What Kills Mealybugs?


Answer: Parasitic wasps, ladybugs, green lacewing larvae, predaceous fly larvae, and green lacewing larvae kill mealybugs.

Parasitic wasps are likely the most effective natural predator because they favor mealybugs and reproduce very quickly.

More Info: Natural enemies are an effective way to control a mealybug population.  You can encourage natural predators by keeping the dust to a minimum, controlling the ant population, and reduce your use of pesticides.

What Are Mealybugs?

Mealybugs are the common name for unarmored scale insects from the family Pseudococcidae that are found in warm and moist climates. They are classified as pests as they act as a vector for a variety of plant diseases and feed on the juices of house and greenhouse plants as well as subtropical trees. They are found around the entire globe. The soft-bodied bugs are likely to appear as a white mass, much like cotton and are easily detected by the naked eye. If an infestation is found upon inspection, they can be killed on contact by spraying with common alcohol.

How Do You Get Rid of Mealybugs?

You can get rid of mealybugs with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Mix about 1 tablespoon of dish soap per pint of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the plants with the mixture about once a week until the pests have disappeared. The mixture will not hurt your plants or the environment, but it will kill the bugs by penetrating the waxy coating on their bodies. You cannot kill mealybugs by spraying your plants with a garden hose. This will only displace the mealybugs temporarily and they will return to your plants again.



“UC IPM: UC Management Guidelines for Longtailed Mealybug on Avocado.” UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 July 2011. <http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8301811.html?printpage>.

” Mealybugs: a Common Houseplant Pest | Horticulture and Home Pest News .” Integrated Pest Management at Iowa State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2011. <http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2004/2-27-2004/mealybugs.html>.