It is that time of the year where mild weather and increased blooming tend to attract mealy bugs to our grounds, landscape, and flowers.
Mealy bugs are ticks that feed on livestock and other animals, however, they are more commonly found in gardens and lawns. Though sometimes a nuisance, mealy bugs are not a big problem unless their food source is disturbed.
What Are Mealy Bugs?
Hemiones semperollis is a the larval stage of the tick responsible for mealy bugs. The larvae will crawl out of a tick’s mouth and once they have them host they will feed.
These ticks can hide in dirt or cattails and they usually feed on cattle or sheep during the spring and summer months. Once this happens they will complete their mating cycle and spawn a new generation. So how do you know that mealy bugs have been detected in your yard? They will have a brownish or gray color and small white and red bumps. If you spot mealy bugs in your yard that will be a clear sign of them being pests in your area. If there are no feeding spots you do not need to do anything about them, but if you see it every couple of weeks, then you need to deal with them. Mealy bugs only live for about 12 hours and only reproduce once a year. The best way to get rid of mealy bugs is to spray them with a tick killer.
So how do you find and kill mealy bugs?
If you see mealy bugs scuttling about and lying along the base of your plants, simply hit them with a light spray of pesticide, or apply a repellent with an insecticide mix. If you find mealy bugs in cracks and crevices, drain all water from your plants and carefully drain the soil to reveal the bugs hiding under your plants. This will force them to leave the roots or root out of your plants. Once they are forced to move somewhere else, you can eradicate them.
Next, take a tablespoon of the chemical and mix with a few drops of liquid dish soap. Then apply the mixture to the mealy bugs, applying it a little at a time to control the spread. Remember, you want it to be a light, thick solution, and it should be wet at all times. Once the mealy bugs are dead, let them dry and you should be good to go.
This simple safety step will prevent you from getting a tick or other nasty disease.