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What are Mealybugs and How To Prevent Them - Varnish + Vine

What are Mealybugs and How To Prevent Them

Have you ever seen a plant that looks like it's covered in snow in the middle of the summer? If so, then you've seen a plant that's under attack from Mealybugs. These are a common pest that can attack plants and flowers in warm and humid climates, and if left unchecked, they will almost always kill the plant. But where do these nasty critters come from? And how can you prevent them from attacking your plants?

In this article, we will explain what Mealybugs are, what causes them, and how to safeguard your plants from these little white pests.

What are Mealybugs?

Mealybugs are a type of insect that come from the family Pseudococcidae. These unarmoured scale pests thrive in warm, moist environments and typically feed on the juices contained within the leaves of plants and flowers, including indoor house plants, cacti, and several varieties of subtropical trees.

What Causes Mealybugs?

Mealybugs feed on the juices and syrups contained within the leaves of many plant species. Some of the most common meals for this pest include citrus plants, such as sugarcane, grape, and pineapple plants, as well as various species of cacti, including the Monstrose Cactus, Peruvian Apple Cactus, and others. Simply by having these plants, there is a small percentage chance that you will attract these pests, especially if you are in a warm, moist, or otherwise humid environment.

The good news is that if you catch the Mealybugs quickly, you can almost always reverse the damage and eliminate the pests. There are also a number of ways that you can decrease the odds of attracting these pests, effectively preventing them from attacking your plants, cacti, and flowers.

Now that you know what Mealybugs are and what causes them let's turn our attention to how you can treat and prevent infestations.

How to Treat a Mealybug Infestation?

The first thing you should do when you notice a Mealybug infestation is separate the affected plant from the rest of your plants. Next, you'll want to dip some cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and wipe away all of the white Mealybugs with the wet cotton ball.

Next, you should mix some rubbing alcohol with a little bit of dish soap and water, then spray the solution on the affected plant. Be sure to spray the whole plant and not just the areas where the bugs were visible. This treatment should get rid of the Mealybugs once and for all, but feel free to repeat the process if necessary.

How to Prevent Mealybugs?

You can also prevent Mealybugs from targeting your plants by applying the same solution of alcohol and dish soap pre-emptively, which will effectively eliminate the possibility of having this pest target your plants in the first place. Remember to dilute the solution with some warm water.


Mealybugs are a type of insect that feed on the juices contained within the leaves of plants, flowers, and cacti. You can identify Mealybugs by their white appearance, which resembles frost or snow. To treat and prevent this pest from attacking your succulents, you can mix some rubbing alcohol with dish soap and water, then spray your plants; doing this once should work wonders, removing the pests and preventing them from returning.

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