Getting rid of Mealybugs

Mealybug Quick Overview

Identification Oval white spots
Symptoms Yellowing leaves, curling or looking dehydrated
TreatmentNeem oil, rubbing alcohol, Insecticidal soap

Have you noticed oval, white, fuzzy looking spots on your plants stems and leaves or your plants leaves are going yellow, curling or just looking overly dehydrated? If so, your plant could have mealybugs.


Mealybugs are soft, tiny (4 millimetres), oval shaped pests that can be easily identified by their powdery white colour. Mealybugs are typically found on the stems and leaf nodes of the plant. They can sometimes be found on the leaves of the plant.


Common symptoms of your plants having Mealybugs are yellowing and curling of the leaves. Another symptom can be that your plant is just looking overly dehydrated even once you’ve recently given it a drink.

Mealybugs cause damage by sucking the sap from the plants stems and leaves, and like most other pests, they go for the new growth. In a mealybug infestation they exude a sticky honeydew which then encourages the development of sooty mould.

Treatment Methods

Natural Methods to get rid of Mealybugs

If you’ve found out your plant is suffering from a small mealybug infestation, you can try hosing the plant down being sure to get the underside of the leaves, stems and leaf nodes. You might have to follow this method every few days to make sure they’re eliminated completely.

Another method is making a homemade solution. Mix up 1 tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with 1 quart water and mix thoroughly. Spray the plant with the solution being sure you get the underside of the leaves, stems and leaf nodes where the mealybugs hide. One treatment could be enough but it is possible you will have to repeat the method weekly.

You can also try dabbing the mealybugs with a cotton tip dipped in rubbing alcohol as that will burn the mealybugs but won’t hurt the plant.

Organic Mealybug Control Methods

There is a variety of organic insecticides you can use as an immediate solution to your mealybug problem that will not harm your indoor plant. Our most recommended organic mealybug control method is using the Garden Safes Insecticidal Soap Insect Killer. This kills mealybugs and other pests such as aphids, mites, leafhoppers, psyllids, scale insects, thrips and whiteflies.

Another organic control method that is recommended is Neem Oil. It’s the most popular go-to method that people use to get rid of most pests that you can encounter with your indoor plants. One we recommend is Organic neem bliss cold pressed neem seed oil.