How To Get Rid Of Mealy Bugs In Hibiscus Tree That Has Small Shriveled Leaves And Small Blossoms With White Cottony Substance

Question From: Aurora, Illinois, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, I have a hibiscus tree that has small shriveled leaves and the blossoms are really tiny with a white cottony substance in them and underneath them.. I've cut them all back on that one tree, as to not infect the others. I did see a small amount on one of the others, so I cut that one back and it's doing great. From what I have read I believe it is mealybugs, although, when I shake the trees, little white flies come flying off. So, maybe I have both? I bring my hibiscus trees and bushes inside for the Winter. Can you recommend something to protect them from getting infected? I've been using the product "Safer" which seems to help with the white flies, but I have read that using AzaMax or Bayer Tree & Shrub Protect would help with the Mealybugs... Not sure what to do... Thanks so much for your help!! :)

A: Mealy bugs are very difficult to get rid of. I know people who toss out plants that are badly infected so they don't spread to other plants.I am a great fan of AzaMax as it is OMRI listed and very effective. My friend uses Bayer Tree and Shrub. I've not had much luck with Safer. Be sure to hit the under sides of the leaves and the axils where leaves attach to the branches. Good Luck, Nancy