49p item acts a ‘powerful’ deterrent for sap-sucking pests that promote mould

49p item acts a ‘powerful’ deterrent for sap-sucking pests that promote mould


A 49p item could prevent beloved houseplants from falling victim to the destructive presence of mealybug, a gardening expert has explained.

Green-thumbed enthusiast Tiffany Selvey says houseplant owners can use essential oils to stop sap-sucking mealybugs stunting the growth of their foliage.

The House Digest writer explained: “If you have noticed what appears to be a white, fuzzy growth on your plants, you probably have a mealybug infestation.

“These tiny biggest are only a fraction of a centimeter, but once they arrive they cause a cascade of problems.

“Mealybugs use their suck mouthparts to feat on the sap produced by plants [and] their digestion process results in something called honeydew, which attracts plants.”

The tiny pests are often found in the warm and humid environments that naturally occur in homes across Britain during the winter, wreaking havoc on the vitality of houseplants.

According to the experts, peppermint essential oil has proven overwhelmingly efficient in repelling the pest as they detest its protective aroma.

“If you keep peppermint essential oil around the house to freshen the trash can or other stinky spots, for cleaning, or other purposes, you put that powerful scent against mealybugs,” explained Selvey.

Essential oils comprise distilled compounds that make up a condensed and liquid version of a plant. Its strong scent has been shown to act as a deterrent against a wide variety of pests known to infest plants, including spiders, mosquitoes, and moths.

Experts recommend diluting the solutions before applying them to the affected plants with a spray bottle, with Selvey adding: “Avoid the temptation of creating a stronger concoction with more pepper oil than what it suggested.”

It’s crucial to tackle the mealybug at the first sign of an infestation by isolating and treating the affected plant. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the cleanliness of houseplants will ensure they stand the test of time. 

The essential oil can be picked up for less than £1 at Amazon, but the cheapest Express.co.uk found this to be priced is at 49p.

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