Chill Plants to Stop Mealybugs

By Charlie Nardozzi

Mealybugs are common garden and houseplant pests. These cottony white bugs attach themselves to leaves and stems and suck plant juices. Their damage can cause leaves to drop and the sticky honeydew they secrete to drip on carpets and floors.

While there are many organic and conventional pesticides to control mealybugs, here's a simple solution that doesn't require any spraying at all. Researchers at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania found that chilling plants infected with mealybugs to 36 degrees F for 2 days reduced the infestation for up to two months, but didn't harm the plants. This treatment was effective only on plants that can take the cold temperatures, such as gardenias, citrus, and fuchsias.

For more information on controlling mealybugs, go to: Greenhouse Product News.

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