I have a mealybug infestation on Hibiscus and Purslane plants near my hive (2-5 yards away) on a deck.
Is there a safe way of treating the pests?
Willing and ready just to get rid of those plants.
Safers Soap, won't affect bees even if you accidentally spray them. Dawn dish soap (regular blue kind) will also work but will kill bees if sprayed directly on them. No harm from using it nearby hives though and has no affect if they feed on a plant you've sprayed. Mix 2 oz per gallon
I agree with HTB that dish soap works great on mealybugs and aphids. However, it won't kill their eggs. Spray the soap every 4-5 days at least 3 times so you get the newly hatched bugs. I have also used 70% isopropyl alcohol but that is a rare commodity in the Covid-19 era.
I forgot to add that dish soap can burn the foliage of some plants. Generally, the thicker the leaf the less it is affected but you may want to test a small area before treating the whole plant. Give it a day and you'll know. Also, treat early in the morning or evening, treating during the hottest part of the day can cause leaf burn even with Safers Soap.
For what it's worth, if you're spraying weeds, the hottest part of the day is the best time for the same reason.
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