Mealy bugs! Yuck!! Mealy bugs appear on plants as small, soft bodied insects with a fuzzy white covering. They are common to indoor plants. The visible mealy bugs are the females. They may have fringes around their bodies and a small tail (or two). The male mealy bug is a tiny winged critter that’s hard to see on the plant. Mealy bugs are related to scale insects and damage the plant by sucking the juice from the leaves.
The best way to control mealy bugs is to not let them get started. Keeping your plants hydrated and clean is half the battle. If you do find a mealy bug or two try washing them off gently with a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol. If the infestation has progressed we recommend insecticidal soap or neem oil. Both of these products are available at your local garden center. If you want you can even make your own pesticide solution at home. One teaspoon of Ivory liquid soap in a gallon of water will do the trick. Spray the plants thoroughly on the top and underside of the leaves. Advanced infestations may have need of stronger chemicals but this may not be a good idea in the home or office environment.
If, after two or three weekly applications the infestation remains, it may be wise to send your plant to that great mulch pile in the sky (or backyard in our case). If you need more help contact us at Botanic Effects and we’ll do our best to eliminate the pest.