How do I control the little, oval, waxy white insects that appear on houseplants?

These obnoxious insects are mealy bugs. They can be removed from plants with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol if there are not too many of them. For severe infestations, apply a malathion spray. Mealy bugs suck plant juices and produce a “honeydew” on which fungi may grow.

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Next My plants look deformed, especially in the center. Leaves are distorted and brittle, flower stems stunted. What is causing the trouble? I can’t see anything on the plants.


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