Mealybugs belong to family ‘’Pseudococcidae’’ including sucking type of insects that feed on young and newly emerged parts of host plant. They look like white fluffy balls with tiny extended legs moving on your plants. Besides sucking plant sap, they also inject toxic saliva that badly effect plant growth. Like other pests, these bugs being a carrier of viral or fungal diseases destroy plant. Damage symptoms are yellow or discoloured spots, shrinking and dropping off of early leaves from infected plants.
Mealybugs are scaled, segmented, whitish to grey in colour, oval shaped bodies having a waxy coating. Once they find your garden a suitable place to settle, they will feast upon your plants and start laying eggs that will show up along with a cottony wax like substance on downside of plant leaves. Mealybugs spread infestation by taking assistance of honeydew, that supports the development of fungal growth making infection severe. Honey dew also attracts ‘’ants’’ that have a mutualistic relation with mealybugs as they protect them from predators and in return feed on honey dew
Life Cycle of Mealybugs:The egg laying insects die after their task is completed in approximately 14 days. Hatching occurs after a couple of weeks and boost infestation producing about five hundred nymphs per female egg laying parent pest. You will observe light yellowish, wax free crawlers (newly hatched insects) moving on infected plants to settle on a feeding site. .
Mealybugs can invade your garden all through the year. Optimum climate for their growth and reproduction is hot, moist and warm, harsh winter can limit their growth in some areas. Mealybugs can infect your indoor grow area, greenhouse or outdoor plants, typically plants owning elevated nitrogen level and soft tissues are desirable sources for these sap-sucking pests. There are around 270 types of mealybugs exist all through the USA.
‘’How to get rid of mealybugs?’’
Mealybugs have many natural enemies that control or even eliminate their population. These predators are shipped in form of eggs that shortly hatch. Broad spectrum insect control organic sprays are also effective.
Healthy Harvest Hydroponics and horticulture supplies offers a wide range of insecticides at best rates that are safe to use for your indoor and outdoor garden.