These Bugs Suck
Mealy Bugs are one of the most annoying and destructive pests that attack houseplants. These tiny sucking insects look like small pieces of cotton. When young, mealy bugs have legs and can crawl. This is the best time to treat an infestation. A female mealy bug can lay over 500 eggs within a 1-2 week period. Mealy bugs suck the sap out of a plant, concentrating on the tender new growth; this causes spots on the leaves, yellow leaves, leaf drop, slow growth, and weak stems. While feeding on the plant, mealy bugs secrete a sticky substance called “honeydew” which acts as a breeding ground for “ sooty mold.” This mold covers leaves and stems ruining the plant’s appearance and interfering with photosynthesis. When mealy bugs are immature and crawling, use yellow sticky cards to trap them. Once they are mature you will have to use either Iso alcohol or a commercially available spray to treat them. Don’t forget to treat the soil, branches and the foliage!