The Q&A Archives: White Specks On Hibiscus

Question: I live in PA and have an outdoor but soon to be for the winter indoor yellow bloom hibiscus tree. I noticed that the tree trunk and some of the branches have what looks like very tiny white rice segments almost covering the bark.
What could this be and how can I get rid of this before I bring in the tree for the winter.

Answer: Sounds like your plant may be infested with mealy bugs. These insects look like tiny tufts of white cotton and are usually found on the undersides of leaves and on protected places along the stems and trunk. Remove each by dabbing with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, or spray with insecticidal soap. Be sure they've all been removed before bringing your plant indoors, or you'll risk introducing this pest into a perennial spring-like atmosphere where the population can soar.

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