Plant disease - Knowledgebase Question

Cottonwood, Ar
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Question by nurse99ret
January 1, 2010
I purchased a sweet bay plant 6 months ago. It is in a pot and seems to have some sticky substance on the leaves, what shoud it be treated with?

Answer from NGA
January 1, 2010
From your description I'd venture that there are mealybugs or scale insects feeding on your plant. Scales generally look like little bumps on stems and the undersides of leaves. Mealybugs cluster together on stems and sometimes the undersides of leaves. Both insect types suck the juices out of the plant and leave behind a sticky residue. If the population is huge, you may have trouble getting rid of the little fellas. You can try to remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Just dab each insect you see. Both mealybugs and scales are somewhat resistant to pesticides because they hunker down on the plant and they have a hard outer coating that protects them. Try to carefully remove them by hand - or consider tossing the plant and replacing it with an uninfested one. These pests, in large numbers, are really difficult to eradicate so best wishes with your project!

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