Here at GardenAdvice, we offer advice to gardeners on many pest that can be found in the garden, one of which is the Mealy Bug. For control of this pest our experts recommend a few tips on how this issue can be rectified.
Spraying with a systemic insecticide is considered to be the best method. However if this does not work, one could always use the method of using a cotton bud with methelated spirits or alchol of your choice and dabbing the white woolly bugs. The spirit gets through the waxy wooliness and kills the bug.
Our team also recommends the use of a hand lens.This is because before it gets to the woolly stage, the Mealy Bug are like small little woodlice-like insects that are seen often wandering around the foliage. Therefore you can just squash them by hand at this stage or spray with a contact insecticide. This is however quite a lengthy process.
The problem with vines is that they have such a rough stem which is makes a perfect hiding space for the bugs. If it was an outside plant I would recommend cutting the vine back radically and tar washing the whole lot. However, as it is a conservatory you can not tar wash as the fumes will be too toxic and smelly in the house. Therefore, a moderate haircut is in order. Make sure you burn the prunings.
When it gets warmer, gardeners could also try the use of Biological control which may keep the mealy bug at bay. The conservatory has to be at a constant temperature of 16c before you introduce Cryptolaemus or Hypoaspsis. You have to stop using the systemic insecticides for two to three weeks before introducing the biological control. The Green Gardener as well as supplying the Cryptolaemus does a tonic that will help you vine get back its strength.
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