Mealy bugs on my Krimson Princess

Moosetrackz(9)August 24, 2011

I bought a KP at Home Depot a few months ago and just noticed a few white powdery mealy bugs on it. I sprayed them with rubbing alcohol to kill them. I saw maybe 10 bugs in all but I had been seeing these gnat like bugs for a few weeks before this and I thought it was just damp soil and heat attracting gnats but could they be the male mealys? I heard they look different and fly.

Will putting alcohol on the ones I find be enough? I didnt see any big clumps of them just a few here and there on the vines. Is there anything else I can do to prevent mealy bugs?

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hiya Moose,

Did you mean to post at Hoya forum (rather than here at Houseplants)?

Are you sure they were mealies? They're usually cottony looking, not powdery.

Don't know the answer, sorry, but WOULD suggest you check very carefully UNDERNEATH the leaves & also (thanks Denise) under the outer rim of the pots.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 6:35PM
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lol I did mean to post on the hoya forum. Sorry about that.

They look like the mealy bugs on wikipedia. The hoyas so dense its making it hard to find them all. I found a few more this morning :(

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:40PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Moose, I always had pretty good results with alcohol sprays, but you have to keep up with it. Like PG says, be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Mealies are very happy to find a nice many little places to hang out.

I doubt VERY much that you have male mealybugs. They are very rare....indeed some mealybug species do without the males. The females bear live young without that nasty ol male, lol. I'd guess that you have some dreaded fungus gnats.

Is this plant hanging inside or outside? That could be a clue, too.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:16PM
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It hanging inside. Fungus gnats huh great all I need is more bugs! lol

I think I got the gnats from a baby spider that wasnt doing to well indoors. It was all droopy and most of the gnats were on that plant. So I put it outside and now it seems much better and gnat free.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:08PM
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Hi Moose. Fungus Gnats are a pain, but easy to rid. Mealy is another story.

I haven't seen Mealy Bugs in years. 10+. Then, two years ago, those creatures of hell found my plants. I ended up tossing most of my African Violets and several Clivias.

A few Hoyas and two Stephanotis now have Mealy. Seems Fishtail Hoya is a Mealy magnet.

Yesterday, I sprayed my Steph with RA. I also applied the alcohol on a cotton ball, then Q-Tip and wiped all signs of Mealy off.

Others I talk to said they're having problems with Mealy, too..2010-2011. I wonder if these creatures are on HD plants or the fact so many people are finding Mealy on their plants is coicidence.

One friend suggested using Bayer Systemic, but I don't care for chemicals. So, hopefully RA works.

The best way to rid gnats is, allow soil to dry out between waterings, either set outside or keep windows opened and run a rotating fan. They usually appear when soil is too wet and air is dry and stuffy. A little effort and the gnats will die.

Rhizzo, you said you have to keep up with it often..How often and what's the best way to apply? Also, should RA be diluted with water or straight from the bottle? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 5:13PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

What pls. is RA?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 11:58AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Rubbing Alcohol. I had to think about it, too. :-)

Toni, I typically dilute my alcohol to a 1:3 (A:H20) ratio. Most plants can take it stronger, though. If you've managed to bring an infestation under control and want to keep it that way, mist the plant once or twice a week whether you see anything or not.

It's important to mention that plants with very sensitive or fuzzy leaves should be given a 'test' before misting all over. Spray one leaf and inspect it a few days later. Don't spray flowers.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:12PM
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Karen, sorry about

Rhizo, I never spray fuzzy leaf, buds or flowers. With or without RA.

Oops, I've been using a 2:3 ratio, (A:H20) and spraying every other day. Better cut back and dilute. Thanks though.

Moose, hows your Hoya doing? See anymore Mealy? Toni

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 2:50PM
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Ive been checking it and spraying it every other day and I still see a few bugs but not many.

How do they travel from plant to plant? They don't ever move when I see them. They're just little fuzzy non-moving things stuck to the vines or under the leaves.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 3:43PM
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Years ago I bought a large hoya from home depot which also had some mealy bugs, but I didn't notice them until I got home.
It took a lot of pruning, spraying (back and front of leaves and stems) and using Q-tips with alcohol for at least three months until ALL of them were finally defeated. Spraying just a couple of times wouldn't be enough.
I would think they were all gone, but then there would be these little baby mealies crawling around. Very frustrating, but in time, getting rid of them for good can be done:)

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 7:39PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Moose, we transport the mealies, especially the small crawlers, from plant to plant with our hands, clothes, watering utensils, etc. If a container is touching another, they will take the trip from one to another. They can even be transported when the plants are misted routinely with plain water.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 11:01PM
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