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Controlling Mealybugs on Ornamentals and House Plants

November9,1998 I have this fuzzy white stuff growing on all of my house plants. I can wipe it off, but it comes back. Any suggestions as to how to eradicate it?

It sounds very much like you have a mealybug infestation. Unfortunately, mealys can be tough to erradicate. They have a waxy covering which tends to repel liquids, so be sure to thoroughly wet them with whichever solution you choose to use. Spraying the plants with Diazinon can be effective, but caution must be used to be sure that your plants are not listed among those that this chemical will kill. Systemic insecticides are sometimes effective. Always read the entire label of any pesticide or other chemical, and only use when it is absolutely necessary. If your plant collection isn't to big, or the number of insects is within reason, I would suggest (and prefer for safety's sake) that you dab each individual insect with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol. You must be vigilante in rechecking your plants every 2 weeks or so to be sure that you have eliminated every trace of these bugs or you will quickly be facing the problem all over again.