Mealy bugs are a member of the family of unarmored scale insects commonly found in warm, moist places. They feed on the sap of the plants when they attach themselves to hidden parts of the plant and secrete a powdery layer of wax that they use for protection. They are a nightmare to every gardener because they feed on plant juice that causes the plant to wither and to die.
Isopropyl alcohol is the easiest way to kill mealy bugs that have infested your garden and house plants. Isopropyl alcohol is an effective disinfectant. It kills off almost all types of germs. It has the same effect on mealy bugs. Mealy bugs immediately get killed when they come in contact with isopropyl alcohol. Never use any other type of alcohol like ethanol or methanol because they might be harmful to the plants.
Isopropyl alcohol is applied to the mealy bug-infested plant with the use of cotton balls. The cotton balls are soaked thoroughly in isopropyl alcohol. Wipe the cotton balls directly on the mealy bugs. If there is a large colony of mealy bugs on your plant, pour isopropyl alcohol directly on the colony to kill them all off.
Dish Washing Soap
Dish washing soap is another home remedy for killing mealy bugs. Just mix 2 tsp liquid soap to a quart of warm water. Mix the solution thoroughly in a container. The soap will penetrate the waxy coating of the mealy bugs and kill them.
Pour the homemade mealy bug spray into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the mealy bugs. Be sure to check the underside of the leaves and the stem because this is where mealy bugs attach themselves.
Alcohol, Water and Soap
To make a more effective homemade mealy bug cleaner, combine the two components listed above. The combination of alcohol and liquid soap should decrease the mealy bugs in the garden.
To make the solution, mix equal portions of water and alcohol to make a litre and a half. Add 1 tsp liquid soap to the mixture and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the plants infested with mealy bugs regularly to kill off adult bugs as well as their eggs.
Hot Sauce, Garlic and Vinegar
Hot sauce, garlic and vinegar are a deadly combination for mealy bugs. The spiciness of the hot sauce and garlic combined with the acidity of the vinegar will make sure that no mealy bug will survive.
Mix together 15ml of garlic, 15ml of hot sauce and 15ml of vinegar to one litre of water. Spray the plants repeatedly to make sure all the mealy bugs are killed. Always test the solution on a few leaves to make sure it is not too strong to burn the plant.