Houseplants forum: Dracaena marginata and mealybug infestation.

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Name: Patrick Alan
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
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AlanJ
Dec 9, 2016 10:51 AM CST
I went to water my Draecena marginata this morning and noticed the plant was infested with mealybugs. Since I did not have a bottle of alcohol,
I had to use alcohol pads to wipe off as many of the critters as possible.
Does anyone know of any other cure for these nasty bugs on houseplants?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle ~ Plato
Name: sy
Northern Ireland (Zone 8a)
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syzone8aUK
Dec 9, 2016 5:19 PM CST
I haven't had to deal with mealybugs so far but I did read up just incase, I read they contain a waxy coat that protects them and that a gentle non bleach soap/liquid can disolve the coat and kill alot of them. If its really bad then i'd remove as much soil as possible and fill a bath or something and submerge the entire plant (if possible) in diluted soapy water then continue watching and cleaning with isopropyl alcohol and repeat if necessary. Good luck Crossing Fingers!
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Dec 9, 2016 5:33 PM CST
If it's potted, and you can take it outside, just spray them off with a strong spray and then use the alcohol or soapy water. I like Safer Soap for them.
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Dec 9, 2016 10:50 PM CST
Azamax is the answer. Gene
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 10, 2016 5:14 PM CST
The key to eradicating mealybugs is make direct spray contact with the juveniles that are nearly invisible, as well as the more visible adults. Dish soap and water with a little alcohol added works just fine, but only if you spray so thoroughly that all leaf and stem surfaces are literally dripping wet. If you miss making direct spray contact will a few mealies on the undersides of leaves or in the crevices where the leaves attach to the stems, then they will reproduce and the infestation will come back. Thoroughness is the key.

It is unlikely that they mealybugs are living in the soil, so leave the soil and roots alone.

Plants under stress due to improper light or watering are much more prone to pest infestations, so pests are often an indication that the plant has some other problem besides the pest.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
Herbs Annuals Hummingbirder Butterflies Garden Photography Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Houseplants Garden Sages
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gasrocks
Dec 10, 2016 8:56 PM CST
Sorry I disagree. Mealy bugs do live in the soil. Use Azamax as a soil drench. Gene
Name: Patrick Alan
Toms River, New Jersey (Zone 7a)
Clematis Irises Region: New Jersey Roses Dog Lover Lilies
Cactus and Succulents
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AlanJ
Dec 18, 2016 1:03 PM CST
WillC said:The key to eradicating mealybugs is make direct spray contact with the juveniles that are nearly invisible, as well as the more visible adults. Dish soap and water with a little alcohol added works just fine, but only if you spray so thoroughly that all leaf and stem surfaces are literally dripping wet. If you miss making direct spray contact will a few mealies on the undersides of leaves or in the crevices where the leaves attach to the stems, then they will reproduce and the infestation will come back. Thoroughness is the key.

It is unlikely that they mealybugs are living in the soil, so leave the soil and roots alone.

Plants under stress due to improper light or watering are much more prone to pest infestations, so pests are often an indication that the plant has some other problem besides the pest.


Hi Will,
Thank you very much for your reply to my post. I also found that my Spatyphillum has also become infested with mealybugs. I sprayed both plants with Alcohol and continue to check to see if I see any further bugs on the leaves and leaf axils. Thank you again.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle ~ Plato
Name: 'CareBear'

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Region: Pennsylvania
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Stush2019
Dec 19, 2016 11:12 AM CST
If you got no aminals in the house to eat the plants, Gene is right to use a systemic like Azamax or Bayer 3 in 1, or Bonide for house plants. Easy and works. Also the use of Listerine Original mouthwash which contains Thymol and Benzoic Acid along with Alcohol. Mix 50 - 50 with water, spray the plants. Also good for fungus which is a 2nd. condition due to weakening the plants.
Since I been using Bayer, never had any problems. The Imidacloprid used in the systemics can kill bees visiting the flowers so I don't use this in my outside plants. This is the same used in flea and tick for dogs.

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