Mealybugs On Marijuana Plants

November 15, 2019

Mealybugs are an interesting type of insect in that their male and female counterparts function extremely differently. They even look dissimilar: the males have wings (so as to better find the females to fertilize, which is their sole purpose in life) and the females have legs, but no wings. Both of them grow to the size of just a human fingernail.

Female mealybugs find the crevices in your marijuana plants and adhere themselves onto these places. They create a wax-like protective layer over themselves so they won’t be harmed while they feed on your plant’s juices. They generally only go to plants that have ants already there, since the ants act as protectors of these bugs while they feed.

The ants will fend off any predators or parasites that might come along. This means that, in general, if there are no ants on your plants then you most likely will not have any mealybugs come to bother your plants.

Signs of mealybugs

Signs of mealy bugs on weed plants

You will notice that you have a mealybug problem when you see various groups of white, puffy clumps of a cotton-like substance. With a mealybug infestation, you will see these clumps popping up on stems on within crevices on your plants.

One small infestation on your marijuana plant should not harm it much, but when you notice one, then you need to make sure to control the infestation. It can quickly get out of hand and your leaves will start dying off.

Not sure if mealybugs are causing the damage to your marijuana plants? Check the article Marijuana pest and bug control for a list with pictures of all pests and bugs

How to get rid of mealybugs

Get rid of mealy bugs on cannabis plants

You can use a hard stream of water to spray the bugs right off of your plants. Since they are easy to see, you can also use a cloth to simply crush them and then rub them off. As cruel as it seem, you should not forget to squish the puffy bugs because otherwise they will just find a new home within your garden.

You also can use rubbing alcohol (wiki) or nail polish remover, put it on a Q-tip or cotton swab, and just swab them right off of the plant. If you want to keep things organic, there are always soap or oil-based methods that will work effectively.

Neem oil, cinnamon oil, or garlic oil can all be sprayed on the plants and will keep the mealybug population under control. Don’t forget to spray underneath the leaves of your plants. Make sure to do it on a cloudy day or when the sun is low in the sky so as to have the maximum effect.

Download my free marijuana grow guide at this link for more growing tips

If you want to make another kind of solution, try mixing five tablespoons or pure castile soap and two tablespoons of olive oil, and add them to a gallon of water. The oil component helps the solution stick on the plant for a longer amount of time. Make sure that, if you happen to have hard water, you use bottled water to avoid forming water spots on the plants.

A commercial product like Bug Blaster will always to the job. If you want to make sure to kill them all buy something like Bug Blaster.

You can also try adding a teaspoon of garlic or ground red pepper to the mixture to really keep the mealybugs away. Spray your plants with the final mixture, keeping in mind to get the undersides of the leaves.

Marijuana plant symptoms

– White, cotton-like clumps on crevices
– White, cotton-like clumps on stems
– Yellowing of leaves
– Dropping of leaves
– Death of leaves
– Ants present

As with many insect problems, the natural combatant for such an infestation is a population of ladybugs. It is very possible that ladybugs will appear and eat up the mealybugs, therefore solving the problem. In case, Mother Nature does not come to the rescue with her army of ladybugs. However, you should try one of the above options to ensure that the mealybugs do not damage your plants too much.

Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for pests and diseases. So make sure to buy cannabis seeds from a trusted seed bank.

Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and don’t forget to download my free grow bible


The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]


Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. By Janielle Sheldon ,04 Apr 2013
    I actually have a few questions about mealy worms in hydro marijuana plants. I'm not having issues repelling the bugs from the plant but from the roots and water in the plants buckets. It seems no matter how much I […]Read More
  2. By chris reyes ,02 Jul 2014
    Hi im a fellow grower just wondering to c if u can send me a sample kit of ur nutrients. It would be much appriciated i am in need of something that wi boost my yilds and thc i am […]Read More
  3. By David ,25 Jul 2014
    I am losing a lot of leaves on my plant and have noticed some small bugs crawling around in the drain tub and was wondering if these pests could be in the root system causing problems. they may be small […]Read More
  4. By Marijuana Pests & Bugs – Control And Identification ,10 Jul 2015
    […] Curiously enough, one of the easiest ways to tell that you might be at risk for a mealy bug infestation is the presence of ants. Ants offer protection for the mealy bugs by keeping the environment clear of other […]Read More
  5. By Symptom Checker – Identify Marijuana Plant Problems ,20 Jul 2015
    […] Mealy bugs […]
  6. By Kridta ,27 Jun 2019
    I sprayed my 5 week old plant with the hose because of a mealy bug problem. There wasn't many, they just coming and I did this as a last resort. I was picking them off by hand but they returned […]Read More
  7. By latewood ILGM ,26 Jul 2019
    Kridta, Go here: and let us help you out in a more efficient manner

World Icon

marijuana seeds worldwide

200 grow guides

500 Helpful Articles

Group Icon

group of growers

35,000+ Daily Visitors

500,000+ Grow Bible readers

Plant Icon

marijuana strains

1500 Strain Reviews

100 Strains For Sale