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What are these white bugs on my houseplants?
April 16, 2011 10:39 PM   Subscribe

What are these small white things (bugs?) on my house plants?

Some of my houseplants have groups of these little bugs (?) on them, particularly my sageretia. But they don't move, or don't appear to move when I touch them. Has anyone encountered this before? And if so, do I need to be worried about it to treat it?
posted by hgcrpd to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
I think they're mealy bugs. They spread to other plants, suck the sap and cover the leaves with a sticky honey dew. You should get rid of them by squishing them or rubbing the leaves with alcohol. If that doesn't work, call in air strikes.
posted by joannemullen at 10:46 PM on April 16, 2011


My guess is white flies. Spray with insecticidal soap.
posted by cecic at 10:47 PM on April 16, 2011


Cecic has it. Definitely whiteflies and yep, insecticidal soap is the way to go.
posted by jamaro at 10:55 PM on April 16, 2011


Is it possible to physically knock them off (eg with a spray of water)? That would be your first step. If not, then orange oil might help. If that doesn't work, I would suggest soap, though your plants don't really like that so much, but they certainly prefer it to getting gnawed on.
In general, plants that are being attacked that way are in some other way weak. Make sure that they have a good compost and fertilizer. It won't save every plant, but it's a good approach.
posted by Gilbert at 11:16 PM on April 16, 2011


They look to me like the body casings of aphids. Also see drops of shiny liquid on the leaves (honeydew, basically aphid excrement) and three slightly creamy coloured blobs that resemble fuzzy aphids by the first pair of green leaves from the right.

Physical control is pretty easy - pinch them off with your finger and thumb. Or squirt them off with water with a little dish soap in it. Or put a ladybird on there, if you want them to get eaten.
posted by Solomon at 12:16 AM on April 17, 2011


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