Dany Millikin: Intense weather stress like heat, cold, or flood can really lower plant’s health and invite insect pests. Right now we see some mealy bugs on this plant and you know, they’re kind of hard to notice. Diane from Warrens Southern Gardens is here to kind of show us how to deal with mealy bugs and maybe how to know what they are.

Diane: Yeah, mealy bugs are one of these weird little creatures that it’s hard to find because they look like fuzz and they usually are out of control before people realize it’s actually an insect infestation that’s actually damaging your plants.

Dany Millikin: Those little white fluffers are the mealy bugs?

Diane: So yes, they look like just little fuzzy fuzz. And so one thing that we talk about all the time is make sure that your hand watering at least once a week. So you can notice if you’re having any of these issues crop up before they get out of control.

Dany Millikin: Absolutely, eyes on the plants.

Diane: Yeah.

Dany Millikin: And then so are these out of control? Is this a problem?

Diane: Yes, I would say so because they like tropical plants, they spread quite a bit and they can be very damaging. One way that I like to kind of get it under control right, oh great, thank you. So this is a baby wipe. Very easy. The first thing I do is take and wipe along the stem and just crush them. And that’s one way that you can kind of control it before it gets out of control and then take the next step. If they are, if it’s such that you’re going to need to take a stronger step, you can use something like Take Down spray but it is oil based. So when we have really hot weather you want to be very careful.

Dany Millikin: Because that oil can burn your planet.

Diane: Exactly.

Dany Millikin: So if it’s cold or flood oil is great. But in summertime be careful. But you like the insecticidal soap.

Diane: I always go to insecticidal soap first because if you’ve got eggs it’ll smother the eggs. I use it to clean up at the end of a season and to get started at a new season. So after cleanup I use insecticidal soap to make sure if I’ve had an issue with the plant to make sure I’ve controlled it.

Dany Millikin: So if you have any infestation on your plant, get some rubber gloves, just some wipes, wipe them down. That might be enough.

Diane: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dany Millikin: And then you can always follow up with something a little bit stronger. Thanks, Diane.

Diane: Yes.

Dany Millikin: Well, for more great information, go to