Mealybug infestation

CoolCham

Member
Hello, I recently Discovered we had a mealybug infestation in our cham cage. At first I only saw a few, but now there's millions! They killed a small money tree and are killing a pothos, but its big so its doing fine right now. I was search I g for ways to stop this, and there seems to be no easy solution. I don't want to have to remove the plants because their vines are twisted around everything and it would be a huge pain, especially if the bugs come back. I was looking online and I found you can buy "mealybug destroyers", a little beetle the size of a ladybug that apparently goes crazy over mealybugs. They are also related to the ladybug. I was wondering if it would be OK to put these with my chams? I would just put some in, then if the mealybugs disappear I'll take them out. I don't really know if the chams would eat them, or if their bad for them. Thanks!
 

Raphael1047

Established Member
I would not go with the ladybug relatives because I know that ladybugs are poisonous.
 
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Raphael1047

Established Member
I did a little searching and did you do any of this.

Dab the mealybugs with a cotton ball swab soaked in rubbing alcohol to dry the insects out.

Remove mealybugs with a cloth or paper towel, making sure that you squish them instead of just displacing them.

Dislodging them with a steady stream of water.

If a few treatments of any or all of these don't work I would recommend discarding the plant.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
2 teaspoons of dish detergent per gallon of water will kill mealybugs but you would need to move your cham out of the enclosure before you spray it, let it soak the bugs for a while and then rinse the soapy residue away before putting your cham back in.

You can buy a gallon sprayer, which you can pressurize, at Home Depot for around $10.
 

kgallego

Member
Hello, I recently Discovered we had a mealybug infestation in our cham cage. At first I only saw a few, but now there's millions! They killed a small money tree and are killing a pothos, but its big so its doing fine right now. I was search I g for ways to stop this, and there seems to be no easy solution. I don't want to have to remove the plants because their vines are twisted around everything and it would be a huge pain, especially if the bugs come back. I was looking online and I found you can buy "mealybug destroyers", a little beetle the size of a ladybug that apparently goes crazy over mealybugs. They are also related to the ladybug. I was wondering if it would be OK to put these with my chams? I would just put some in, then if the mealybugs disappear I'll take them out. I don't really know if the chams would eat them, or if their bad for them. Thanks!

Here's what I would do - we all know how long it takes for our plants to grow up and fill our vivariums, so saving your plants should take a pretty high priority. If I was you, I would move your cham to a different enclosure for a few weeks until you solve this problem.

After moving him/her out, go to gardeningzone.com and buy a praying mantis ootheca and some lady bugs. Load up the cage with Lady bugs first and let them do their thing. As soon as your mantids start hatching, throw all of them in there. They will clean up what's left of the mealybugs and also eat up the lady bugs. After the lady bugs numbers are down some, put your cham back in the vivarium and let him/her eat feast on the mantids.

The whole thing should take about 6 weeks and in the end you'll have a fixed your mealybug problem, and fattened up your cham with some fresh variety of bugs. A natural solution.

Also, as far as ladybugs being poisonous; i've heard that also, but I've never had a cham have issues from eating them. I used to have neighbor kids collect lady bugs and throw them in with my veileds and jacksons all the time. Never did I have an issue.
 

galcynnara

New Member
experiencing the same thing...

I have a mealybug infestation on all inside plants...heavy in the cham cage. Taking each interior plant into "quarantine" outside and hosing them off. Using Neem Oil and water solution. Important to spray both sides of leaves and where leaves meet stem, ect. Each mealybug hatchings can produce up to 600 newbies. Once sprayed, bringing back inside. You may need to treat any of your indoor plants as well so they so not spread . As for
the Cham habitat...I'm not sure if Neem is safe, so planning to cut heavily infested leaves and discard. Since he has lots of fake vines...will take him out temporarily to inspect plants. Depending on the severity of plants, may want to discard and purchase new ones or spray with 2 tsp. Dishsoap to 1 gal water (remove plant to do so) let dry and rinse plant. Add a safe fertilizer to replace nutrients in soil, or replace soil...clean habitat as normal with a tea tree oil/water solution 2 tsp/2 cups or 1/10 bleach water solution. Add plants and cham back into habitat and keep an eye everyday to make sure the bugs don't return. Also going to research if Neem is safe for chams. Good luck!
 
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