Cactus - Knowledgebase Question

Wellington, Fl
Question by madegood
April 29, 2010
Cactuc, upright-cucumber shape, about 8 in. high, and bifurcated, has a white weblike thread connected around all the needle bases. What is it and what do I do about it? Many thanks for your help.

Answer from NGA
April 29, 2010


Some cactus just naturally grow a white weblike, hairy coating. It's commonly called 'old man cactus'. I can't tell from your description which cactus you might be growing so I don't know if what you're seeing is normal. Spidermites can leave webbing such as you describe as can garden spiders. Both can be controlled with Insecticidal soap. The only other insect pest that can cause cottony tufts that look like webbing are mealybugs. These are generally stationary pests, though, and look like white cottony tufts. Hope this information helps you determine just what might be going on with your cactus.

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