White stuff on a dieffenbachia


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Has anyone encountered fluffy-looking white stuff on a dieffenbachia? It's been on this plant for months but the plant seems to be doing okay. Any idea what it is and how to get rid of it?

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Those are mealy bug scale insects and they will take over if allowed. Spray with spinosad based insecticide or neem ASAP. Consider yourself lucky there are as few as there are. They can severely damage a plant
 
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Thanks, Chuck. 3-6 months before this plant, I had a different plant in the same location that died due to a large infestation of a different insect that I couldn't get rid of, similar to the photo below. Could that be related?

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Thanks, Chuck. 3-6 months before this plant, I had a different plant in the same location that died due to a large infestation of a different insect that I couldn't get rid of, similar to the photo below. Could that be related?

View attachment 12366
Yes, they are related. There are two types of scale insects, hard scale like pictured here and soft scale which are those white fuzzy things. All scale insects are sap suckers. The hard scale insects act like barnacles as they permanently attach themselves. Even after they are dead they are still stuck there. Some hard scale are white, others clear and others in between but all are a hard waxy substance. Even the mealy bugs have a waxy slick feel to them when you rub them between your fingers. The mealy bug type of scale insect is easier to control then the hard scale. About the only way to kill hard scale is to smother it with oil which is why I recommend Neem. Neem will take care of both hard and soft scale.
 

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