Mealybugs are a common insect often seen on both outdoor and indoor plants. Their favorites are tropical plants such as hibiscus. They are small, oval and wing-less. These insects have long tails and are covered with wax that makes them look fluffy. Many times they are confused with some type of fungus. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts which they use to penetrate plant tissue and suck out juices. This can lead to chlorosis (yellowing of the plant), wilting and distortion. With larger infestations, these insects may cause stunted growth, premature leaf drop or death of the plant. Mealybugs are also known for secreting honeydew, which is a sweet, sticky substance on which a fungus called black sooty mold can grow.Tips for mealybug management: Use a high pressure water spray to dislodge mealy-bugs from the plant before moving indoors. For severely infested plants, it may be best to throw the plant away and buy a new one
Recommended Insecticides: Malathion 57% 2 tsp. per gallon (EXCEPT TROPICAL HIBISCUS), it will cause them to defoliate, Captain Jack's, Horticultural Oil, Bifenthrin,
The best thing for killing mealy bugs is malathion mixed with a sticker spreader. Apply three times ten days apart. Horticultural oils will work. Captain Jacks is an organic alternative. On a small infestation, use alcohol and water in a spray bottle.