Mealybug: how to fight. Mealybug on orchid: how to get rid
Home plants decorate the apartment, make it cozier. But, like any living organism, flowers can become a victim of harmful insects.Each housewife will be useful to learn methods of preventing their appearance and how to combat. The most common pest is a mealybug. How to deal with this insect? Tell us more!
What it looks like
The size of about 4-5 mm, oval shape, a cover of white, light brown or pink color - these are the main visual signs of the worm. Insects do not catch the eye, but females spin a mass, like cotton, and envelop it. It is necessary to pay attention to such shaggy balls.
Under them you can find the pests themselves and the laying of yellow eggs. Among the varieties that are found on domestic plants, there are citrus, seaside, grape and bristly mealyworm.
A favorite habitat of insects are flower buds.Often they appear in the axils of the leaves and on their reverse side, on the young shoots. Individuals often settle right on the windowsill, in flower pots and even in the soil. Dangerous can be a plant that is planted in the summer in open ground. If a mealybug appears, the treatmentand preventionmay need all home colors. In any case, wet processing with a weak soap solution and attentive inspection will definitely not hurt.
What conditions are favorable for reproduction
When fertilizing the soil in which home plants grow, be extremely careful. You should not use a large amount of fertilizer - you can create excellent conditions for the reproduction of pests. The mealybug is settled on houseplants, which are regularly fed by a large amount of fertilizers containing nitrogen. For a pest, these are excellent conditions.
The ideal temperature for breeding is + 24 ° -27 ° C. Mealybug lays many eggs, and the larvae appear very quickly. Plants that are healthy, the attack of pests practically does not threaten. Like any living organism, home flowers produce special protective substances and can independently scare off the worm, having excellent immunity.But in winter, the mechanism of metabolic processes is disturbed. The length of the day is reduced, the plants receive little light, the air in the apartment is dried out due to the running central heating batteries. The flowers are getting weaker, and the risk of a worm is increasing.
What is dangerous insect
To power the pest uses the sap of the plant, thereby causing damage to it. But the most unpleasant thing is that in the process of vital activity the worm emits nectar, the special composition of which becomes the cause of the reproduction of mold fungi and attracts other insects. Reproduction occurs very quickly. If you do not take measures, the plant may even die.
Among this type of pest there are also females that do not need males for breeding. Individual subspecies are able to produce offspring without laying eggs. Viviparous individuals reproduce larvae that are ready for independent living.
What plants are affected
Most often there is a mealybug on the orchid,which today adorns the windowsills of residential apartments and offices.The pest also infects citrus fruits, cacti, philodendrons, amaryllis, gerberas, oleanders, fuchsias, palms, asparaguses, anthurium, monstera, hibiscus and grapes.If a plant is infected, its leaves may turn yellow and fall off, and the shoots do not grow as fast as they should. If, moreover, white scurf has appeared, then you can be sure that a mealy bug has started on the plants.How to fightwith an insect that infects citrus trees, climbing under the bark or penetrating into the tubers of bulbous plants? The problem of parasite excretion is in many respects difficult due to the fact that the pest lays eggs in hard-to-reach places.
Before performing the procedure, you should always wear rubber gloves, prepare the tools and chemicals. The choice of processing method depends largely on how strongly the pest managed to multiply. Does the plant overpower a mealybug? How to deal with it? The first step is to clear the pests from the leaves and stems. It is important to use paper towels or a rag, which are destroyed immediately after processing. Cheervets need to crush or splash alcohol: it will destroy them. It is necessary to know that insects have special glands that emit protective coating wax. Chemicals pass through such a coating poorly, which means that conventional treatment will not be sufficiently effective.
Remember that pests are extremely prolific.If they had time to settle on the plants, then egg stalks similar to cotton balls will be visible on the stems. They are washed off with a brush dipped in soapy water. You can pour the solution into a bottle with an atomizer and carefully spray the plant: the composition dries the shell and contributes to the death of the colony. The disadvantage of this method is that eggs can be safely hidden under the leaves of the plant, where it is difficult to get them.
Chemicals such as Admiral, Aktellik, Aktara will help. Spray the plant with them and repeat the treatment a week later to get rid of the larvae that have hatched from the eggs. Use the following chemicals with care: Calypso, Iskra, Confidant, Tanrek - they are very toxic.
When the fight is useless
When none of the above methods helps, and it is impossible to get rid of the pest, you should think that time is lost. In this case, it is better to leave hope for salvation. The plant is taken out of the house and destroyed. Otherwise, infection will occur in other colors, and you can say goodbye to your home greenhouse.
Prevention of appearance
There is a mealybug on the orchid? Remember if a new plant that you bought recently has settled in your apartment.The most common infection occurs from other flowers that have been purchased or donated. Before you bring the plant, carefully inspect the leaves and stems. Mealybug (photo of the affected plants is in the article) is a large and conspicuous insect.
But even if it is not visible, then this is not indisputable proof that the plant is completely healthy. If there is an infection (for example, there are bags of eggs), within a few days pests will appear. Larvae can hide in the packaging in the soil.
“Beginners” are not in a hurry to immediately place on the same window sill with the “permanent residents” - house plants. Set them apart and watch for a couple of days. Check everything carefully to be sure that the plant really needs treatment. If you use pesticides, cover the soil so that chemicals do not get on it.
Does a mealybug appear again and again?
How to fight, because it seems that any methods are powerless? Remember that the worst conditions for a mealybug are excellent lighting and high humidity. In winter, you can highlight the plant with a special lamp and additionally spray it with warm water, creating reliable protection against the appearance of pests.However, insects are treacherous. As soon as the mistress loses her guard, and the plants receive less attention, the worm is here.