If you find any white cottony substance on your fiddle leaf fig, it is a mealybug. In fiddle leaf figs, you can easily find them on stems and leaves.
Usually, fiddle leaf fig mealybugs come from plant nurseries. In addition, it spreads from plant to plant. If there is a light infestation of mealybugs, it can be easily removed. However, the problem occurs especially when your fiddle leaf fig is infested heavily.
The best solution is to use isopropyl alcohol, neem oil, or water spray. But if your plant does not recover after you apply this treatment, you may need to destroy it. This is why you need to act immediately when you spot mealybugs on fiddle leaf figs.
Here you will find all information about mealybugs fiddle leaf fig, their causes, and how to treat them. Additionally, I will tell you how to prevent these pests, so make sure to keep reading!
What are the causes of mealybugs on fiddle leaf figs?
It may seem that mealybugs appear out of nowhere, but they are often brought into your house by another plant from a nursery or plant store.
Also, due to their high attraction to moisture, mealybugs are often found in over-watered plants. Additionally, they may appear if you over-fertilize your fiddle leaf fig plant. In low numbers, mealybugs cause little damage, but in high numbers can yellow and curl fiddle leaf fig leaves.
If you want to get rid of them, water the plant sparingly to further ward them off. Additionally, there are several other methods to get rid of them, so let’s explore those in the next section.
How to get rid of mealybugs on fiddle leaf fig?
Fiddle leaf figs and other larger plants have trouble getting rid of large mealybug infestations. Hence, you will need to get started as soon as possible to get rid of them completely.
Follow the below ways to get rid of mealybugs on fiddle leaf fig!
1. Remove mealybugs with water
You can dislodge mealybugs by watering them. If necessary, repeat the treatment. Some plants cannot tolerate this kind of vigorous treatment, so this method is best for light infestations.
2. Make use of isopropyl alcohol
When mealybugs are wiped with regular rubbing alcohol, they are killed instantly and removed. For this make sure the solution consists of no more than 70% isopropyl alcohol. Moreover, test it on one leaf before applying it to your whole plant to ensure it doesn’t burn it.
3. Use insecticidal soap to spray
A mild dish detergent can be used to make your insecticidal soap or you can buy insecticidal soap. However, while buying look for products without perfumes or additives that may harm plants.
For making your insecticidal soap start by mixing 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 gallon of water, increasing as necessary. Next, apply the soapy solution to the fiddle leaf fig.
4. Use neem oil to spray or apply
You can get rid of mealybugs naturally with neem oil. There is a natural substance found in neem oil that originates from the neem tree. By using neem oil, mealybugs are unable to feed, grow, or develop, and they are also repelled.
5. Bring in predator insects
Mealybugs are naturally killed by lace bugs, parasitoid wasps, and a beetle called the “mealybug destroyer”. They can be found online by commercial retailers.
6. Make your insect spray at home
Prepare homemade garden pesticide by combining garlic bulb, onion, and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor. Add 1 quart of water and steep for 1 hour. Next, using a cheesecloth, strain and add liquid dish soap. Blend it properly. After that, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Spritz the solution on plant parts with mealybugs.
7. Synthetic Chemical Pesticides
Mealybugs can be controlled with several insecticides, but their waxy armor makes these pesticides less effective. In such a situation, you can use synthetic chemical pesticides.
Also, use synthetic chemicals with caution, especially indoors. Humans are more sensitive to stronger pesticides.
How to prevent fiddle leaf fig mealybugs?
It is less likely that a healthy, vigorous plant will be infested than one that is weak, underpotted, or stressed. So, if you keep your plants healthy, you are less likely to attract pests.
However, when it comes to mealybugs, even healthy plants can become infected. They often come in on new plants, since greenhouses are good breeding grounds.
Yet, there are several other ways to prevent mealybug infestations on fiddle leaf figs, including:
- Before adding a new plant to your collection, make sure you check it carefully.
- Mealybugs may sometimes be prevented by reducing feeding and watering because it reduces nitrogen levels.
- Neem oil leaf shine solutions are effective at preventing mealybugs on susceptible plants.
- Spraying hard blasts of water on plants that can tolerate it.
- Maintain 60℉ temperature at night. At this temperature, mealybugs won’t thrive.
Note: Consider destroying the fiddle leaf fig plant if the infestation cannot be controlled after two or three weekly applications of insecticide.
Few questions on mealybugs fiddle leaf fig!
Q1. What’s the best way to treat mealy bugs?
Ans. Isopropyl Alcohol is the best way to treat mealybugs. To kill or remove mealybug infestations on houseplants, dab a 70% or less solution of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing) in water directly on the bugs with a cotton swab.
Q.2 Can mealybugs sting or bite?
Ans. No. They feed only on plant juices and pose no danger to humans.
Q3. How do I kill mealybugs naturally?
Ans. Spray plants with neem oil to deter the insects from returning, then spray plain water to disrupt the bugs’ feeding. Wipe the mealybugs with rubbing alcohol after wiping them with a cotton swab.
Q4. How did my fig plant get mealybugs?
Ans. The pests come from warmer climates and can enter your home (or outdoor plants) when you bring home infected plants from nurseries. It spreads from plant to plant and feeds on growth points.
Most likely, the nursery has infested your fiddle leaf fig. In any case, you must remove them as they may spread to your other plants.
In small numbers, mealybugs are easy to remove. However, if your fig plant becomes heavily infested, it may develop yellow leaves. Nevertheless, there are a few good solutions, including isopropyl alcohol, water sprays, neem oil, and pesticides.
Occasionally, these solutions aren’t effective if mealybugs have covered your plant leaves in wax. In that case, synthetic chemical fertilizers may be a good option. Use these kinds of pesticides carefully as well.
If all else fails, you may have to destroy your plant to save your other plant. However, in the future, you should be cautious about these pests by preventing them. Yes, you can prevent them. Keep a few things in mind, such as inspecting the plant before adding it to your collection Temperature control, watering, etc.
Feel free to post your mealybug-related questions in the comments section below and also don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!
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