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I NEED HELP!!!(Meely bugs)

My huge Beaucarnea has a lot of Mealy bugs. I really donnot know what to do now. I really want to save it because I paid lots of money for it and I love this plant. They are in the leaves and it is discusting. Can I leave the plant outside so that they can freeze. Say at a temperature of around zero or will it kill the plant also?

Thanks for any help.
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applestar
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For indoor plants, I've always used cotton swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe off mealybugs and scales. They come off like a charm. :D
Nothing else seems to work as well, though someone else may have a poisonous spray suggestion.....

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Kisal
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Cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol is what I use, too. It's my African violets that occasionally get mealy bugs. It's simple and easy.

You can use a soap solution as a spray on plants like your Beaucarnea. That will kill the immature mealy bugs, because they don't have the white protective coating yet. It's only the adults that require the alcohol treatment.

Spray your plant from all angles, until it's dripping with the soap solution. Be sure to get both sides of the leaves, and let the solution run down into any crevices. Repeat this every 7 to 10 days, 4 times. That should take care of the problem. Soap solution only kills on contact, so you have to be very thorough when spraying.

Another option would be to spray with neem oil. I've never used that, so I can't really offer any details about it.
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Ok, great. I am pretty sure they are only on the leaves. That is where they only appear. I have sprayed the plant about 2 or 3 times today with rubbing alcohol. Some have seem to have died already. I will try your method and put a rag under the platter to catch all of the gunk that falls off.

The only thing that is going to bug me is how am I going to know when all the mealy bugs are gone? I already killed a few, but this a tricky plant because the leaves grow from the center. So, I have to pull on some leaves to see if there are some left.

I guess it will be alone in its corner for ever. I don't want others to catch this.

Luckily my HUGE Hibiscus seems fine. It was close to the beaucarnea. I moved it downsatirs. Should be safe there.
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ILP, definitely keep it quarantined - it's amazing how something that doesn't seem to move can get into everything!
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Blue Fox wrote:ILP, definitely keep it quarantined - it's amazing how something that doesn't seem to move can get into everything!
I agree!!

However, I have heard of ants "farming" mealybugs? Apparently the ants guard the mealybugs against any predators and protect them from harm, while living off the sweet sap (honeydew) which mealybugs produce.

Does this mean ants may actually help mealybugs spread by carrying larvae from one plant to another? Is this how mealybugs spread? :shock:

Which brings me to another question, what are predators of mealybugs?? Far as I can tell, nothing eats those rotten critters. :evil:
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Troppofoodgardener wrote:
Blue Fox wrote:ILP, definitely keep it quarantined - it's amazing how something that doesn't seem to move can get into everything!
I agree!!

However, I have heard of ants "farming" mealybugs? Apparently the ants guard the mealybugs against any predators and protect them from harm, while living off the sweet sap (honeydew) which mealybugs produce.

Does this mean ants may actually help mealybugs spread by carrying larvae from one plant to another? Is this how mealybugs spread? :shock:

Which brings me to another question, what are predators of mealybugs?? Far as I can tell, nothing eats those rotten critters. :evil:
Go do a research on Internet and you should find the name of the ones that like to eat mealy bugs. I did find a few, but I forgot the name.
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Update, I sprayed the plate maybe 4 times every 10 days. Now, a few leaves have grown and they are straight up. Not wilting. That is a good sign. I will keep on spraying maybe 2 or 3 times. Then, when it is warm enough outside, I will spray it well to remove all the dead mealy bugs and the product.
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The Helpful Gardener
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Fear not!

Here comes [url=https://www.biconet.com/biocontrol/cryp.html]Cryptolaemus[/url] to the rescue!

These guys WILL boogie once they get the job done so be ready to break out another batch when the next instart pops up. But keep it up and these guys will clean it up for you.

[url=https://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mbcn/kyf411.html]Leptomastix[/url] is good against citrus mealybugs (the usual), but doesn't survive shipping well... But if you can get this one established it is the better of the two for long term control on scattered populations; the two in tandem is the recommended control...

HG
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Kisal
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Very good, HG! :clap:

But I gotta say, I doubt I could ever bring myself to release insects ... even good guys! ... inside my home! Just one of my many quirks. LMFAO
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What?!?!?!?!

I can get those bugs and just put them on my plant? That is awosme. But, what do I do afterwards? Let them die?

Anyways, I got a systematic mealy bug killer product. After the product is being sprayed it goes into the plant's system. The mealy bugs cannot attack the plant. It is kinda like a shield. That should kill those pesky things.
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Kisal
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They're little ladybird beetles. If you can provide a regular and sufficient food supply for them, they'll breed and reproduce. They can't survive cold temperatures, though.

Here's a brief article about them from UCDavis:

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/NE/mealybug_destroyer.html
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