mealybug problem

Asked July 7, 2017, 6:07 PM EDT

My honeysuckle vine has been invaded by mealybugs. I am presently trying to calm the situation down by using neem oil. However, new patches keep cropping up. My question is: do mealybugs overwinter? or will I be forced to cut down my vine and start over?

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects, about 3/16 inch long; easily visible without magnification. Their bodies have white, waxy filaments protruding from the tail end, and look as though they’ve been dusted with flour. Mealybugs can be confused with powdery mildew, and sometimes are observed as “tiny cottony clusters” on stems and leaves.

Mealybugs are most common along veins on the undersides of leaves and at axils, where leaves join stems. Some mealybugs may also be found below the soil surface on the main stem. They pierce plant tissue with sharp mouthparts, then suck the sap, which results in yellowing, leaf drop, and poor growth.

Control options: Washing, physical removal, disulfoton, bifenthrin, permethrin, imidacloprid resmethrin, pyrethrins (at least two to three applications sprayed once every 10 - 14 days are usually necessary). There is little winter survival outside of greenhouses in our area.