How to Get Rid of Mealybugs on Your Cannabis!
These white and hairy bugs enjoy warm temperatures and don’t tolerate the cold.They have even been known togrow and spread even on a dryingplant after harvest, so watch out! They also leave patches of what appears to be white mold (sometimes confused with WPM), powder or webbing.
Like aphids and scales, mealybugs produce a sweet liquid known as honeydew which can cause sooty mold to grow on the leaves as well asattract ants.
A white hairy mealybug crawling on a cannabis leaf
Mealybugs leave white patches almost like mold, powder or webbing
Immature mealy bug
Video of mealy bugs on cannabis
Mealybugs produce a sweet sap-likesubstance called honeydew
If you see bugs that looks similarexcept they’redark and unmoving, you actually have scales (a related insect but it doesn’t crawl around like mealybugs do)
Solution to Mealybugs
You may need to reapply soaps or oil if mealybugs come back. It may help to try more than one method, and if you see mealybugs again, definitely reapply immediately. Consistently treating your plants will get rid of them, even if it takes a few attemps (and a little patience).
Don’t spray with everything at the same time. Do them one at a time in succession. Do the insecticidal soap one day, then alcohol, then neem oil, all on differnt days. These treatments can be hard on your plant and a lot at once can be too much, so you don’t want to go overboard.
1.) Remove as many as you can with with a water spray or otherwise manually remove them to get numbers down before you start with other methods
If you blast the plant with a strong stream of water outside, trying to blast off all the bugs, that can be a good way to get their numbers down dramatically before you start with one of the other treatments.
Doing this regularly can definitely help, but should be combined with at least one of the other methods to just make sure you’re getting all of them.
Fatty acid salts or insecticidal soaps can be a good choiceagainst mealybugs.They weaken the outer shellbut are safe to use on your plants and they don’t leave much of a residue.
With soaps, coverage is very important as it does not stay on your plant for long, sofollow-up applicationsmay be necessary. Although this is considered safe, avoid getting anyon your buds!
3.) Neem Oil
Neem Oil will leave an unpleasant taste/smell on buds when used to treat flowering plants, so again, don’t let this stuff get near your buds!There’s also some evidence Neem oil may beharmful to humansso use with care! That being said, Neem oil is an all-natural remedy that is very effective against many different types of bugs and mold including mealybugs.You will need a mister (also called a ‘œOne-Hand Pressure Sprayer’)to spray all the leaves evenly, since neem oil and water can separate easily.
Alcohol tried out the waxy outer coating that protectsmealybugs, so there’s a few differenct ways to use alcohol to kill them.
If it’s a small plant, you might be able to put rubbing alcohol on a cotten swab and use it to kill each bug one at a time, to immediately get rid of most of the adults. This might be an option if you’ve only got a few, or in addition to another method.
You can also make an alcohol-water spray, and use a mister (also called a ‘œOne-Hand Pressure Sprayer’)to spray all the bugs on the plant.
Make a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol and spray plant once a week until mealybugs are gone. With an alcohol-water mixture,the goal is to spray the mealybugs directly to kill them. Since all the alcohol will evaporate into the air within minutes, it won’tgive your plant a protective ‘œcoating’ like soaps or oils.
5.) Beneficial Insects
Beneficial insects, such as lady beetles, lady bugs, and lacewings may eat large numbers of mealybugs and are welcome guests in the garden.Although you can order ladybugs to release around your plants , they tend to fly away in just a day or two. Additionally,the reproductive capability of mealybugs is so great that the impact of the natural enemies may not be enough keep mealybugs at or below acceptable levels afteran infestation has already gotten started. But they definitely don’t hurt!
6 .) Diatomaceous Earth
Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth over exposed parts of soil.This will help kill the mealybugs and will also help prevent infestations in the future. While not completely necessary, adding diatomaceous earthis a great step to take to help get rid of the mealybugsand their young as fast as possible
Diatomaceous earth is an organic insect killer made offossilized shells. It is sharp on the microscopic level and worksby puncturing the exoskeleton of insects (draining them of their body fluids), but posesno harm to humans orpets and can evenbe eaten.