Identify Mealybugs, Life Cycle & How to get rid in garden?
Mealybugs are wingless, soft-bodied insects that protect themselves with a cottony coating. They are most prominently garden pests in the south, and houseplant pests up north. They're very active as youngsters, but settle down to eat when they grow up.
The Life Cycle Of a Mealybugs:
A mealybug’s life cycle depends on the species, but as an infestation grows it can cause major harm to plants, especially for interior landscaping. Female Mealybugs go through four developmental stages—or instars—and adult female Mealybugs can lays as many as 600 eggs. The eggs hatch in 6 to 14 days, and the crawlers—the first instars—crawl to new places to feed and anchor themselves there. Male mealybugs go through five instars, feeding in their first two instars and developing wings when they mature into adults.
Life is short for adult mealybugs: females die shortly after they lay eggs, and males live for a day or two after fertilizing females. Adult male mealybugs have no mouthparts, leaving them no way to feed. They sometimes can be mistaken for fungus gnats.
How Did I Get Mealybugs?
Both indoor and outdoor plants attract mealybugs. The pests will attack a wide range of vegetation, including fruit trees, gardenias, African violets, and more. Mealybugs hide beneath leaves and flower petals, making their tiny bodies even harder to spot.
People with houseplants, gardens, and flower beds often encounter these pests. The mealybug thrives during the warm months of spring and summer.
How Do You Get Rid of Them?
If you suspect you have mealybugs infesting your plants, contact our Zaena Bio office for an inspection and to prepare an integrated mealybug treatment plan to effectively and efficiently resolve the problem.
The complexity of mealybug treatment is situational.
Depending on the number of plants that are infested and the location of the infested plants, the appropriate treatment plan may range from very simple prevention and control to somewhat more complex and widespread treatment techniques.
For the homeowner, mealybug control may not be expensive, but can be very time consuming since success depends upon a very careful inspection process.