Why Does My Succulent Have White Sticky Stuff On It

When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.

After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.

If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.

Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:

Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs. &nbsp

Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents. &nbsp

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine. &nbsp

If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.

Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.

So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.

Why does my plant have a coating of white sticky substance?

Insects that feed on sap are the cause of the white sticky dots on plants.

The portion that is white, fuzzy, or lumpy is a common scale called a mealybug. They closely resemble the cottony cushion scale (which can be treated in the same way as mealybugs).

A variety of hues can be seen in plant scale. Mealybugs are white and often resemble microscopic cotton fibers.

The mealybugs create a waxy protective covering that contributes to some of the stickiness and immobilizes the adults.

Some of this sap, along with mealybug faeces, is left on the surface when mealybugs puncture the plant to consume its contents. It’s called honeydew and it’s a transparent, sugary goo.

Are mealybugs harmful to people?

Mealybugs are drawn to plants both inside and outside. The pests will target a variety of plants, including African violets, gardenias, and fruit trees. Mealybugs conceal themselves under leaves and flower petals, making it even more difficult to see their tiny bodies.

These pests are frequently found in gardens, flowerbeds, and indoor plants. The warm spring and summer months are ideal for the mealybug to flourish.

These pests damage plants by puncturing their leaves and stems and ingesting their sap, which causes the leaves to wilt and turn yellow. Mealybug honeydew, the pests’ sticky excrement, attracts additional insect pests and encourages mold growth on plants. Mealybugs do not eat people or infect them with diseases.

Preventing the introduction of infected plants into the interior of the house is one of the simplest strategies to control mealybug infestations. Any plants that are bought can be carefully examined by the homeowner before being brought inside or planted as part of an outdoor landscape. It is a good idea to “quarantine the plants for around two weeks,” even if the plants don’t seem to have mealybugs. Cutting off or culling infected leaves or stems will prevent mealybugs from having a chance to increase their population on the infected plant, preventing damage. To stop mealybugs from spreading to other, uninfected plants, simply disposing of infected plants may be the most effective way to prevent damage as a last resort.

If a minor mealybug infestation is found, the afflicted plant(s) may need to be treated with alcohol-soaked cotton swabs to get rid of the pests, exposed to running water to kill the pests, or washed with soapy water.

If the mealybug infestation is severe, the treatment strategy can call for a solution that not only kills mealybugs but also kills ants that eat the honeydew that the mealybugs create. This is crucial because ants can carry mealybugs from one plant to another and shield them from predators, increasing the number of infected plants. If the treatment plan calls for the use of a product, it is typically better to let your pest management professional administer it because his or her training and expertise ensure that the product’s labeled use instructions are strictly followed.


Mealybugs are tiny, oval-shaped insects with soft bodies that are coated in a white, powdery wax. Additionally, several species of mealybugs have projections that protrude from their bodies, creating the impression that they have numerous legs on the side and back of the body. They resemble tiny cotton specks when spotted on plants.

Mealybugs move slowly, but when they locate a good spot on the plant, they frequently become motionless and group together.


Mealybugs consume plant liquids for food, which weakens the plant and causes the leaves to droop, wilt, and become yellow. Additionally, the insects create honeydew, a gooey material that encourages mold growth on plants and draws in ant predators. The plant may perish if the mealybug infestation is not eradicated.

Mealybugs & Ants

Mealybugs draw ants by excreting honeydew, which the ants eat because it is sticky and delicious. Mealybug infestations typically manifest as yellowing and wilting leaves on plants, and if the infestation is not resolved, the plant may eventually perish.


Mealybugs feed on plants and will infest the majority of the host plant’s tissues. They commonly inhabit various outdoor plants, including annuals, bushes, and shrubs, where they are typically found on the underside of plant leaves and stems. Nearly any plant in greenhouses, households, or businesses will become severely infested by mealybugs. They consume plants by driving their needle-like mouthparts into them and sucking out the plant juices.

Mealybugs: Are they hazardous to plants?

They could have several tails at the back and waxy tufts around the body’s edge.

On the undersides of leaves, on the stems of flowers, or even on the outside of the pot, mealybugs can be seen resting or gently creeping.

By sucking sap, mealybugs harm plants, and their feeding can cause yellowing of the leaves, stunting, dieback, or even death of the plant.

On plant parts, they exude honeydew that encourages the formation of black sooty mold.

How can sticky residue on plants be removed?

Controlling plant scale bugs is often not a huge issue. Scale can breathe through their protection. The scale can be killed most easily via suffocation.

There are a number of natural ways to get rid of scale insects on indoor plants.

When a light infestation is in its early stages:

  • 1 quart of warm water should be combined with 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap.
  • Dish soap and warm water mixed together; dip a cotton swab into it.
  • Clean the place entirely.

Spray the entire plant with the mixture in order to completely cover the affected parts if the infestation is severe.

The spray composition also includes the following additions:

  • An effective soap insecticide for plants. The name of the most often used plant-based soap is “If there isn’t a severe scale infestation, safer soap works well.
  • Another “Neem oil spray for plants is a secure bet. Neem oil is a fantastic all-natural product that can be used to get rid of fleas on pets as well as spider mites.
  • Addition of a secure horticultural oil will work. a message or caution Any chemical application, whether indoors or out, should be done carefully and according to the label’s instructions.

Check with your neighborhood nursery or garden center before attempting to solve the insect problem, and always remember to FOLLOW THE LABEL.

NOTE: On indoor plants, I would apply neem oil or an insecticidal soap. On outside plants, horticultural oil performs better.

Sooty mold is frequently present outside along with the sticky residue. Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and horticultural oil can all be utilized outside, as was already explained.

Be aware that these controls will also kill natural predators and that they should not be used when the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do I remove the white substance from my plants?

The easiest strategy to avoid mold and other problems is usually to grow disease-resistant plant kinds. If that is not an option, you can try any of these home cures to get rid of the white mold on your plants:

  • Utilize neem oil. A naturally occurring ingredient called neem oil functions as an efficient insecticide to help fight off unwanted pests like white mold. Every few days, liberally spray the diseased plant with a mixture of two tablespoons of organic neem oil and a half gallon of water until the mold is gone.
  • Utilize mouthwash. White mold can sometimes be successfully treated with mouthwash containing ethanol. Apply a solution of one part mouthwash to three parts water to the afflicted regions. Avoid being too saturated. While mouthwash is a successful treatment for white mold, overuse can damage young plant development and burn leaves.
  • 3. Apply vinegar. Vinegar is a tried-and-true approach for getting rid of mold and bothersome white patches on your plants. Spray the affected leaves and stems with a solution made of a quart of water and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Repeat several times daily until all mold is eliminated.
  • 4. Use preventative medicine. Preventing the growth of mold in the first place is one of the greatest strategies to combat it. To treat your plant’s leaves and stems, use an organic fungicide or mix one tablespoon baking soda with one and a half tablespoons liquid dish soap in one gallon of water. Spray the mixture onto the plant liberally.

How can mealybugs be stopped?

Mealybugs can best be controlled defensively, as with other pests. Infestation is less likely to affect strong, robust plants than weak, stressed, and underpotted ones. Make sure your plants are healthy in general to reduce the likelihood that you will attract these pests in the first place.

Mealybugs, though, can infect even healthy plants. Since greenhouses make for the ideal breeding grounds for them, they frequently arrive on fresh plants. Before adding any new plants to your collection, carefully inspect any new purchases.

Other methods that can aid in preventing mealybug infestations on your plants include:

  • Mealybugs can occasionally be avoided by cutting back on feeding and watering since it lowers nitrogen levels and hardens the development.
  • On sensitive plant species, periodically wiping foliage with a leaf shine solution containing neem oil may deter mealybugs.
  • Hard water blasts applied on a regular basis to plants that can withstand them can stop mealybug infestations in their tracks.
  • Dropping nighttime temperatures to 60 degrees Fahrenheit will deter mealybugs, which prefer more tropical temperatures, for indoor plants that can survive it.

Consider killing the plant if an infestation is unmanageable despite two or three insecticide doses applied weekly, as this will prevent mealybugs from spreading to other plants in your house.

What rapidly eradicates mealybugs?

The parasitized and mummified grape mealybug to the right has five parasite wasps, Acerophagus notativentris, that have emerged from it.

Within a colony of mealybug nymphs, the adult mealybug destroyer lady beetle and its waxy white larva eat.

Mealybugs are soft, oval, wax-coated insects that feed on a wide variety of plants in indoor, outdoor, and garden environments. They are piercing-sucking insects that are closely related to soft scales but do not have scale covers, and they are typically found in colonies. They can produce a lot of honeydew and are frequently linked to black sooty mold, just like soft scales can. Mealybugs prefer mild temperatures and flourish in regions without harsh winters or on houseplants.


Mealybugs belong to the superfamily Coccoidea of insects, which also includes armored scales, soft scales, and cottony cushion scale. This superfamily includes the insect family Pseudococcidae.

Mealybug bodies are clearly segmented and typically wax-coated. Wax filaments may be present on older people’s body edges. Some species’ filaments can be used to help identify distinct species since they are longer towards the back of some species.

Mealybugs are typically found in colonies feeding in moderately protected locations, such as between two touching fruits, in a plant’s crown, in the crotches of branches, on stems close to the ground, or between a stem and touching leaves. A few species of mealybugs consume roots.

Adult male mealybugs, which are infrequently observed, are tiny two-winged insects with two long tail filaments, but adult female mealybugs are wingless and resemble nymphs in shape. Asexual reproduction is a common method of reproduction for mealybug species.

Species have slightly different life cycles. Most mealybug adult females lay 100–200 or more eggs in cottony egg sacs over the course of 10–20 days. Egg sacs can be fastened to fruit, twigs, leaves, bark, or crowns. The long-tailed mealybug is an anomaly, as it lays eggs that stay inside the female until they hatch.

Newly hatched mealybug nymphs (known as crawlers) are yellow to orangish or pink, lack wax, and are extremely active. However, soon after settling down to eat, they start to produce a waxy covering. Adults and older nymphs have legs and can move, although they cannot travel quickly or far. Before becoming adults, nymphs go through multiple instars of development.

Mealybugs can have two to six generations a year, depending on the species and habitat. All stages could be present all year round in warm areas or indoor plant environments. Mealybugs may overwinter on or beneath bark on deciduous plants like grapevines as eggs (inside egg sacs) or as first-stage nymphs.

Mealybugs are occasionally mistaken for pests like the cottony cushion scale, woolly aphids, and even some soft scales and whiteflies that create waxy coats, honeydew, and black sooty mold. To correctly identify the bug, make sure to thoroughly inspect it beneath the wax.

California is home to more than 170 different kinds of mealybugs. Few have developed into significant pests. In Table 1, a few of the most prevalent problem species are shown and discussed.


Mealybugs consume plant phloem sap, which lowers plant vigor, and they expel sticky honeydew and wax, which decreases the quality of plants and fruits, particularly when black sooty mold develops on the honeydew. It can be unpleasant to see large collections of mealybugs, their egg sacs, and wax. Healthy plants may withstand low populations without suffering considerable harm, but high populations that feed on leaves or stems can limit plant growth and induce leaf drop. Ground mealybugs, which are uncommon in gardens and landscapes, eat the roots of plants and can lead to plant decline, but they are typically not noticed until the roots of the plants have been dug out.

Mealybugs have an impact on numerous varieties of perennial plants. Citrus fruit trees experience the most issues, however mealybugs can occasionally be discovered on stone or pome fruits, albeit seldom in numbers that are harmful. Mealybugs, particularly the vine mealybug, a recent invasion that targets roots as well as aboveground components, but also the grape, obscure, and long-tailed mealybugs, can accumulate in grapes.

Cactus, coral bells (Heuchera), figs (Ficus), flax grasses (Phormium), fuchsia, gardenia, hibiscus, jasmine, mimosa, Miscanthus grasses, and oleander are only a few of the woody ornamental plants and several herbaceous perennials that can become affected. The cypress bark mealybug, which also infects other species of cypress, cedar, and juniper, can be a major pest on Monterey cypress in urban settings.

Because of the year-round mild temperatures that encourage mealybug populations and the fact that indoor plants are typically not exposed to the natural enemies that frequently keep mealybugs in check outdoors, plants grown indoors or in greenhouses are particularly vulnerable. Aglaonema, coleus, cacti, dracaena, ferns, ficus, hoya, jade, orchids, palms, philodendron, schefflera, poinsettia, and several herbs, including rosemary and sage, are among the houseplants that frequently experience issues with aboveground mealybugs. African violet and gardenia infestations with ground mealybugs are the most frequently reported.

Although some mealybugs, including those that infest grapevines, can spread viruses, these are typically not a significant issue in gardens and landscapes. The only known population of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, is in Imperial County, California. Its saliva is particularly harmful to plants.

shorter filaments than other mealybugs found in grapes and similar to citrus mealybugs. possesses a dark stripe on the back. both aboveground and on roots may contain.

Hosts: In California, grapes predominate; however, other fruits and ornamental trees could also serve as hosts.

Two filaments in the tail that are longer than the body. generates no egg masses and delivers living nymphs.

Round, vivid orange or crimson, and covered with a wax ring. located underneath bark plates.

In appearance, the obscure mealybug is quite identical. It will exude a reddish-orange protective fluid if poked but not pierced. The excretion of obscure mealybugs would be obvious.

Numerous plants serve as hosts, however they primarily harm potted plants like African violets.

Waxy filaments of uniform length and length around the body. Its back may have a dark line running along it.

hosts: Several bushes in the landscape and citrus. The most prevalent mealybug on indoor plants.