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From the team at Gardeners' World Magazine
Mealybugs and their white secretion on leaves


Published: Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Discover organic methods to deal with mealybugs, in our expert guide.

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Soft-bodied, 4mm-long mealybugs are often found on greenhouse plants and houseplants such as cacti and succulents, feeding on their sap. They are covered by a white, waxy secretion, and congregate in leaf axils and other inaccessible parts of plants. They debilitate the plants and secrete a sticky, sugary honeydew that covers the leaves, which often results in further problems, such as sooty moulds.



Infestations of white, waxy insects on indoor and greenhouse plants, along with sticky honeydew on the leaves.

Find it on

cacti, succulents,greenhouse and house plants


Dispose of fallen leaves that might have the bugs or eggs attached. Use the predatory ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri when temperatures rise in summer. Also try spraying plants with fatty acids or plant oils. You may need to do this a few times, but it's a suitable treatment for edible plants. Inspect new plants before bringing them indoors. Severely affected plants might have to be destroyed.



Fatty acid-based organic sprays can be used on edibles.


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