These insects attack virtually all houseplants. White cottony or waxy insects are on the undersides of houseplant leaves, on stems, and particularly where leaves are attached. The insects tend to congregate, giving a cottony appearance. A sticky substance may cover the leaves or drop onto surfaces below the plant. Infested plants are unsightly, do not grow well, and may die if severely infested.
Separate infested plants from uninfested ones. If only a few mealybugs are present, wipe them off with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol or with a damp cloth. Carefully check all parts of the plant to make sure all insects have been removed. Discard severely infested plants, and avoid taking cuttings from them. Thoroughly clean the growing area with soapy water before starting new plants. Inspect new plants thoroughly before putting them in the house.
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