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House Plants/tiny white insect eggs in hsplant soil


QUESTION: these tiny white insect eggs are in clumps and are around the bottom edge of the clear plastic cup that I have the plant in.  I can see them through the clear plastic.


It is unlikely that what you are seeing are insect eggs. Without seeing them myself, I cannot be sure what they are, but here are some likely possibilities.

If you used non-sterile soil, then they are probably a type of fungus growth. They are not necessarily bad for the plant, but they are indicative of non-sterile soil and soil that is not being allowed to dry out properly.

Some bagged potting soils have timed released fertilizer pellets mixed in. These pellets are usually a grayish or tan color, not white, and they don't usually clump together.

Many potting mixes include white polystyrene pellets or perlite to help with aeration. Sometimes these substances can cluster together

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you so much for your efforts.  these are way too tiny to be fertilizer pellets, and they are way too uniform to be fungus.  just in case it is insect eggs or fungus, what if I watered the plants with some dawn dish soap mixed in? could this harm the plant, and if not, then how much should I use in the water mixture.  fyi on some other plants in my house I have recently found evidence of what I think are mealy bugs, which I sprayed water/dawn mixture on the plant leaves and stems.  and I added some systemic insecticide to the soil, just on those plants, plus I threw out a couple other plants that had the mealy bugs.  I looked up on internet for mealy bug eggs but couldn't find anything that looked like what my plant has.

Hi Jan,

I could probably help you more if you were able to post a clear photo of what you are seeing and if you provided information as to the origin of the soil you used.

Fungus growth can be very uniform and extremely varied in its forms.

There are root mealybugs, but mealybugs do not produce eggs. Very few plant insects pests produce eggs as you have described.

Soap solutions are pretty effective in treating spider mites but less effective in treating mealybugs. A 5:1 ratio of water to rubbing alcohol with a squirt of liquid soap is more effective.

I don't know of any soil-borne pests that can be effectively treated with soap solutions. Any type of fungus or fungus gnat infestations are best treated by allowing the soil to dry out as much as possible. Soap drenches do just the opposite.


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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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