The Q&A Archives: Lemon Tree Sticky White Stuff On Leaves

Question: What is the very sticky white gunk on the back side of the leaves on my lemon tree and how can I get rid of it, treat it or is it even a problem?

Answer: If the sticky stuff is fluffy, your tree may have an infestation of cottony scale insects or mealy bugs. Both have a fluffy, cottony-like appearance and they feed by attaching themselves to plant parts and sucking out the juices. They exude a sticky substance which can drop to leaves below. Both pests can be controlled, but you'll need to repeat your control strategy every 2-4 weeks to kill both the adults and the eggs. You can dab the pests with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, or you can spray them with insecticidal soap, repeating every few weeks. If the population is allowed to grow, they can kill your tree, so begin treating the problem right away.

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