from few days I have noticed that my plants pepper plants are destroyed by these white insects I killed many with small stick , good thAt they are only in my pepper plants have not effected my tomato plants which I have placed closed to pepper plants. So I was wondering how to get rid of these insects because they are eating all leaves and plants are inactive their leaves are in inactive position mean not healthy. image

More picture of insect. I have made small video of it but looks like no video upload option. These white insects looks like have colonies on pots and also move it medium speed.
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Update more pics :
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  • 1
    Could we get close-ups of the different insects or at least a better picture that's more focussed? As it stands, I can give only a general answer, but there seems to be something a bit more complex going on.
    – Stephie
    Sep 10, 2017 at 7:00
  • i have focused on that white insect that big one you can see , ok i will take another better picture ,
    – user889030
    Sep 10, 2017 at 7:26
  • @Stephie ok i have added more clear picture , kindly look if you can help .. thanks :)
    – user889030
    Sep 10, 2017 at 8:59
  • 1
    The white is a fungus. There are too many insects. I think it starts from some insects damaging the leave and getting sap away. Other insects and fungi are attracted by such sugar. (and some insects are attracted by other insects). Sep 10, 2017 at 9:20
  • For a good answer, we should know if the plants have some peppers, if you can remove them and wait for new peppers. (chemicals [also organics] have some delay before fruits can be eaten again. Pepper doesn't grow quickly, so I would take much more time (aka: only new fruits) Sep 10, 2017 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


Are you sure you want to rescue these plants? I personally would think about giving up...

No seriously, you have a whole lot going on here.

In the first picture, there are hundreds of aphids. There might also be a specimen of scale hiding amidst the aphids, but I'm not sure.

The holes in the leaves are made by the caterpillars that can be seen in the last photo, not any other insect. You can simply pick them off.

But we should take a loser look at the white wooly things now, because that's what you are asking about.
The knee-jerk reaction of most gardeners is "Mealybugs!" , but I think you are actually blessed with mealybug destroyer (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) larvae - they are a lot larger than common mealybugs and with their waxy "shaggy mane", they mimic mealybugs (their favourite food) to trick the ants that often "farm" mealybugs for their sweet excrement and defend their "livestock". In short, these ladybug relatives have found your aphid infestation and are feasting on them - so if you have been killing them, you did yourself a disservice. Lesson here: Only kill when you have a positive id!

enter image description here Source

But a general word of advice:
If a plant is suffering as much as yours, it's a sign that the environmental conditions are unfavourable. A healthy plant will somewhat defend itself against insects, typically it's the weakened specimens that attract bugs en masse (of course, there are also years where bugs are more frequent than others). So if I were you, I would

  1. pick off the caterpillars
  2. check water, soil, light... and make sure the plants are getting the optimal conditions
  3. and only then think about dealing with the aphids - but watch closely, the mealybug destroyers might have already finished off most of them.
  • I'd consider giving up too. However, having nothing to lose, I might try a fairly concentrated liquid dishwashing soap spray. -Nothing with weird ingredients. I don't remember the brand I used the last time I had aphids on my Carpenter plant (Silphium perfoliatum), but it worked. Look it up, find a brand you get locally, then double the recommended soap concentration and spray. Don't expect a lot. That's significant loss of photosynthetic surface you've already got there. Sep 10, 2017 at 15:23
  • oh crap i killed a lot of those white insects :( you said they eat other bad insects , and these white insects are good one .. right ... hmmm strange thing is that these white are growing on my pots bottom ... ok next time i will not kill them , i will kill aphids the black small one ........... am new to farming :D so learning i should not give up these are experiments :D , i buy these seeds on aliexpress looks like they are not good as they should be ... temperature here is about 35 Celsius here and i have place my plants on roof top so they get full day light , i water them twice a day
    – user889030
    Sep 10, 2017 at 17:43
  • @user889030 So they are in pots and it looks like you've used garden soil not sterilized potting soil. Is that right? Garden soil in pots is where you went wrong as well as no balanced fertilizer. Too much water. We can get more into those details, very crucial. Are all the leaves like this? That white stuff coming out of the bottom of the pots is probably most likely white fungus as well. Pictures, please. Let's get you set up for success with new plants. These are toast. I honestly haven't seen a plant with worse infestations!! Sorry. We can help...
    – stormy
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:05
  • @user889030 Are we looking at the bottom of your pot? No holes for drainage? Let us know more particulars and a picture of the entire plant.
    – stormy
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:12
  • @stormy ok I have added more pictures. Ya pots have drainage. These are not fungus because fungus not move while these white insects move have legs. Ya I water twice a day one time afternoon and one time evening because we have 35 Celsius plus temperature very hot here if I not water they all dreams leaves become inactive. Well about soil I used red soil and have mixed little bit natural fertiliser which I got from village , today I have killed 5 caterpillars which were hiding and eating leaves. Also I have washed leaves with dish soap water using spray bottle.
    – user889030
    Sep 11, 2017 at 9:12

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