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House Plants/little white bugs in dirt of Jasmine Tree (house tree)


I am looking for identification of the little white bug I found in the dirt of my Jasmine Tree and how to treat the problem. The leaves tend to turn yellow and fall off a lot. Some leaves just fall off.  There do not seem to be any bugs on the leaves or stems of the plant.  Since this came from a friend I would like to try to keep this tree alive.

Thsnk you in sdvance for your help.


Without pictures all I can do is give you some descriptions and let you decide what you have:


Mealybugs are common pests of both indoor and outdoor plants, including jasmine. These insects are tiny at less than 0.2 inches. They have an elongated-oval body covered with a white waxy coating. Mealybugs feed by sucking fluids from leaves and stems while some soil-dwelling species feed on the roots of healthy plants. Jasmine infested with mealybugs will display wilting leaves, slow growth and sooty mold. Most healthy plants can withstand a few mealybugs but as the number of bugs increases, the damage to the plant becomes problematic. Outdoors, natural predators such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps keep mealybug populations in check. Treat heavily infested indoor plants with diluted malathion mixed according to the supplier's instructions or re-pot into sterile soil.


The immature or larval forms of many insect species are soil dwelling. Various ant, beetle, moth and fly species lay eggs in the soil, which hatch into tiny, white, worm-like larvae. These bugs are typically limited to outdoor plants, but may be present in the soil of new jasmine houseplants. If there are no signs of plant damage and the jasmine is growing as expected, no treatment is necessary. Plants showing signs of distress from soil-dwelling larvae require re-potting or treatment with an insecticide suitable for use in your location.


If the tiny white bugs in the soil of your jasmine plant are jumping, they are likely springtails. These insects are less than 1/16th of an inch with an oval or elongated body. They extend a small structure on their abdomen to propel them forward. Springtails are detritivores, feeding on decaying plant material. They are harmless to jasmine and other plants.


Thrips are near-microscopic white insects with four feathery wings. The larvae are wingless and are often found on soil close to the plant. These plant feeders can cause considerable damage to jasmine in large numbers. Their sucking mouth parts can also transmit plant diseases. Malathion emulsions prepared appropriately according to the size of your plant and the manufacturer’s instructions will effectively treat thrips infestations.

If this is not as helpful as you would like I will need pictures to better  help you. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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