Mealy Bug is a major pest in conservatories and greenhouses and with more and more ornamental plants being grown in permanent plantings, this allows the pest to flourish and overwinter.
Mealy Bugs are soft bodied, pink / grey in colour and about 5mm long. They are covered with white waxy threads and a waxy covering. Mealy Bugs feed by sucking the sap from the plant, so they will normally be found on the stems or leaf joints although they will attack leaves causing them to yellow. The insect extracts large amounts of sap with the excess sap being excreted as honeydew causing a sticky deposit on the lower leaves. In time, sooty mould grows on the honeydew resulting in an unpleasant mess - see picture right. Mealy Bug Control - Another sure sign of a mealy bug infestation is "white wool" developing on the plant leaves and stems. This is where the eggs are laid. The female is flightless, only the young nymphs are active and search out new feeding sites by crawling from plant to plant. As the nymphs mature they become less active and settle down to feed. The life cycle can take up to 13 weeks at 18°C/66°F. As the adults are flightless the pest must initially be brought in on infected plants and once it established it is very difficult to eradicate. To control Mealybug :-
- Control mealy bug in your greenhouse or conservatory by introducing Cryptolaemus Larvae AS SOON as you see mealy bug and the temp is 16C/61F.
- If the temperature is below 16C/50F, use SB Invigorator to hold the fort until temperatures rise and then introduce Cryptolaemus.
- If the infestation is very heavy then spray with our natural spray SB Invigorator first to reduce numbers before introducing Cryptolaemus - see our Mealy Bug Emergency Pest Pack.