Q:

How do you get rid of mealybugs?

A:

Quick Answer

Mealybugs can be controlled with insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol. Plants that cannot be treated with soaps or alcohol should be sprayed with water to remove mealybugs.

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Full Answer

Houseplants that are infested with mealybugs can be treated with a mixture of 10 percent rubbing alcohol and 90 percent water. Test the plant for sensitivity to alcohol sensitivity prior to treating it by applying a few drops of the alcohol mixture to the plant with a cotton swab. If damage occurs at the treated site, use soap to remove the mealybugs. If the plant does not appear damaged, treat small infestations by applying the alcohol mixture directly to the bugs with a cotton swab, or spray the plant with the alcohol mixture if the infestation is severe.

To treat plants with soap, mix 5 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent with a gallon of water, and test the plant for sensitivity to the detergent. If no damage occurs after testing, continue the treatment by spraying the plant with the mixture. Allow the detergent to remain for two hours, and then rinse the plant with clean water. To remove mealybugs on plants that cannot tolerate other treatments, take the plant outdoors, and spray it with a forceful stream of water. Indoor plants should be provided with proper care throughout the year to reduce the damage caused by mealybugs and other pests.

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