Appearance: Mealybugs are very small, about 1/8” in length. This soft-bodied pest has a light-colored body, usually yellow or pink, and is covered with white filaments that make it appear like a small, cottony-type ball.
Location and Behavior Patterns: Mealybugs are bothersome year-round throughout Florida and elsewhere. They feed on houseplants, ornamental shrubs, and landscaped trees. They will eat all parts of a plant, including; the stem, leaves, flowers, fruit, root crowns, twigs, and any other exposed part. They can cost people a lot of money, as they destroy the plants, trees, or crops. They have strong mouthparts that will puncture a plant and allow the Mealybug to suck the juice from the plant. This practice can stunt the growth of the affected plant, or it can kill the plant entirely.
Mealybugs prefer warm and humid environments, which makes Florida a perfect place to thrive.
Treatment: For an at-home remedy, rubbing alcohol is useful for removing Mealybugs from plants. Be sure to notice the undersides of the leaves, as that might be where the Mealybugs will be found. Simply using rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball, or a Q-tip, should remove the unwanted bugs. Insecticides are also effective for treating infestations of Mealybugs.
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