Houseplant owners will know the pain of discovering a pest infestation; there is that moment you recognize a pest and then utter a loud “no!” I recently had this moment as I discovered mealybugs on several of my houseplants.
Mealybugs can be managed by noticing them quickly and killing them by hand with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol or with an insecticide (including soap-based products) labeled for mealybug control on your specific houseplant. You can also use both methods as neither will kill 100% of mealybugs.
I check plants closely for pests at least once a week. Once a pest like mealybugs is found I plan to take an hour or so each week to carefully check each plant and kill mealybugs with an alcohol-soaked swab. Searching plants takes time because they are usually beneath leaves, stems, or at the base of leaf petioles and are not readily visible. To see a mealybug up close and the alcohol swab check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/1Lw2deHIpTU
For new photos of mealybugs and more information check out our Mealybug encyclopedia page https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/mealybugs and if you want to see some videos of my other pest problems check out spider mites on my Calathea https://youtube.com/shorts/21lT1aAHsP8?feature=share and scale insects that have gotten on my Haworthia and cacti: https://youtube.com/shorts/3q9CloRZcyw?feature=share
Finally, to learn more about succulents (a common meal for mealybugs) check out our Indoor Succulent Care information. https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/indoor-succulent-care
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