I have these little things all over a magic basil plant and they seem to be spreading to other nearby herbs as welll:

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They look kind of like insects but they're not moving so it could be some kind of mold/fungus.

Can anyone help me identify these?

  • These look like scale insect or mealybug infestation, but can you clarify which plant you're talking about - 'magic basil' isn't a known plant name - there's Basil (Ocimum basilicum, a culinary herb) or what's commonly known as holy basil or tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) a medicinal herb. And where are you in the world?
    – Bamboo
    Oct 8, 2018 at 12:01
  • @Bamboo Yes mealybug seems very possible. I think it's the same as holy basil - I'm in South Africa
    – Bassie
    Oct 8, 2018 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


If its Ocimum sanctum, common name Holy Basil, you won't be eating that I assume - it does look like its infested with mealybug/scale insect, and the fact you are not eating the plant widens the options for treatment. Neem oil will deal with them, but may not keep them away long term. If the infestation is light, then you can use a cotton bud dipped in alcohol to wipe them off, but if its extensive, cut back any significantly damaged stems and, since you're not going to eat the plant, use an insecticide available in your area to clear them. Information on mealybug here (but note the named products it mentions apply to the USA, and these may not be available where you are) https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/houseplant-pests/mealybug-control/

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