Houseplant Pest Habits


Yes, those are mealy bugs. Generally they are very easy to deal with, particularly when they are located where they are in this photo. A little alcohol on a cotton swab will wipe them right off.

But that begs the question. Where did this large critter come from out here on the end of the leaf? There are a couple of smaller ones with him (it?)–in fact this whole plant was infested at one point. That’s how I caught these guys so quickly. I was watching for more.

You see, not only do mealies have a nasty habit of hiding in the crevices of plants–places like unfurling leaves and stem/leaf junctions–but their eggs can also live in the soil for more than 2 years.

That’s probably how so many of them sneak into our homes to begin with.

And that again is how we know Stephen King doesn’t garden. Eggs that lay dormant for over 2 years and then become a full-fledged infestation? Sounds like a horror movie to me!

4 thoughts on “Houseplant Pest Habits

  1. The Chatsworth Lady December 2, 2019 / 4:50 pm

    I have unfond memories of going through boxes of cotton swabs and alcohol wipes during the years that I grew orchids. The only saving grace is that most orchid foliage is large and substantial enough to make wiping-down somewhat easier but oh, those crevices and nodes!

  2. gardendaze December 2, 2019 / 6:45 pm

    Oh goodness. I have been blessed with my orchids. It’s my ficus and my citrus that generally seem to be problematic. Luckily this ficus is large leafed without too many issues. I did do an overall insecticidal soap spray when they first appeared because there were so many. Now it’s just vigilance and maintenance.


  3. tonytomeo December 15, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    I think that a log of horror movies and science fiction comes from horticulture. ‘Alien’ is just like those parasitic wasps that develop within their hosts, and eat the from the inside out.

  4. gardendaze December 15, 2019 / 2:59 pm

    I knew that I gave up horror as a genre for a reason! I’d never garden again if I started seeing all those parallels. Ugh!


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