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My basil is infested with pests, and from this earlier question I think they might be mealybugs.

Photo of my basil

How should I treat it? I have previously sprayed it with Natrasoap (Potassium salts of fatty acids), but it didn't seem to have any much effect. Just keep applying it more regularly?

  • Is this plant in a pot? How big is it? – Graham Chiu Jan 11 '18 at 3:25
  • @GrahamChiu Yes in a pot. About 35cm tall. – curiousdannii Jan 11 '18 at 3:54
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    How important is this basil to you? As basil is not exactly a long-living plant, it will start flowering and going to seed sooner than later. I personally would in this case consider simply discarding it and starting over. – Stephie Jan 11 '18 at 6:07
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    It's still good experience to try and eradicate an infection for the next time it happens. – Graham Chiu Jan 11 '18 at 6:10
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    @GrahamChiu You're restricted as to what you can use as treatments because this is a food plant - working out why its happening is probably more important, as Stormy says, than trying to save this particular plant. I agree with Stephie - its a bit too far gone already – Bamboo Jan 11 '18 at 10:42
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This is mealy bug and quite a well established colony. As this is a plant that you might intend to eat I recommend throwing it out quickly. Some adult mealy bugs can fly when things get too crowded and you do not want them spreading to other plants.

If you apply soap and water or a more serious pesticide the plant will take a long time to recover and not be of any use as a food plant.

Basil plants cost a few dollars and should be easy to replace.

  • Sounds like that's the hard truth. Is it safe to keep/reuse the soil? – curiousdannii Jan 12 '18 at 15:01
  • @curiousdannii There could be eggs in the soil so I would throw out. – kevinsky Jan 12 '18 at 19:45
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    eggs hatch within 1-3 weeks. With the plant gone there will be nothing to sustain them, and they'll die. Keep the potting mix for reuse. If you want to reuse it immediately, just put the soil in the oven and cook it. Or just scrape the top layer off. – Graham Chiu Jan 12 '18 at 19:51
  • we are talking about a few pennies worth of soil less mix. Recycle it outside or in a green bin if your area does that. For the money saved I would not take the risk on indoor plants – kevinsky Jan 13 '18 at 12:54

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