House plant infestation

Dudley, United Kingdom

Hi, I have been losing leaves from one of my house plants, and i noticed a gathering of white pellet like things on the leaves, I looked at the soil and noticed many white bugs, quarantined the plant pot, by putting double sided sticky tape on the edge, ive also rapped it around the stem of the plant to stop the bugs getting at the leaves, yet not have been stuck on the tape of the stem, so no bugs have caused this white matter on the leaves. Could it be a separate disease or could the bugs cause it by harming the roots? i've ordered some insecticide ( which will hopefully solve the problem, as its on other house plants and i dont want it to kill the plant, any one had this before or can identify the problem?

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Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

The pictures are a bit out of focus but they could be mealybugs. I usually deal with them by taking a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and wiping them off, although with a bad infestation if there's a way you can hose the plant off first to dislodge a lot of them that might be easier, then do the rubbing alcohol trick for the ones that are left.

I would also check on your watering--bad bug damage could cause the plant to lose some leaves, but it's also possible the leaf loss is due to something like overwatering which is a very common problem that people have, so it wouldn't hurt to check that too and make sure you don't actually have 2 problems going on.

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

I agree that the pictures are blurry, but the last one of the soil shows what looks more like whiteflys. If they aren't flying about, then I agree with mealies.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Ditto to both ecrane and OCCAROL, My first guess is meally bugs, and I also have used the q-tip and rubbing alcohol method to get rid of them. I have no idea how they spread. A bit tricky to kill with pesticide, they have a really good wax coating that prevents most pesticides from getting to the pest. I would take a plant that badly infected into the shower and hose it off with tepid water, then dab at the remaining bugs, including letting a little bit of the alcohol get into the crevices between the leaves and stems. Then rinse off the alcohol. Watch for more eggs to hatch, or more pests to arrive and treat before they get this bad.

Some of the things in the soil do almost look like whitefly, but I have not seen it on the soil. Much more often they are on the under side of the leaves. They fly from plant to plant, and are a lot harder to control.

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