>>. Hey, Guys, – It’s Andrea with Sucs for You in Houston, Texas >>. See that That’s a black carpenter Ant. – Camponotus pennsylvanicus. They’re quite small, but they can create big problems because these ants farm mealybugs for their nectar or honeydew without killing them. In fact, they protect them from other bugs. They deposit the mealies on delicious plants like succulents, and when they get nice and fat, the ants return to tickle or agitate them, which causes the mealies to secrete the nectar >>. So ants like these are often the first sign that mealybugs may be nearby >>. Since that ant was in a pot of my propagations, I’m going to have a closer look >>. This Fred Ive’s propagation seems to have slowed its growth rate. And I found mealies on it last fall. So I’m definitely going to check it out. My larger Freds. Don’t get mealybug’s so Im! Guessing the babies are just tastier, >>? And there it is, ladies and gentlemen, – the most obvious sign and a fat buster at that. Just feasting on my Fred Like an all-night buffet >>. After you’ve kept succulents for a while, I think your intuition becomes stronger when it comes to knowing when something just isn’t right with a plant. One of its leaves may seem droopy or malformed. It might not be growing as fast as it should or it may. Just look unhappy >>. If you hear that someone else from a region similar to yours is having a problem with pests. That is a great reminder for you to run out and inspect your plants for the same problem. I do it all the time >>. Also, certain types of succulents are more attractive to mealybugs. So you begin to learn which ones to keep a closer eye on >>. There are several ways to rid plants of mealybugs, but first one more sign you may see before spotting the actual invaders >>. See that powdery or cottony stuff down in the leaf axil? That is a mass of mealybug egg sacs. This is a pretty obvious sign once you know what you’re looking at. I’m certain there are mealies on this plant >> And there they are two little busters, right, thereWe’re going to come back and get these, But first we’re going to go take care of Fred >>. Now I’m a huge nature lover, but I have no love for mealybugs, And this is a very special propagation to me since I’ve kept it alive for over a year- a very crazy year Climate-wise -, and I’m not going to let these punks. Destroy my efforts. >> I’m about to show you something. A bit gross and graphic. It is one of several methods of killing mealies. Especially the big suckers like this. Some are too small to squish, but this one is impossible to miss >>. Choose your weapon! Take a long pointy thing of your choice, but not too sharp or it will puncture your plant. A toothpick works, Used. Incense, stick handles work. This is a plastic label stake and it will work nicely >>. Then poke the dang bug. This is also a good way to tell if a bug is a bug or just an innocent bit of perlite or other benign foreign object, >> Smaller mealies will turn yellowish and sometimes reddish when squished. Bigger mealies may secrete nectar before getting really grody when squished. This nectar is what ants crave and is also responsible for developing into a fungus called Sooty Mold, which looks like black dust >>. If you don’t want to see what happens next, close your eyes and count to ten. And it will be over for this mealybug that is >>! Luckily, we don’t have macro vision, so it won’t look so nasty when you see this in person >>. This is an Echeveria subsessilli’s propagation, and it also has a mealybug on it. Yay, :/! Another method for removing mealies is to squirt them off with a solution of equal parts, alcohol and water. If the bugs are too large, however, they may not die on the plant. This is why I recommend a water bath to remove and drown any stragglers. After this treatment >> and it’s still alive, Great. So on to the next method, >> Here’s a macro view of our little foe. You can see it is still moving like nothing happened. But see how it looks yellowish now. The alcohol started breaking down that white, waxy outer coating. Before I put this plant in the bath, I’m going to squirt the mealy off the plant to make sure it’s gone >>. And it’s still moving. That is tenacity defined right there. It’s also why unpotting your plants is sometimes the only way to fully treat them for mealybugs. They just keep going and going. If you don’t make sure they’re totally dead. Not half dead. All dead, Then they’ll keep coming back >>! This is a large glass jar filled with water. I can also add alcohol if this doesn’t do this trick, but I’ve inspected these succulents closely and just want to make sure I didn’t miss any Super Small Mealie’s >> I’m going to swirl them around several times and let them soak for about 20 minutes, which should be long enough for any mealies to drown. It’s important to repeat the process until you’re sure the mealies are gone >>. As for getting rid of those pesky ants, there are a few non-toxic methods you can try, though none are guaranteed to work. Sorry >>. Things like sprinkling cinnamon in your dirt and making traps with paper and Vaselinean internet search for ant control will give you more ideas to try and instructions >>. I honestly don’t mind them. Because they’re not solely responsible for mealies showing up on my plants, and they really do seem to be the first warning sign that I should check on my succulents, particularly those I’ve had mealy issues with in the past. What’s more likely is I unknowingly bought some plants that had mealybugs and put them close enough to my other plants for them to spread. So be sure you quarantine new plants and thoroughly inspect them before placing them near your other plants. >> I get asked about another type of bug frequently seen in under and around potted plants. And I’m sure you’ve seen them too. They’re called Springtails – those super small bugs that scatter when you pick up a pot. They eat tiny bits of decomposing organic matter. Supposedly, they can jump really far, But they’re so itty bitty. It’s hard to see where they go. They just disappear all of a sudden. They are annoying. Yes, but harmless >>. After 20 minutes or so have passed, I’ll rinse these bathing beauties in fresh water and let them dry on a towel out of direct sunlight and far away from my other plants. I won’t repot them until they’re given the all clear, but they’ll be fine unpotted for a few days or more >>. This is the first time I’ve seen mealybugs on a cactus. That wooly coat is one of many forms. Mealybugs take throughout their lifecycle. So keep an eye out for that >>. I just got this a few days ago. So hopefully I caught them before they wandered off to my other plants. I’m pretty sure I did. >> (Picture: Echinocereus reichenbachii). >> I’m just going to use tweezers to remove these dudes. Then I’ll shower the whole cactus with the hose until it is pest-free. Those white hairs to the right are actually the beginning of a flower. I checked to make sure because it looks a lot like an egg sac nest >>. Twenty minutes have past, and this mealybug has finally stopped moving. I’m going to guess that it’s dead, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has multiple lives >>. To recap: >>. Some mealybug warning signs include: >> Tiny black ants around your plants, >> white, cottony or powdery spots down in your leaves, >> plants that have deformed leaves or stunted growth, >> dusty or dirty patches that may be. Sooty Mold fungus caused by the mealybug secretions. >> Luckily, mealybugs aren’t usually a problem year-round. Spring is probably the prime time for them to make an appearance. So be sure to watch for these signs and get all up in your succulents business regularly to catch these pests before they cause any major damage to your plant’s >>. Well, I thank you for watching, and I hope this demo helps you. Save your succulents from mealybug’s. Please, like this video and subscribe to my channel and be sure to read the video descriptions for more information.