How to control mealybugs on indoor plants

How to control mealybugs on indoor plants

You’ve in all probability seen these tiny black bugs flying round your tomatoes, in your own home, and in your crops. More often than not, a few little bugs gained’t hurt your crops an excessive amount of. However, in case your crops are infested with tiny black bugs, they’ll rot crops. These tiny black bugs in your plant soil or alongside your stems may really be plenty of completely different pests.

We requested skilled exterminators how you can eliminate the tiny bugs on all of your indoor crops. To seek out options to eliminate these annoying black bugs on crops scroll all the way down to step 4.

Step One: Discovering Proof of Black Bugs on Vegetation

These bugs are fairly tiny, so you could not instantly spot them. Should you discover some black bugs on one tomato plant, you would possibly need to test the remainder of your plant assortment! Examine your crops for infestations by searching for:

  1. Misshapen or discolored leaves and stems.
  2. Deformed fruit, greens, and flowers.
  3. A sticky substance or a sugary liquid.
  4. Black fungal development or sooty mould.
  5. Irregular growths on crops.
  6. Different infestations like ants and ladybugs.

The sticky or sugary substance on crops is definitely honeydew. Honeydew is a leftover residue leftover from feeding. Honeydew and extra moisture can create dangerous fungus, mould, and irregular growths. If the infestation is absolutely dangerous, you’ll additionally discover different bugs preying on the tiny black bugs.

Step Two: Discover The Supply of the Infestation

Tiny black bugs are fairly widespread for plant house owners. Fortunately, it’s fairly straightforward to eliminate them. There are a number of causes you could have a black bug infestation.

To procure a plant with an infestation

You’re not a nasty plant father or mother if you happen to carry a plant dwelling and instantly discover an infestation. The plant might have had eggs hiding within the soil earlier than it even acquired to the shop.

When shopping for new crops, isolate the brand new plant for every week or two. Throughout this time, you should definitely observe our tips about retaining black bugs off crops. This manner, you’ll be certain that your different crops gained’t change into infested.

You moved your crops from inside to outdoors (or vise versa)

Because the climate adjustments, you would possibly transfer your crops to get extra daylight. Watch out when doing this, as infestations usually begin from outdoors your own home, and bringing them inside will solely make the issue worse.

Once you carry your crops again inside, you should definitely give them a very good wash with a pure anti-pest spray. Subsequent, change your plant’s soil with a contemporary combine. This retains your crops wholesome and prevents new infestations.

You’ll have one other infestation

Discovering these tiny black bugs may imply you will have one other infestation. These ants generally prey on these tiny bugs. The leftover honeydew exposes your crops to gnats and different sucking bugs! Should you do discover one other infestation, it is best to take steps in the direction of eliminating these pests too.

Step Three: Determine What the Infestation Is

When you establish what the infestation is, you’ll have a a lot simpler time discovering an answer and stopping future infestations. The tiny black bugs on crops are usually both fungus gnats, aphids, or spider mites.

Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are black flies that gained’t do a lot injury and are usually small clusters. Should you shake or transfer an contaminated plant, a swarm of gnats will emerge from the soil instantly. Fungus gnats gained’t disturb your plant’s well being however they expose your plant to extra infestations.

The larvae wish to reside within the soil and feed off the moisture. Should you discover your crops are just a little dryer than regular, and also you’re overwatering, you’re solely feeding into the issue.

To eliminate fungus gnats, change out the infested soil with new soil. Make certain to test for any rotting roots, as grownup fungus gnats wish to snack on these elements. Make sure you regulate your watering. This will even stop any rotting roots and future infestations.


Aphids could cause a number of issues in the event that they’re not dealt with correctly. These are tiny tear-drop-shaped bugs and are a distinct coloration relying on the species. Some aphids have wings, which may simply be mistaken for flying gnats.

Aphids kind in teams beneath plant leaves. Aphids will suck plant sap, which may deform or stunt a plant’s development. They’re just a little tougher to regulate, nevertheless it’s not not possible.

You may eliminate aphids with these pure DIY options. Aphids are deterred by strong-smelling scents and important oils like peppermint or neem. You may simply create an anti-aphid spray to water your crops with neem. Lastly, unfold a small layer of diatomaceous earth.

Spider mites

Spider mites are usually not solely creepy trying, however additionally they trigger main points in your crops and your private home! Most spider mite infestations will want a magnifying glass to actually see them. You may inform you will have an infestation if you happen to discover silky webbing round your crops.

There’s no have to panic if you happen to do discover a spider mite infestation in your crops. As creepy as they’re, you possibly can eliminate them fairly rapidly.

To eliminate spider mites, water down and brush off all of the mite webs. Subsequent, change your plant’s soil with contemporary soil and clear out the pot. Should you discover any lifeless or rotting roots, you should definitely minimize them off. Equally with aphids, you’ll need to make a DIY plant safety spray and unfold some diatomaceous earth.

Step 4: Getting Rid of Tiny Black Bugs on Vegetation

There loads of methods you possibly can implement pest management into your common plant-care routine. Finally, one of the simplest ways to eliminate any tiny black bugs in your crops is by:

  • Utilizing an everyday watering schedule and correctly draining your crops.
  • Stopping fungal development by watering your crops from the underside of your pots.
  • Chopping off rotten roots and often altering the soil.
  • Utilizing high-quality soil with draining properties and by no means reusing outdated soil.
  • Utilizing pure pest management sprays.
  • Sprinkling diatomaceous earth to soak up any extra moisture.
  • Correctly storing and cleansing all gardening instruments and soil.

As a pure answer to plant pests, attempt diatomaceous earth and neem oil. These merchandise kill off pests rapidly (inside 24 to 72 hours) with out harming your crops. Take a look at our video under to see how our editors use a few of these merchandise to fight plant pests.

How to control mealybugs on indoor plants

Step 5: Stopping Future Infestations

So long as you observe our suggestions, your crops needs to be protected from dangerous pests. Should you do discover that your crops are steadily seeing these little guests, you could have one other infestation in your house. In case your infestations persist even after following the following pointers, name an exterminator to examine your private home for ants or different plant-loving bugs.

Have a pest query you want skilled recommendation on? Go away a remark under and observe our Fb web page for extra updates.

Shield your private home or enterprise from mealybugs by studying methods for identification and management.


How do I eliminate mealybugs?

What Orkin Does

Should you suspect you will have mealybugs infesting your crops, contact your native Orkin department workplace for an inspection and to arrange an built-in mealybug therapy plan to successfully and effectively resolve the issue. The complexity of mealybug therapy is situational.

Relying on the variety of crops which are infested and the situation of the infested crops, the suitable therapy plan might vary from quite simple prevention and management to considerably extra complicated and widespread therapy methods.

For the house owner, mealybug management will not be costly, however will be very time consuming since success relies upon upon a really cautious inspection course of. The best answer for the house owner might merely be tossing out infested crops.

If disposal is just not an possibility, the house owner can “quarantine” crops for 10-14 days as a method to make sure infested crops are usually not introduced dwelling.

Continuously Requested Questions

Each indoor and outside crops appeal to mealybugs. The pests will assault a variety of vegetation, together with fruit bushes, gardenias, African violets, and extra. Mealybugs disguise beneath leaves and flower petals, making their tiny our bodies even tougher to identify.

Folks with houseplants, gardens, and flower beds typically encounter these pests. The mealybug thrives through the heat months of spring and summer season.

These pests hurt crops by piercing the plant’s leaves and stems and ingesting their sap, which ends up in wilting and yellowed leaves. Mealybug honeydew, the pests' sticky waste, additionally causes mould development on crops and attracts different insect pests. Mealybugs don’t chunk or unfold illness to people.

One of many best methods to handle mealybug infestations is to stop introduction of infested crops into the home’s inside. The house owner can rigorously examine any crops which are bought earlier than bringing them dwelling for inside use or exterior panorama planting. If the crops look like freed from mealybugs, it’s a good suggestion to “quarantine” the crops for about two weeks. One other technique to stop mealybug injury is to chop out or cull infested leaves or stems so there isn’t any alternative for mealybugs to additional increase the inhabitants on the infested plant. As a final resort, essentially the most environment friendly technique to stop injury will be to easily eliminate infested crops to maintain mealybugs from spreading to different, non-infested crops.

If a minor mealybug infestation is found, treating the infested plant(s) might require utilizing alcohol-soaked cotton swabs to deal with the bugs; eradicating mealybugs by exposing infested crops to working water; and/or washing the crops with soapy water.

If the mealybug infestation is widespread, the therapy plan might require a product to deal with not solely mealybugs, but in addition to deal with ants which are feeding on the honeydew produced by the mealybugs. That is vital since ants shield mealybugs from predators and will transfer mealybugs from one plant to a different, thus growing the variety of infested crops. If the therapy plan requires utilizing a product, it’s normally finest to let your pest administration skilled apply it since his/her expertise and data ensures the product’s labeled-use instructions are adopted and adhered to strictly.

Habits, Eating regimen & Habits

Understanding Mealybugs


Mealybugs are very small, soft-bodied, oval-shaped bugs which are lined with a white, powdery wax coating. As well as, many mealybug species have projections extending from their physique, giving them the looks of getting many legs on the facet and rear of the physique. When seen on crops, they appear to be very small spots of cotton.

Mealybugs transfer slowly, however after they discover a appropriate location on the plant, they typically change into motionless and kind clusters on the plant.

Mealybugs feed by sucking plant juices which weakens the plant and causes the plant’s leaves to show yellow, wilt and drop. The bugs additionally produce honeydew, a sticky substance that will increase mould development on crops and attracts feeding ants. If the mealybug infestation is just not eradicated, the plant will in all probability die.

Mealybugs & Ants

Mealybugs appeal to ants by excreting honeydew, a sticky, candy substance that the ants feed on. Vegetation infested with mealybugs normally have leaves that flip yellow and wilt, and if the infestation is just not eradicated, the plant might ultimately die.


Mealybugs are plant feeders and can infest most elements of their host plant. They usually are positioned on the underside of plant leaves and stems, and populate many outside crops such annuals, bushes and shrubs. Mealybugs will closely infest nearly any crops in greenhouses, houses or companies. They feed by forcing their needle-like piercing mouthparts into the plant and use a sucking motion to take away the plant juices.