what are these and how do i get rid of them?
what are they :)
these things in teh picture are all over my house and plants in the alfresco what are they and how do i get rid of them?? thank you very much :D
Drought Smart Plants reply:
Oh, boy - you say those are all over? I think you have some work to do. Those look like mealy bugs, which are one of the most pernicious creatures ever, and really difficult to get rid of. To make certain, peel away the fluff, and see what's hiding under it. Mealy bugs are grey with ridges, and very small, so you'll need a magnifying glass to identify them.
First, you may have to decide if it's worth trying to salvage your collection. If you have some especially valuable plants, or ones with some sentimental value, then it may be something you want to try. Keep in mind that once you have mealy bugs, you will have to be on the alert forever.
There are some beneficial insects such as a predatory beetle called Cryptolaemus montrouzieri that predate mealy bug, so in light of the area that you have to cover, this may be your best option.
You don't say exactly where you're located, but many bug companies ship these beneficial insects through the mail, and you release them around your plants.
It takes a while for them to do their work, and they may not take care of every single one, but it will certainly knock the populations back. Then, it's up to you to patrol constantly to keep an eye on them. For just a few, a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) usually does them in.
Don't give up - that's the key. It's one of the most frustrating and infuriating problems with plants, but if you are persistent, you'll vanquish this pest.
This leads me to my next suggestion: if someone offers you a plant, just say NO! If you do acquire new plants from any source, quarantine them, just to make sure they aren't carrying a hitchhiker.
Good luck, you're going to need it!
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