Mealybugs are scale insects that suck the sap out of the leaves and stems of plants, resulting in stunted or deformed leaf growth, yellowing of the leaves, and leaf drop.
The full mealybug life cycle is about 7-10 weeks. It takes a week or two for the eggs to hatch into nymphs, and then another 6-9 weeks for the nymphs to mature into adults.
Getting rid of mealybugs on houseplants can be tough, but it’s not impossible! Follow these steps to eliminate them for good.
Immediately bring the infested plant to the sink and thoroughly wash the leaves and stems with my soapy water solution.
Next, wash the area where the plant was sitting with soapy water, and then use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to disinfect the area.
Be sure to check around the outside lip and inside edges of the pot and tray, and also the bottom of the pot for hiding mealybugs.
Once everything has been cleaned and disinfected, spray the plant with neem oil and move it to a location far away from any other plants.
Check the infested plant daily for any signs of mealybugs, and kill each one that you see using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.