Mealybugs on Succulents- Signs and Solutions with Sucs for You

>>Hey Guys – It’s Andrea with Sucs for You
in Houston, Texas>>See that? That’s a black carpenter ant – Camponotus
pennsylvanicus. They’re quite small but they can create big
problems because these ants farm mealybugs for their nectar, or honeydew, without killing
them. In fact, they protect them from other bugs. They deposit the mealies on delicious plants
like succulents and when they get nice and fat, the ants return to tickle or agitate
them, which causes the mealies to secrete the nectar.>>So ants like these are often the first
sign that mealybugs may be nearby.>>Since that ant was in a pot of my propagations
I’m going to have a closer look.>>This Fred Ives propagation seems to have
slowed its growth rate and I found mealies on it last fall, so I’m definitely going to
check it out. My larger Fred’s don’t get mealybugs so I’m
guessing the babies are just tastier.>>And there it is ladies and gentlemen – the
most obvious sign, and a fat buster at that. Just feasting on my Fred like an all-night
buffet.>>After you’ve kept succulents for a while,
I think your intuition becomes stronger when it comes to knowing when something just isn’t
right with a plant. One of its leaves may seem droopy or malformed,
it might not be growing as fast as it should, or it may just look unhappy.>>If you hear that someone else from a region
similar to yours is having a problem with pests, that is a great reminder for you to
run out and inspect your plants for the same problem. I do it all the time.>>Also, certain types of succulents are more
attractive to mealybugs, so you begin to learn which ones to keep a closer eye on.>>There are several ways to rid plants of
mealybugs but first, one more sign you may see before spotting the actual invaders.>>See that powdery or cottony stuff down
in the leaf axil? That is a mass of mealybug egg sacs. This is a pretty obvious sign once you know
what you’re looking at. I’m certain there are mealies on this plant.>>And there they are two little busters right
there…We’re going to come back and get these, but first we’re going to go take care of Fred.>>Now I’m a huge nature lover, but I have
no love for mealybugs. And this is a very special propagation to
me since I’ve kept it alive for over a year- a very crazy year climate-wise – and I’m not
going to let these punks destroy my efforts.>>I’m about to show you something a bit gross
and graphic. It is one of several methods of killing mealies,
especially the big suckers like this. Some are too small to squish, but this one
is impossible to miss.>>Choose your weapon. Take a long pointy thing of your choice, but
not too sharp or it will puncture your plant. A toothpick works. Used incense stick handles work. This is a plastic label stake and it will
work nicely.>>Then poke the dang bug. This is also a good way to tell if a bug is
a bug or just an innocent bit of perlite or other benign foreign object.>>Smaller mealies will turn yellowish and
sometimes reddish when squished. Bigger mealies may secrete nectar before getting
really grody when squished. This nectar is what ants crave and is also
responsible for developing into a fungus called ‘Sooty Mold’ which looks like black dust.>>If you don’t want to see what happens next,
close your eyes and count to ten and it will be over… for this mealybug that is!>>Luckily we don’t have macro vision so it
won’t look so nasty when you see this in person…>>This is an Echeveria subsessillis propagation
and it also has a mealybug on it. Yay :/ Another method for removing mealies
is to squirt them off with a solution of equal parts alcohol and water. If the bugs are too large however, they may
not die on the plant. This is why I recommend a water bath to remove
and drown any stragglers after this treatment.>>…and it’s still alive. Great. So on to the next method.>>Here’s a macro view of our little foe. You can see it is still moving like nothing
happened. But see how it looks yellowish now? The alcohol started breaking down that white,
waxy outer coating. Before I put this plant in the bath, I’m going
to squirt the mealy off the plant to make sure it’s gone.>>And it’s still moving. That is tenacity defined right there. It’s also why unpotting your plants is sometimes
the only way to fully treat them for mealybugs. They just keep going and going if you don’t
make sure they’re totally dead. Not half dead. All dead. Then they’ll keep coming back.>>This is a large glass jar filled with water. I can also add alcohol if this doesn’t do
this trick, but I’ve inspected these succulents closely and just want to make sure I didn’t
miss any super small mealies.>>I’m going to swirl them around several
times and let them soak for about 20 minutes, which should be long enough for any mealies
to drown. It’s important to repeat the process until
you’re sure the mealies are gone.>>As for getting rid of those pesky ants,
there are a few non-toxic methods you can try though none are guaranteed to work. Sorry.>>Things like sprinkling cinnamon in your
dirt and making traps with paper and Vaseline…an internet search for ant control will give
you more ideas to try and instructions.>>I honestly don’t mind them because they’re
not solely responsible for mealies showing up on my plants and they really do seem to
be the first warning sign that I should check on my succulents, particularly those I’ve
had mealy issues with in the past. What’s more likely is I unknowingly bought
some plants that had mealybugs and put them close enough to my other plants for them to
spread. So be sure you quarantine new plants and thoroughly
inspect them before placing them near your other plants.>>I get asked about another type of bug frequently
seen in, under, and around potted plants and I’m sure you’ve seen them too. They’re called Springtails – those super small
bugs that scatter when you pick up a pot. They eat tiny bits of decomposing organic
matter. Supposedly they can jump really far but they’re
so itty bitty, it’s hard to see where they go. They just disappear all of a sudden. They are annoying, yes, but harmless.>>After 20 minutes or so have passed, I’ll
rinse these bathing beauties in fresh water and let them dry on a towel, out of direct
sunlight, and far away from my other plants. I won’t repot them until they’re given the
all clear, but they’ll be fine unpotted for a few days or more.>>This is the first time I’ve seen mealybugs
on a cactus. That wooly coat is one of many forms mealybugs
take throughout their lifecycle, so keep an eye out for that.>>I just got this a few days ago so hopefully
I caught them before they wandered off to my other plants. I’m pretty sure I did.>>(Picture: Echinocereus reichenbachii)>>I’m just going to use tweezers to remove
these dudes. Then I’ll shower the whole cactus with the
hose until it is pest-free. Those white hairs to the right are actually
the beginning of a flower… I checked to make sure because it looks a
lot like an egg sac nest.>>Twenty minutes have past and this mealybug
has finally stopped moving. I’m going to guess that it’s dead, but I wouldn’t
be surprised if it has multiple lives.>>To recap:>>Some mealybug warning signs include:>>Tiny black ants around your plants,>>white cottony or powdery spots down in
your leaves,>>plants that have deformed leaves or stunted
growth,>>dusty or dirty patches that may be Sooty
Mold fungus caused by the mealybug secretions.>>Luckily, mealybugs aren’t usually a problem
year-round. Spring is probably the prime time for them
to make an appearance so be sure to watch for these signs and get all up in your succulents
business regularly to catch these pests before they cause any major damage to your plants.>>Well, I thank you for watching and I hope
this demo helps you save your succulents from mealybugs. Please like this video and subscribe to my
channel, and be sure to read the video descriptions for more information.

63 thoughts on “Mealybugs on Succulents- Signs and Solutions with Sucs for You

  1. The best detailed video on Milli bugs I've seen, there is a pot on the window in this video can you please tell me what it is? I have one like it but can't find out it's name

  2. Wow Andrea! Hands down most informative video I've seen on this topic! And whatever camera/ lens you are using is amazing – I've never seen such close ups. Omg they are just as disgusting and vile as I imagined them to be! And, I had no idea that ants 'farm' them. That's just creepy. I can't believe that one mealy refused to die after the alcohol spritz. Ok mind=blown…

  3. Great video, it was really helpful! Quick question: There's a small echeveria with a blue tinge to it in the thumbnail of this video. Do you know the name of it? I have a similar one.

  4. Great video! I can’t wait to get my succulents back outside once the warm weather returns up here in Canada.

  5. The cactus towel is so cute! Mealies were introduced into my house by a new plant. Thanks for the video!

  6. I love your videos!! They are fun and informative. If you have an aloe plant can you do a video on them? My family has a large one in a pot that our neighbor gave us

  7. I have another little bug chewing on my jade. I’ve been told they are baby stink bugs, but don’t know for sure. They are bright red/orange with black legs and head. I’ve smashed any I’ve seen. Anything else I can do?

  8. Thank you so much for this video! Hoping I can be more aware and get those damn things before they destroy any more of my plants!

  9. I spray mine with pure alcohol., and repeat following day if not yet gone. I assume they start off tiny green when just hatched right? I just start spraying them anyways.

  10. Diatomaceous earth , food grade, will work on ants and possibly the white bugs. It works by cutting theinsects and they dry out. The stuff is cheapest from feed store and non toxic. Im also looking to see how it works for shading delicate leaves from harsh sun.

  11. Okay, so I did close my eyes for 10 seconds. I don't have a problem squishing them myself but I can't watch, it makes me gag LOL Great video, I'm learning so much from you. You are a treasure trove of all sorts of great information goodies. Thank you.

  12. Thanks for the tips!!! i just started a small but growing succulent collection. I just have one question…. you mentioned using alcohol and water…is there a specific kind of alcohol? or just regular rubbing alcohol? LOL! Im trying to learn as much care as i can for my plants. Thanks in advance!!

  13. Hi! I was wondering how would you get rid of mites in the soil? I have so many in my chilli plants and I’m not sure how to get rid of them

  14. Hi Andrea, thanks for such an informative video. Ive only recently started my succulent collection but i have a mealy bug and gnat problem.. i unfortunatly didnt quarantine them before i placed them near other plants?
    Would you recommend doing the alcohol bath on all of them and will this rid the gnats or should i look for an alternate solution for them.
    Thank you ?

  15. Thanks for the information. I found white stuff in my succulent pot and I power spray and wash the white stuff in my kitchen sink then bring it out to the balcony instead of keeping them indoor on
    the window sill. Maybe they are growing too big should be staying outdoor. Question: How do you feel about spraying hand sanitizer on the affected area? ?

  16. is mealybugs notorious to succulents? I just started my collection this month, but if Im going to have these nasty bugs all the time Im going to reconsider it

  17. Just subscribed to your channel. I decided to get serious about succulents.I'm in Houston too!
    Thank you for the mealybug info. I just got a succulent order from Amazon 2 days ago. I'm trying to determine if it's mealy bugs on one of them.
    Note: your voice is a little muffled and you speak fast so it was a little hard to understand you.

  18. I strongly recommend spraying the plant with undiluted rubbing alcohol. I've done the q tips, I've done the water (jet and bath) and they kept coming back. If you are not interested in doing this once a month, spray rubbing alcohol straight into the plant. I use the 99% one and it kills all eggs and bugs on contact. I repeat that once a week for 6 weeks or so. 3 years so far with no mealybugs. Note that rubbing alchool will not actually hurt your plant as it dries instantly.

  19. Okay, I just found this method and I'm going to test it out. Apparently fermented rice water melts down their waterproof layer shit so that it will die easily in the water bath thing
    Edit: I'm collecting the bugs and trying out the best method to murder these fuckers(I'm just so angry they killed one of my roses)

  20. Best video and help on this subject. Thanks so much. I've been dealing with these on my succulents for months now and I am loosing one plant after another despite spraying them weekly with Neem oil. I didn't know you can actually submerge succulents in water like that for 20 minutes. That is a very useful tip as mine are infested with them by now. Will try all of the above. Thank you.

  21. I just uploaded a video where I captured a red coloured Mealybug emerging from its cocoon – any help with identifying the type / species would be very much appreciated. Thank you very much! . . . . SH Macro Entomology.

  22. Hello Sucs For You! I've gotten into the succulent hobby recently, and today I discovered my first mealybug family! I've been wondering why my succulent looks sick, as it was my first suc ever! But I finally decided to look a little deeper and take some mature leaves off, and I found some of the bugs!
    Finally to my question, I'm yet to make up a solution and treat the succulent – can succulents be too far gone to treat and recover?

    Thank you! X
    Succulent Lover, Australia

  23. AHH THANK YOU!! I just found one on my aloevera with like 6+ pups, it would have all been dead by a mealybug infection if i havent seen your video!

  24. QUICK TIP: when the mealy falls off the plant it's mouth part is left behind. So the bug will eventually just starve.

    So if u knock a mealy off a leaf but don't quit kill it. Don't panic…it will be dead soon enough.

  25. I have a particular succulent that I can't get rid of the mealybugs, and now I've found them on 3 others. I'm devastated lol. Have tried everything you've said today so fingers crossed!

  26. Great video! I was wondering can I bathe any new succulent before putting them with my other ones, in prevention of any pest ? Or is it always better to just quarantine new ones at all times? Thanks.

  27. Can you please help me i have a big succulent and its my very first one and i dont know but today i was watering it and realized it has these kind of white mold on it alot of places i tried to get some off from one of the white there was some red syrup come out and others i just took off like alot of white stuff there was nothing is this maybe not the bug also i dont live in very hot climat also i tried like spraying the plant for first time on it all and maybe that is what coused the white stuff or maybe its some bug

  28. I just found a mealybug on one of my cuttings. It’s the first one I’ve come across since I’m only a few months into the hobby. I remembered this video so I came back to make sure I do everything I can even though I got rid of that one. This is war! Anyway thanks again for the helpful videos!

  29. Thanks for the great video! Can you please tell me how I can tell the difference between powdery mold on sucs and a mealy bug infestation? Whatever it is, it went straight for the center of my plants and is spreading to others nearby. 🙁 Is it all mealy bugs? I have yet to spot one, tho'. Thanks!!

  30. What type of bug that looks like baby roaches that are living in my succulent garden and are turning my Echeveria leaves black and they are drying up and dying. Are they baby roaches? I live here in Houston Texas as well and I don't have house roaches but we have tree roaches (which I am deathly AFRAID of, don't ask me why I just am! Lol!) I get totally grossed out by any type of roaches so what can I do to save my mini succulent garden which is in a pot, should I de pot them and wash them and add new soil and repot them again?

  31. Thank you so much, this video was such a help! I had the sneaking suspicion that one of my plants had mealybugs, but isolating it didn't help. I am a succulent farmer, and I am suffering an invasion. I have half of my plants outside being treated. Thank you so much for the help.
    Also, i do happen to also be an ant keeper and enthusiast. What a coincidence, huh? Anyways, thank you again. I think you may have just saved my whole farm <3

  32. Thank you for the info, they are killing my beautiful orchid cactus plant and I was wondering what to do about this. Thanks a million.

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