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Pests/infestation on African impatiens

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Question
I have just noticed that the underside of all the leaves are covered in a substance that looks like individual sugar grains.  They are sticky and I have successfully removed them with a toothbrush dipped in soapy water.
Can you tell me what is causing this and if they are likely to return?
Thank you.

Answer
Helen,

Let me confess that I am not a plant expert. However, I think this is plant sap (mostly sugar) that has been secreted onto the leaf surface. This occurs because of hydrostatic (water) pressure in the roots because the roots are waterlogged. You may be watering too much or the soil is not draining properly. Some house-plants are especially sensitive to having their roots continually wet. Hope this helps.

Jack DeAngelis

Pests

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Organizations
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html Fine Gardening magazine

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

Awards and Honors
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

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