Mealybug Identification & Prevention

Learn about mealybugs so you can better protect your Cape Coral, Florida, property against these plant-destroying pests.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Mealybugs

Mealybug on a leaf

What are mealybugs?

Mealybugs are scale insects (herbivores) that live in large populations throughout Florida as they thrive in warm, humid climates. Many species of mealybugs live throughout our state, most targeting indoor and outdoor ornamental plants.

Some interesting facts about these insects include:

  • Adult females are wingless and live between three and four weeks. Females lay between 300 and 600 eggs in their lifetime.
  • Their eggs are oval, light yellow, and, in favorable environmental conditions, hatch in about five to ten days.
  • Adult males have wings, but they don’t have feeding mouthparts. Males have short lives, only existing to fertilize the females.

Mealybugs are small, soft insects with oval bodies covered in a waxy substance that protects them from weather elements and many pesticide sprays. Reach out to us today for pest and lawn care services in Cape Coral!

Are mealybugs dangerous?

Mealybugs aren’t directly dangerous to people as they don’t bite or sting, but they are a nuisance and a danger to plants in your yard and home. These insects use their specialized mouthparts to suck out a plant’s sap. As they feed, they inject toxins into the plant, which can stunt the plant's growth, cause its leaves to turn yellow, and eventually cause plant death.

Mealybugs produce honeydew, a sugary waste product. Honeydew attracts ants and other pests to plants and is associated with the growth of sooty mold. Over time, the dark mold can cover a plant and reduce its ability to absorb the sun’s light.

These insects can infest plants in large numbers and are quite challenging to control and eliminate without the help of professional home pest control and lawn care solutions.

Why do I have a mealybug problem?

Mealybugs in Cape Coral can find their way to your property on their own if your property has appropriate plants for them to live on and use as a food source. Some of the most common plants to be infested by mealybugs are orchids, succulents, African violets, tropical plants, and fruit trees.

Infestations also regularly begin after homeowners purchase plants from nurseries already infested by mealybugs.

Where will I find mealybugs?

Mealybugs like nitrogen, so healthy, well-growing plants are most attractive to these pests. Plants that are lush and healthy also provide them with plenty of shelter and breeding sites. These insects are most commonly found feeding on the underside of leaves at the base of the stems.

Signs of a mealybug infestation include:

  • Plant leaves or stems with a waxy coating on them
  • Plants with yellowing leaves
  • A black sooty mold on the exterior of plants
  • Poor plant growth, plants that do not appear healthy
  • Tiny oval-shaped insects on plants

At any sign that mealybugs have found their way to your property, immediately reach out for help.

How do I get rid of mealybugs?

To accurately identify mealybugs and eliminate the infestation from your Cape Coral property, you need to partner with a local professional. Coastal Lawn and Pest is committed to our customers and offers state-of-the-art pest control treatments. We know the communities we serve and how to best serve the needs of the people that call Cape Coral and surrounding areas home.

Call today to learn how to work together to remove damaging mealybugs from your property. We offer pest control and lawn care in Cape Coral that you can trust to keep your yard, home, and family safe from dangerous and destructive pests.

How can I prevent mealybugs in the future?

Mealybugs are outdoor pests that live throughout Florida, making them difficult to control. In addition to regular turf-damaging insect control services, the following tips can help to prevent problems with mealybugs.

  • Regularly prune ornamental plants and trees on your property.
  • Don’t over-fertilize plants on your property. 
  • Don’t overwater plants. 
  • Carefully check plants you purchase from nurseries for mealybug infestations before bringing them home. 

Contact us now for more information about mealybugs and the mealybug control treatments we offer. Getting rid of pests that call Florida home is easy when you partner with Coastal Lawn and Pest. 

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