Mealybugs – Pest Problem on My Bonsai TreeOct 5th, 2010 | By Sandy | Category: Bonsai How To
Recently, I found mealybugs on the cutting wound of the Fukien Tea bonsai tree. They were hiding right under the aluminum foil tape. I guess the delay of sealing the cutting wounds of my bonsai tree was probably a major factor of this peat problem. Due to a tight schedule, I had no choice but cut my bonsai tree on a rainy day (bad move…) and since the cutting wound was still wet, I didn’t seal the wound with bonsai pruning compound or aluminum foil tape once after I pruned the bonsai tree but only after a few days later.
When I first found mealybugs on my bonsai tree, I wasn’t sure if it’s a plant pest or a disease problem since I couldn’t find any movement in the white powdery clods on a cutting wound of my bonsai tree
What is Mealybug?
Mealybugs start as free-moving crawlers with the females becoming less mobile as they mature. While unlike many female scale insects, female mealybugs often retain leads and can move. Yet, nevertheless, the female mealybugs attach to a single spot and become less mobile.
While female mealybugs feed on plant sap and secrete a powdery wax layer to protect themselves (that’s how they begin to look more like some kind of growth than an insect), the male mealybugs do not feed at all as adults and only live to fertilize the females (hence, the male mealybugs are short-lived).
Get Rid of Mealybugs
The fastest and easiest way is to use pesticide, especially if there is a heavy infestation on our bonsai tree. Of course, this stuff is toxic and we must be careful during mixing and application. We will have to apply the pesticide again in 7-10 days as the mealybugs may have laid eggs on our bonsai tree. A few escaped mealybugs can repopulate a colony in just a few days.