The corrugated mealybug takes over our citrus trees and other plants. Possibly at first glance you do not realizebut if you look in detail, you will see how these small insects take over its leaves, deteriorating them and affecting the integrity of the tree and its fruits.
What is corrugated mealybug?
To stop it we must act quickly and effectively. That is why in this article we teach you what is corrugated mealybug and ways to eliminate it. The corrugated mealybug is a parasite that is responsible for absorbing all the nutrients from your plants and is usually associated with a lack of environmental humidity.
It is a really invasive pest and attacks almost all the variety of plants that can be found in a garden, such as tropical, ornamental, fruit, citrus, palm, ficus, aromatic and climbing plants.
The proliferation of this mealybug is a fact to take into account. If they are not stopped, the females, who they are usually about 6 millimetersThey are capable of laying a quantity of 400 eggs, while the male is usually a little smaller and has wings. The area of greatest porosity of the leaves of the plants is usually the underside and that is where the cochineal lodges, whose reproduction is almost imperceptiblebecause it occurs at night.
It is considered a sucking insect and the female goes through different nymph forms until reaching adulthood. Instead the male also goes through a cocoon form before its adult stage. The body of a grooved mealybug usually has colors between reddish and brownish, measuring approximately half a centimeter in its adult stage. Its back has a covering, as if it were a white waxy shellwhich has grooves throughout, a characteristic from which it derives its name.
Metamorphosis and reproduction
The metamorphosis of the canalada mealybug pest is recognized as incomplete. This usually makes three changes during its existencetransforming them into the type of mealybug that moves the most. Newly hatched nymphs will be housed on the underside of the leaves of our plant, showing a color closer to orange than to the brownish that they show in the adult stage.
In its adult stage, these move to the branches and trunks of plants and treeswhere they will begin the breeding process. Incredibly, no males are needed for this reproductive process to take place, as there is very little male population in corrugated mealybug colonies.
The mechanism of reproduction without the intervention of the male is called Parthenogenesis, whereby the unfertilized ovum is segmentedfor different reasons ranging from chemistry, temperature and electricity among others. In this way, the female sex cells will be able to develop a being without the intervention of fertilization.
How does the corrugated mealybug affect our plants?
Before we mentioned that corrugated mealybug is a sucking insectbecause that is the characteristic by which it damages the plants and trees in our garden. With its powerful oral apparatus, it sucks the sap, generally from the underside of the leaves or their stems.
Considering that they are a plagueThis will be done simultaneously by a large number of copies of it, so we can see that our plant is invaded by these insects grouped in colonies, seizing not only the leaves, but also the branches.
The extraction of sap that this type of mealybug carries out in the plant will make it lose its vigor, affecting both its growth and the generation of fruitsin addition to producing malformations in different sectors of the plant.
The power of your molasses
Among the destructive effects on our plants that the cochineal plague carries out, we can highlight the excretion of a sugary liquidwhich will make the plant look more shiny and sticky.
This molasses not only affects our plant in an aesthetic way, but it also attracts ants, which will become a new pest that will invade leaves and branches. That is why it will not be strange to see rows of ants crawling up the stem. looking for that molasses to collect.
Also, because of this same liquid, the bold funguswhich will take over the leaves leaving small black dots that will make the photosynthesis process very difficult.
Can corrugated mealybug be eradicated?
In the world of biology it is known that the complete eradication of the corrugated mealybug is almost impossible. In fact, there is more talk about different factors to control the pest that of methods to remove it completely.
That is why what is most sought by different methods is to maintain control of this pest to such an extent that the number of specimens that can be found in the plants in our garden, is below the level of heavy damage.
Today, in large citrus groves around the worldto control the pest that causes great damage in production, an Australian-origin beetle called Rhodolia Cardinal.
This beetle, having been introduced throughout the world to control this pest, it is very possible that currently it comes spontaneously in our gardens when the plague resurfaces, but this happens only in places where the winters are not as strong.
4 Home remedies to eliminate it
We can control the corrugated mealybug infestation in our gardens by the use of products that we surely have on hand in our homes. In this way, we will improve the health of our plants, without having to go out and buy any chemical product that in the long run would generate the inverse result we are looking for.
Water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap
With these three elements that we use daily we can make a foolproof solution to eliminate corrugated mealybug. This method is very helpful for larger plants and trees. We will fill a sprayer with a solution that involves these three elements, being water what we will use to a greater extent and small parts of the alcohol and soap.
Only alcohol, for small plants
The recently mentioned solution would be too harmful for a small plant. So that use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and passing it specifically over the areas affected with the bold fungus and the molasses left by the cochineal residues will be enough to keep them from getting close.
Something that is not good for our health, but it is used to control pests in garden plants. You will need to place about half a dozen cigarettes in a container with water and let it rest for about two hours. The resulting liquid will be used with a sprayer, wetting the affected plants.
Dryness is one of the problems that the cochineal infestation can bring, especially in those found indoors. If we use stoves, put a container with water to generate humidity needed is a great tool.
Controlling the corrugated mealybug infestation is possible by taking all necessary measures. The good health of your plants will bring more life to your home.