How to combat mealybugs in citrus

Mealybugs are parasites that can cause many problems to our citrus. In fact, if we do not control or fight them in time, our trees can lose their leaves in a matter of a few weeks.

How to combat mealybugs in citrus? If we have seen some, we will not have to worry too much. Below we will explain what we have to do so that the health of fruit trees improves as soon as possible.


  • 1 What are mealybugs?
  • 2 What are the symptoms in citrus?
  • 3 How are they removed?

What are mealybugs?

Mealybugs are homopterous insects that have mouthparts that they use to pierce the plant and suck its sap . The species that attacks citrus is the ribbed mealybug, whose scientific name is Icerya purchasi . It is easy to distinguish it since the female has the appearance of white cotton with longitudinal grooves, and her eggs, which are reddish in color, are grouped by waxy threads.

What are the symptoms in citrus?

The most common symptoms are:

  • sticky sheets
  • Chlorosis
  • Malformations
  • Appearance of the bold fungus
  • aphids

How are they removed?

Despite the damage they cause, mealybugs can be easily eliminated. If the tree is young , we can do it manually, or with a cotton, brush moistened in pharmacy alcohol or with pressurized water. But if the tree is large or the plague has spread a lot , the ideal is to treat it with potassium soap diluted 2% in water. This is a very effective insecticide that will also help us to eradicate the bold.

Another way to achieve our goal is by treating it with diatomaceous earth , which is fossilized algae. Once they come into contact with the insect, they pierce its body, causing it to die of dehydration within a few days. The dose is 25 grams per liter of water. It is highly advisable to use a watering can and not a sprayer as the latter clogs up quickly.


With these tips, the mealybugs will surely disappear soon.

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