September 18, 2020 at 7:30 am ReplyEveliebPrivate messageGreenhorn
I’m a very inexperienced gardener and I need help getting rid of mealybugs on succulents. I’ve read conflicting advice on treatment of mealy bugs on succulents, particularly those with a waxy coating like Echeveria and Senecio. Of course the usual soapy water spray, horticulture/neem oil and water mix, or alcohol spray have been recommended but I’ve also read that spraying these on the leaves of succulents like Echeveria and senecio will permanently scar them with unsightly brown spots even when taking care to spray them in the evening. So the damage is not caused by sunburn but instead by the sprays removing or damaging the waxy coating on the echeveria/senecio.
Has anyone had success treating these specific succulents by directly spraying the leaves? I have a garden full of these plants so i cannot go and swab/wipe each plant. I need to spray or treat with a systemic insecticide.
Any thoughts are appreciated!September 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm Replyratatat-tattyPrivate messageExpert gardener
I agree that succ leaves mark and stain very easily… what if you took a look at natural predators? I read that Cryptolaemus montrouzieri devours mealybugs, it’ll probably work great in a greenhouse.
It’s a bit funny because the larva looks exactly like the mealybugs themselves… maybe it’s camouflage!
Other than that, the only other way of not staining leaves would be to use only soft water and blasting them bugs off with a hand spray… patiently clearing one zone of the greenhouse at a time…
How big is your greenhouse? Lots and lots of plants?September 23, 2020 at 7:43 am ReplyEveliebPrivate messageGreenhorn
Thanks for the advice. The plants are not in a greenhouse. They are planted in the ground in my backyard. In an area about 35 ft long, so yes it’s a lot of plants I have to treat. One piece of good news is that I think I caught the infestation early on.
I had sprayed them in the past for mealybugs months ago and it seemed to eradicate them. But I noticed spots that looked like sunburn on the echeveria. I assumed it was sunburn since we had a heat wave. But then I noticed them again and was doing some research about mealybug treatments and came across that warning NOT to spray soap on them. It got me wondering if perhaps the scarring was due to the soap and not sunburn. Im hesitant to spray them again.
I wonder if spraying soap on them and hosing off the soap soon after would prevent any damage 🤔September 24, 2020 at 8:09 pm Replyluis_prPrivate messageExpert gardener
This type of scale is related to scale so anything you use against one of them can also be used against the other. If the infestation is still growing, Imidacloprid could help but if the pests have left then the insecticide may not do much since they “left the nest” already. I personally would apply it once any way this year. But then I would start reapplying it next year about 1-2 months before this time of the year. If you prefer a more organic solution, you could squish them by hand, release beneficial insects such as lady bugs or apply insecticidal soaps, Safer’s Ultra Fine oil, dab them with alcohol, etc. instead of using Imidacloprid. But do not use the insecticide and the beneficial insects at the same time because the insecticide will kill the beneficial insects. Assume that they will show up next year too at about the same time and apply counter measures starting a month before you first noticed them this year. Apply chemicals on cloudy and cool days for best results as I observe some leaf damage in the hot days with neem oil and similar stuff (check the product label for application instructions on sunny hot days)…
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