Have some houseplants that seem to be looking a little pale or notice some sticky stuff on your orchid? Take a closer look at your indoor greens and you may find something more than dust. If you see fluffy white material like tiny pieces of cotton nestled in the cracks and crevices of plant stems you may have discovered mealybugs. 

Feeding on a wide range of indoor and outdoor plants these bugs are related to aphids and scale.  They suck plant juices and produce a clear sticky stuff that can attract ants. These pests can be hard to control, so don’t delay. Start by taking the plants to your kitchen sink (or outside weather permitting) and give them a blast of water to knock the bugs off the plant. If there are many, cut out the infected portion of the plant and dispose. A solution of rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) can be applied directly on the pest either with a light spray, a cotton-soaked swab or soft toothbrush, and repeated once or twice to ensure removal of recently hatched crawlers.  If needed apply and insecticidal soap labeled for use on your plant species.  You may need to treat your plant weekly until you are sure you’ve eliminated the pest. 

Here’s more information on managing these nasty bugs

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