Mealy Bugs are small sap-sucking pests that are often found in warmer climates. They are soft-bodied, wingless and are covered in a white, protective wax and leave behind dry looking, damaged grass blades. They produce Honeydew which can cause mould growth on plants, attracts other pests, and can prevent your grass from photosynthesizing. They tend to hide in the moist and protected parts of a plant, usually the dense foliage or underside of leaves, and can have the appearance of small spots of cotton.
Mealy Bugs reach maturity within 1-3 months of hatching, and adult females can lay 300-600 eggs which will hatch within 1-3 weeks. It is common to see multiple generations of Mealy Bug infesting a lawn at once. If these pests aren’t taken care of quickly, they can overrun your lawn and are hard to eradicate, generally needing to be manually removed with rubbing alcohol from each blade of grass.
Mealy Bug has several natural predators that can keep numbers under control, but these predators should not be relied on as the pest can live on the leaves as well as in the roots of the plant. If you are finding Mealy Bugs living alongside ants you may be in trouble, as ants protect the Mealy Bugs from its predators as they feed on the Honeydew that Mealy Bugs produce.
Depending on the situation, Mealy Bug eradication can become quite complex. One of the easiest ways to manage Mealy Bug infestations is to prevent it altogether. Our lawn care technicians can provide expert advice and preventative and reactive treatments to keep Mealy Bugs out of your lawn, get in contact today to learn more!