Protect your organic garden from scale and mealybug control. Safer® Brand offers many insect killer products that effectively control these annoying plant pests to ensure you can garden organically without pests. Effective mealybug control and scale control starts with Safer® Brand.
Mealybugs are a common type of scale insect that primarily affects houseplants. The female causes the most damage and can be easily identified by her cottony white covering. Females are generally between 2-4 mm long, and some species have a long distinctive tail. The male is a smaller, gnat-like insect with a single set of wings. Whereas females can't fly and spend all their time on a plant, males prefer to be airborne. Even though they don't directly harm the plant, eliminating the male stops the breeding cycle and can be an effective form of mealybug control.
Mealybugs are similar to aphids in the way they can harm your plants. Using its long, beak-like mouth, it feeds on plant sap, causing leaves to turn yellow, droop and eventually die. Also like the aphid, mealybugs secrete a sticky substance — referred to as honeydew — that can gather mold, impeding the plant's ability to photosynthesize. Lastly, mealybug saliva is toxic to plants and causes leaves to drop prematurely.
Types of Mealybugs
There are a number of different types of mealybug that target different plants. Here are some of the most common:
Citrus mealybug: Mealybugs that feed on citrus plants are among the most common — and the most damaging. The citrus mealybug also attacks several species of ornamentals, including begonias and cyclamen. They can be identified by a faint grey stripe running down the female's back. Control of citrus mealybugs can be tricky and is especially problematic for professional farmers and florists, who often have to discard an infested plant to prevent spreading.
Longtailed mealybug: True to their name, this mealybug is easily spotted by its long white tail. The longtailed mealybug prefers flowering and ornamental plants, as well as trees and shrubs of the Dracaena genus (dragon trees).
Root mealybug: Unlike other types of mealybug, root mealybugs live underground and feed on the root system of a plant. This makes them difficult to detect until they begin to cause damage. Root mealybugs commonly affect flowers and shrubs, including iris, chrysanthemum and, in particular, African violet.
Mealybug Control Options
Many gardeners rely on water or a light soap solution to wash away mealybugs. Regularly re-potting plants is an effective way to minimize the risk of root mealybugs. Control options can also include the introduction of predator insects, such as lacewings and certain types of ladybug.
For serious mealybug control in your garden, you can trust Safer® Brand products, including our Insect Killing Soap and EndALL™. Our entire lineup of mealybug killers are OMRI® Listed and USDA approved for orgranic gardening, and they can be used up until the day of harvest. Stop mealybugs in their tracks with Safer® Brand's organic mealybug control products!