Tori's moblog

by Tori

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Help... ick wtf?

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Nasty bugs are attacking my little lime tree that is already suffering mightily from the unusual freeze we had this winter.

On the branch they look sort of like buds, but with nasty white moldy looking stuff involved. They are soft and squishy and gooey when you pull them off. Also once you get them off you see little wiggly legs and their icky little mouth.

I like them not at all.

If somebody could identify them, so I can find the best way to kill them, before I simply douse the tree with gasoline and set fire to it, that would be lovely.
30th Mar 2007, 03:10  


silar31 says:

Wild guess is wooly aphids. I'd submit these pics over at if I were you, they may be able to say for sure. From what I've read of garden pests, you can't really go wrong no matter what they are by hitting them with a spray bottle with diluted dish soap in it - it's safe for plants, and deadly to bugs.

30th Mar 2007, 04:36

Tori says:

Looks to perhaps be a scale...

I am really not a fan.

At least it provided me some interest under the microscope, but the process of picking them all off completely grossed me out. Apparently the sticky stuff they ooze protects them well and makes them somewhat difficult to kill with sprays, however I will definitely spray with some dish soap solution.

Perhaps I can just stick the whole tree in the dishwasher. Of course I'd never be able to put dishes in it again.

30th Mar 2007, 04:49

Sprocket says:

That's some radical bug removing ideas you've got there. I think torching it would be the best idea. But remember to invite Mobloggers along to toast marshmallows over the burning branches.

30th Mar 2007, 06:22

paintist says:

oooh yuck...saw these on your flickr....these are not going to turn into anything pretty are they :-(

30th Mar 2007, 09:37

Tori says:

Each one I have found so far, I have turned into something dead.

30th Mar 2007, 09:46

Sprocket says:


30th Mar 2007, 10:45

swamprose says:

I have been working way too hard, and there is nothing better than a mblg break, especially when there are plants and bugs.

for me, anyway.

I think you have taken some absolutely superb photos of the citrus mealybug.;=citrus+mealybug+&btnG;=Search+Images&gbv;=2

31st Mar 2007, 02:22

Tori says:

Well, from poking around yesterday it seemed like they were soft scales, but the mealybug photo on this page has a lot of similarities too.

The eggs seem to be bright orange or red, but I haven't spotted photos of the eggs of either.

They seem to have similar features what with their sap vampirism and all.

31st Mar 2007, 02:40

swamprose says:

question is, how do you get rid of them?
is this an indoor tree, or outside?

31st Mar 2007, 02:58

Tori NLI says:

It is outside, and small, shorter than I am. Right now I am just removing each bug I find on it. I plan to get a spray bottle to try the dishsoap solution.

31st Mar 2007, 03:27

swamprose says:

right. smaller than you.

these are m**f**rs.
polite spraying will help, but you need the hose, turned up full blast, right up on every little bit. On a sunny day. As often as you can stand to do it.

Otherwise, you can spray the water with detergent, or take a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and put it on each and every one.

I am an organic gardener, but another route is to get one of those extremely poisonous slabs of petroleum product sold to farmers. It hangs and gets rid of flies in a barn. I don't know what it is called. Hang one on the tree, and put a garbage bag or somehow seal it up for a few (2?) days and presto, anything alive in there will die. Repeat in a week until they are gone.

If there is sticky stuff on the leaves it is aphids. If not, it is scale. good luck. :)

31st Mar 2007, 04:44

Tori says:

Rubbing alcohol sounds perfect, since that is what I wanted to douse the entire tree in as soon as I saw the little legs wiggling about. It would help me feel like the tree was cleaner again.

31st Mar 2007, 05:05

swamprose says:


tori, where do you live?

31st Mar 2007, 05:08

Tori says:

Los Angeles

31st Mar 2007, 05:10

Dhamaka says:

I think they're what I had on my avocado trees some years ago. If so they're what swamprose said. After daily alchohol for a week or so (which didn't smell nice and mine were indoors) I gave up and burned them

good luck

31st Mar 2007, 08:11

Dana says:

Good old fashion way, step and squish!

25th Feb 2008, 17:04

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