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Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:20 pm
Location: Charles Town WV

Help Mealy bugs!

What can I do? I have been fight mealy bugs off of my jade and cactus plants. I feel like I have been fighting a losing battle for about a year. And to make matters worse, my cactus is 10 years old and as for my jade plant, this is the first time I have not killed one due to my error and it is growing so nice. Please help.

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Posts: 7646
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

Dip a q-tip into rubbing alcohol and touch it to every mealybug you can see on your plants. They will die from it. Don't soak the plant with the alcohol, just lightly touch the insect.

Then mix up some soap solution using a true soap -- "dish soap" is usually detergent, which will burn the plants leaves. I like Dr Bronner's unscented liquid soap. It's available in most drugstores, health food stores, etc. across the country. Use about 1 teaspoonful in 1 quart of water in a hand-held spray bottle. Don't reuse a bottle that had something else in it, no matter how carefully you wash it. Buy a new empty spray bottle from the store and wash it with a bit of the Dr. Bronner's. Then mix your soap solution in it.

Spray the plants completely from every direction, until the solution drips off. Make another quart of solution if you need it. The soap spray will kill the juvenile mealy bugs, which are so tiny they're very hard to see.

Examine the plants every few days and treat any new adults with the alcohol. Reapply the soap solution four or 5 times, 5 to 7 days apart, to kill any new juveniles that have hatched from eggs.

If you need more details, you can find past discussions on the subject by clicking the Search the Forum link on the black tool bar. Enter the words mealy bugs in the search box. This is a recurring subject on our forum, so you should be able to find a ton of information about how to eliminate them from plants.

Welcome! We're glad to have you with us! :)

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