How to get rid of cochineal: a guide that will help you fight and defeat thecochinealboth in the garden and with houseplants.
Themealybugsthey are phytophagous insects belonging to the order ofRhynchota (Rincoti, also known as Hemiptera) and represent one of the most harmful systematic groupings to agriculture.
Because it is difficult to get rid of cochineal
Themealybugsthey are small insects with a lower potential than that of other phytophages such as aphids or mites, yet different species ofmealybugsthey can easily be responsible for infestations of such severity as to affect the harvest, first of all cottony scale insects.
Themealybugsthey are extremely adaptable, both to different climatic situations, and to different adverse situations thanks to the ability of adults to cover themselves with protective secretions.
This resistance manifests itself against a large number of insecticides, in particular, contact pesticides. No contact insecticide can have good efficacy because these insects are able to protect themselves with abundant waxy secretions.
In addition, thecochinealit has "on its side" another advantage, it feeds on practically everything: it is a polyphagous insect that can attack various parts of plants (leaves, shoots, woody branches and fruits) and a large number of species, including indoor plants .
Feeding on sap and other plant fluids, thecochinealit slows down the development of the plant and creates damage to the structure of the plant to the point of causing death in extreme cases.
THE symptoms they are recognizable by the yellowing of some leaves, the appearance of spots and withered foliage. In some cases it is also possible that the plant undergoes obvious malformations. The presence of many ants can also be an indicator that warns us of the presence of cochineal to eliminate urgently.
The ants are attracted by the so-called "honeydew" waste substance produced by the metabolism of cochineals: the digestive system of cochineals acts as a filter that retains proteins from the sap and vegetable juices of the plant and expels carbohydrates (sugars) in the form of honeydew that sometimes it even covers whole leaves.
Another plant parasite can then develop on the sugary honeydew, a fungal mycelium known asfumaggine.
It is difficult to find godsnatural methods to eliminate white cochineal(cottony cochineal) but also the other less widespread species of cochineal (black cochineal).
The only onenatural remedywhich can help mitigate cochineal infestation involves massive pruning by eliminating, in a decisive way, the branches most affected by cochineals. The biological fight can be operated with ladybugs, in particular with the speciesCryptolaemus montrouzierithat it feeds oncottony scale insects.
In general, when it comes to natural remedies against parasites or plant lice, we point out the pyrethrum, an excellentnatural insecticide. Unfortunately, due to the protective secretions of thecochineal, this insecticide is also ineffective.
How to get rid of cochineal
Eliminate scale insects it is not at all simple. There are a large number of pesticides on the market but sometimes the results are only momentary. A good system for eliminate cochineal consists in the use ofmineral white oil which causes the death of scale insects by suffocation.
This type of oil must be used according to the methods indicated on the label, usually it is a solution to be sprayed on the entire plant: when sprayed on infected plants, this product will create a sort of film which, covering the mealybugs it will cause death by suffocation.
Where to find themineral white oil? In stores specializing in the sale of plant protection products or by taking advantage of online purchases. There are a large number of products on Amazon. For completeness I point out the page:White mineral oil on Amazon.
You know that cochineal is obtained a dye? find out which one in this article about the dye e120