What are these white spots?
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Author:  CasGar [ Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:40 am ]
Post subject:  What are these white spots?

I have not been able to identify the white spots on my bamboo. I got these a couple of years ago and didn’t take much notice when their leaves began to die because that happened last winter too. Except it got worse and lasted longer than it should.

The white dots are not powdery or fluffy. They do not smear but flake off under reasonably easy pressure. They seem to be either shells or empty cases for living bugs but despite a lot of scrutiny (while I removed the worst-afflicted plants) I could find nothing moving, white or otherwise.

Any ideas?

File comment: When first noticed, they were most dense around the main stem, just above ground level and spreading up about 2 inches. Clusters like this on higher branches is rare but many joints at mid point and below have 2-5 little white spots.
111D8C8A-8C86-4C65-BBC5-23AEE03FC60A.jpeg [ 31.14 KiB | Viewed 1495 times ]
File comment: As close up as I could focus. Little legs or just shredded edge?
EB306D90-3EFC-4351-AE50-978A5411EA89.jpeg [ 47.79 KiB | Viewed 1495 times ]
File comment: smooth, feels like a plant bump but is easily rubbed off, nothing moving ever spotted
38C26158-EE9D-467D-BB39-328543990513.jpeg [ 20.55 KiB | Viewed 1495 times ]

Author:  Alan_L [ Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What are these white spots?

Mealy bugs?

Author:  CasGar [ Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What are these white spots?

Okay, thanks. I’ll get googling on mealy bugs. Much appreciated. :)

Author:  redfang [ Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What are these white spots?

From your description, it sounds like scale insects. Have you got a larger version of the third photo? Scale sort of attach themselves to the plant, like limpets, and suck out the sap. I've used insecticidal soap, spraying and manually rubbing them off when they infested an orchid, to get rid of them.

Author:  CasGar [ Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What are these white spots?


The bamboo seems to be recovering. I didn’t manage to get any better photos (I had been pretty through with my washing - warm water/detergent followed by an alcohol rub) but there are a whole bunch of fresh new green leaves and shoots, no sign of any new infestation and all my fingers are crossed.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I’ll keep a sharper eye on it this year.

(Does anyone know if black bamboo leaves are supposed to die off or not? I had assumed yes but maybe that was my first warning sign. )

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