The Q&A Archives: Ficus Tree Sap

Question: My ficus has white, sticky, sap all over its leaves and onto the floor beneath it. Also the branches are covered with dark raised specks, the plant otherwise looks healthy. Anything I can do to save my floor, and is this harmful to my children and animals.

Answer: All members of the genus Moraceae contain a milky sap. The sap may be coming from injuries made from sucking insects like scales. The dark raised specks on the branches are probably scale insects. Try removing the insects by wiping them off with a damp paper towel. You may have to remove the difficult ones by poking at them with a damp cotton swab. Once all of the insects have been eliminated the milky sap should stop. Scale insect infestations are difficult to control so you may have to inspect and treat your plant several times before you're successful in removing all of the pests.

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