The Q&A Archives: Mealy Bugs

Question: Hi Monrovia!
I have what I believe is a Phoenix Palm that has mealy bugs. I have used

Answer: Mealybugs are extremely difficult to control and once the population surges, you're in for a real challenge. Safer's Insecticidal Soap is quite effective because it has fatty acids which coat the pests and effectively suffocate them. But, repeat applications may be necessary because eggs will continue to hatch if they're on untreated parts of the plant. There is a systemic registered for use against mealybugs (Orthene) but it may not be safe to use on your palm. Read the label carefully before purchasing or using the product. You wouldn't want to kill your plant along with the mealybugs! Another solution is to dab the pests with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. This kills them immediately. When you're finished treating your plant, be sure to rinse it off with plain water or you'll end up with spots where the alcohol dries. Best wishes with your plant!

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