Improvised means in such a situation will no longer help. In order not to waste time on useless treatments, in such cases it is necessary to immediately use a systemic insecticide. One of the most suitable drugs is Actellic. For processing, 2 mg of the composition is dissolved in a liter of water. Spraying with such a solution is carried out 2 or 3 times with a break a week. They are carried out only on the street. The chemical is capable of killing insects at all stages of growth, but their eggs can survive even after such treatment.
Mealybug on violets
If Actellik did not help to get rid of all the worms, you should remove the flower from the container and completely clean its roots from soil residues. After that, the plant free from the ground is completely treated with a systemic insecticide. The drug must necessarily get to the roots, stem and sinuses of the leaf plates. Particular attention is paid to the lower leaves. Only after such a procedure can the violet be transplanted into fresh soil.
If the cactus does not grow for a very long time, and there are no other reasons for slowing its growth, you need to carefully examine the roots of the plant. As a rule, on cacti or succulents, the worms settle either closer to the crown, or at the roots near the base and in the earthen substrate itself. Insect bites appear as reddish or brown spots. The deformed fresh leaves of such plants can also testify to the attack of pests.
The fight against mealybugs on cacti consists in three-time treatment of the aerial part of the plant with an insecticidal solution. It is carried out at intervals of 10-14 days. In addition to processing the flower itself, it is imperative to pour the solution into the ground.
Running hot (about 45-50 degrees) water will help in the fight against the worm. The plant is pulled out of the ground and thoroughly washed, manually removing pests and freeing the roots from the remnants of the earth. After such water procedures, the cactus must be completely immersed in an insecticidal solution for several hours. The plant is allowed to dry and then transplanted into fresh, pre-steamed or otherwise treated soil.
A small amount of bugs from cacti or succulents can be removed with the help of garlic infusion. It is applied to cotton wool and the plant is carefully treated. Of the specialized preparations, Apollo, Actellik, Decis, as well as Sherpa, Karbofos and Fufanon are considered the most effective for such colors.
Signs of mealybugs on dracaena appear as white bloom and sticky droplets on foliage and stems. In addition, the leaf blades of the diseased plant begin to wither and become covered with brown specks, and the stems may become deformed.
Especially often, pests affect dracaena, which is contained in heat and humidity. You can destroy them if you cultivate the plant itself and the soil in its pot. Fitoverm is best suited for this. A solution is prepared from it, carrying out at least 4 treatments with weekly breaks. Aktara will also be very effective. For the procedure, you will need to dilute 8 g of the product in 10 liters of water. This solution can be used to wipe foliage. The earth is spilled with a preparation in a slightly weaker concentration: 7 g per 1 bucket of water. But before such processing of all the worms visible to the eye, it is worth collecting with the help of a cotton swab dipped in soap, or simply washing them off the dracaena. In addition to the listed funds, Confidor can also be used on the bushes.
Mealybugs can infect not only domestic but also garden plants. One of the most common targets of pests is grapes. At the same time, the brushes of the plant begin to fade and wither, and a plaque resembling cotton wool appears on the stems and foliage.
After the first signs of the disease, you must immediately begin to fight the worm. Literally all grape varieties are exposed to them. Despite the assurances of the sellers, modern breeding to this day has not been able to bring out a variety that has sufficient immunity to resist the worm.
The first treatment of plantings should be preventive. It is carried out at the very beginning of May: it is at this time that the pest begins the reproduction process. For this, the foliage of the grapes is treated with insecticides. Aktara, Aktellik, as well as the Golden Spark, Confidor or Mospilan will do. If the grapes have already undergone an invasion of worms, spraying will be already powerless, but regular preventive treatments will help prevent strong reproduction of insects. In this case, when they appear, it will be enough to carry out only one spraying session.
Other insects can also contribute to the spread of worms. Ants are considered especially dangerous. They can carry bugs and aphids around the site, so you should also get rid of ants.
In the fall, when the plants that have become the target of pests begin to prepare for winter, it is recommended to remove the top layer of the bark from them and burn it. Moreover, such methods of combating worms are effective not only for grapes, but also for other crops.
When scale insects infect berry plantings or favorite home flowers, few decide to immediately resort to chemical treatment. To protect yourself from the effects of toxic store-bought drugs, you can first try out numerous folk ways to counter the mealybug. As a rule, they are considered to be quite effective in the early stages of plant damage. They will also help against a small number of pests, as well as as a prophylactic agent.
If the lesions have become too severe, folk remedies are unlikely to be able to help get rid of the worm. In this case, you should not waste time in vain and treat the plantings with an appropriate chemical as soon as possible, otherwise the affected plants can be lost.
How to deal with mealybugs | Biologist's advice 7 COLORS
The main harm to plantings is caused by the larvae or females of such worms. In length, the female Pseudococcus longispinus can reach about 3-4 mm. It has an oval, slightly elongated body of pinkish or orange color, covered with a white powder-coating, as well as wax, reminiscent of cotton wool. Thanks to the developed legs, such individuals can move quickly and easily move from one bush to another.
Usually, such pests accumulate on the seamy side of the leaf plates, in the axils, on the stems of the plant. They can often be found on the tops of young shoots. Due to the large enough size of the insects, it is quite easy to notice them. Foliage affected by pests turns yellow and dries up. In addition, they affect the overall growth rate of the bush and interfere with the development of new shoots. In addition to the harm caused by feeding on plant sap, worms leave secretions on the surface of leaves and stems, which can become a breeding ground for sooty fungus.
This type of worm can also infect bulbous plants. They can hide under the scales of the bulbs. In citrus fruits, pests can hide under the bark.
Adult females of Pseudococcus citri are yellow or pinkish in color. On the surface of their bodies there is a characteristic plaque in the form of a light powder. Such insects have an oval shape, wider than that of the previous species. Females' legs are also quite developed. The number of females greatly exceeds the number of males. The larvae of the pest can spread throughout the affected bush. They can usually be found on stems or leaves along the main veins.
When a significant number of insects appear, the plants quickly die, turning yellow and drying out. Sticky secretions from pests contribute to additional infections.
The most common type of worm. Females of Pseudococcus affinis have a long oval body, approximately 3-4 mm long and 2-3 mm wide. Their color is grayish-pink, with a white coating of a mealy structure. Females' legs are well developed. Males are much smaller and have wings. They can fly throughout the summer.
Before the start of reproduction, females look for the most secluded corners on the plant: twisted leaves, cracks on the surface of the bark, internodes and forks of shoots. Their eggs are stored in fluffy, shapeless, white wax webbing. The larvae are quite mobile, they are colored yellow, and there is still no plaque on them during this period. They move only in search of places for feeding. Such a larva turns into an adult in about 1-1.5 months. All this time, they feed on the juices of the plant, inhibiting its growth and gradually depleting it.
Worms of this species very quickly spread throughout the affected bush and can be transferred to neighboring ones both independently and with the help of gusts of wind. Infected plants do not bloom, and the foliage on them begins to turn yellow and fall off. Pest excretion also contributes to the spread of infectious diseases, including black fungus.
On the way to the harvest of the vegetable grower and the gardener, there are many non-friends who start the encroachment with the seed and finish their "work" in the storehouses.
To help farmers understand the diseases and pests of agricultural crops, garden, and ornamental-deciduous plants, and to carry out treatment, this heading was created.
The diagnosis of plant diseases is as complex a science as agricultural engineering, and the correct diagnosis is the basis of a well-chosen agrochemical agent that will quickly help cope with infectious and non-infectious diseases.
Bacterial plant diseases, as well as viral diseases, are dangerous for plants. Among them there are highly contagious, which are capable of carrying out all plantings in a matter of days. How to carry out treatment, what drugs to apply in such a way as to help the plant and not harm your health, the rubric will help you figure it out.
How to deal with the Colorado potato beetle, ants, rodents, midges, this heading will help you figure it out.
It will become clear to pick up preparations for the greenhouse and open ground, therapeutic and prophylactic agents, having got acquainted with the information offered to the readers.
The Hemiptera family has 2,200 species, fortunately, not all of them have chosen the orchid. If you look closely at your plant, you see drops of sticky dew all over the surface of the leaf plate, this should cause you anxiety. You saw the first signal that your orchid has been attacked by an insect. Next, there will be shaggy, white lumps, like balls of snow-white cotton wool, and under them you can see the insect itself. Often, under the females, you can see a wax bag with yellow eggs. The mealybug on the orchid can be seen in the axils of the leaves or in the buds, these are the most beloved places. The insect looks like something furry, which is why it is called “furry louse”. Males do not feed and have wings.
Reasons for infection
In order for the mealybug to begin to develop, it is necessary:
You could bring a mealybug to your house with new flowers. Buying flowerpots, or taking as a gift, we do not always look closely, and sometimes it is simply impossible to notice it. And after some time, we understand that the parasite is already our guest.
This also happens with purchased land. No matter how the manufacturer assures that the soil is clean, give preference to proven brands, and carefully examine it before using the soil, the parasite cannot be missed. How to get rid of mealybugs on an orchid? Try to create conditions incompatible with life for him. First of all, it is moisture. The worm does not like excessive spraying, washing, wiping. Therefore, by applying all these techniques, we will not allow him to feel optimal. Trivial, daily spraying delays egg-laying, or even stops it altogether. But dry air, on the contrary, is very fond of the worm.
Means of fighting the worm
If you notice a mealybug on indoor plants, how to fight at home and not destroy any plant, you will be prompted by the instructions attached to the insecticidal preparations.
The following drugs are most effective for controlling the worm:
For irrigation, a solution of 1 g of the drug per liter of water is required, and for spraying, dilute the same solution five times.
Phalaenopsis orchid mealybug, and their treatment (with photo) can only be carried out with highly effective insecticides. Horsetail, calendula, onion and garlic, their citrus solutions, infusions, decoctions are ineffective means. The worm, perhaps, does not like this smells, but does not die from them.
Soap solution, a suspension of sunflower oil and water is completely different. Forming a film on the plant, such substances asphyxiate the insect, and it dies.
If a mealybug has already been seen on an orchid more than once, how to get rid of it at home so as not to use chemicals?
Among the effective means in the fight against mealybug are the following:
Fighting mealybugs is difficult, but possible. During the detected insect will not have time to harm, but you will have time to eliminate it. Be attentive to your queens, and they will delight you with their flowering for a long time.
The defeat of indoor plants by mealybugs usually occurs at temperatures above +25 ° C against a background of excessively high ambient humidity. To a large extent, the development of the parasite is facilitated by an excess of water in the soil. In addition, a poor-quality substrate or a sick flower that has just been brought into the house can become a source of infection.
The presence of mealybugs can be determined by the following criteria:
It is almost impossible to predict on which of the specimens the malignant "lice" will appear, since they also affect decorative leafy crops (croton, dracaena, yucca, cyperus, sheffler, ficus), and flowering plants (hibiscus, orchids, Saintpaulia, gloxinia, azalea ). Worms do not disdain cacti, which, as a result of infection, fade, deform and refuse to grow.
Phalaenopsis orchid pests live in the substrate, so it can be difficult to notice them with the naked eye. Many of them are microscopic in size, while others are quite large and dangerous. After purchasing a flower in a store, florists carry out a simple procedure, the purpose of which is to identify and destroy the insects in the flowerpot.
To do this, you need to lower the orchid into a container filled with filtered water. It is important that the liquid completely covers the flower pot. Insects deprived of the ability to breathe freely will attempt to get out of the water trap. Within 5-10 minutes, all pests living in it will get out of the flowerpot, which are easy to catch and destroy.
Phalaenopsis orchid pests live in the substrate, so it can be difficult to notice them with the naked eye
Indoor plants are as susceptible to pests as outdoor plants. A newly acquired plant, soil, or even an open window can be to blame.
For a long time, orchids have been growing on my windows, delighting me with their beautiful glossy leaves and unusually beautiful flowers. For a long time I had no idea that there were orchid pests. It seemed to me that these exotic guests were not to the taste of "our" pests. My orchids have been doing great and have not gotten sick over the years.
But one day, I brought home a beautiful blooming orchid I received as a gift and put it next to mine. After a while, I noticed on a leaf of one of my orchids a strange insect, similar to wood lice, but white and with two antennae behind. Carefully removed, and the next day, I noticed another alien.
Inspection of all plants showed that there are such insects on other plants as well. Removing it manually turned out to be ineffective. I began to look for what kind of attack it was. It turned out that this is one of the most terrible pests of orchids - the mealybug. It is not easy to get rid of it, but it can destroy a plant quite easily.It is difficult to get rid of worms because they choose secluded corners under the scales of plants, in the axils of leaves, etc., and the female lays hundreds of eggs. It was necessary to connect heavy artillery in the form of insecticides, but which one to choose?
When choosing a method of struggle, I had to take into account the presence of children, animals and fish in the house. In the summer, everything is a little easier, because you can take the plants to the dacha, process and cure them in the open air, and then return them back, but it's winter outside.
In the store, I was advised this drug. Doctor of 8 arrows is called, this insecticide is produced by LLC "Firma" Green Pharmacy ". The price is 35 rubles. I bought it here.
The packaging is convenient, but at first it did not inspire confidence. The arrows are made of thick cardboard impregnated with insecticide. Dividing the cardboard into segments (arrows) along the perforation, you need to stick them into flower pots near the trunk. The earth must be moistened before this. Then water as usual, the medicine will be washed out of the cardboard and absorbed by the roots of the plant.
I did everything according to the instructions, but the orchids grow in a mixture of soil and bark and it turned out to be rather inconvenient to stick arrows in, because bumping into pieces of bark, the cardboard could simply break. As a result, I had to dig up the soil with a stick and put the arrow there to bury it again.
I did this procedure with all the plants. Then, watered the orchids again. The package says that the result can be expected in 7-14 days, but I couldn't wait that long. For such a long time, I could not imagine that this dirty trick would crawl over the leaves and suck the juices from my favorites. Armed with a toothpick and a container of water, she began to collect pests of different ages from affected plants. I noticed that little things stick together, and with age, the worms prefer solitude. I collected it carefully, and then rubbed all the leaves with a solution of laundry soap. But a day later, I saw a couple more insects - the sly ones hid where I did not look for them, they chose sticks for garters of plants.
I examined the plants every day and found insects several times for another 3 days approximately. And then they disappeared. About 3 weeks have passed since the day of processing. Not a trace of insects remained. I hope my orchids will bloom profusely and delight me with their beautiful flowers, and the invasion of worms will never happen again.
I liked the insecticide Doctor 8 arrows. It is easy to use, does not spray through the air and requires almost no effort to apply. The effectiveness of the application from the mealbug, along with other measures taken by me, was completely fine with me. Now I will buy it not only for treatment, but also for the prevention of newly arrived plants. And of course recommend!
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