What are these white spots?

Controlling pests of bamboo

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CasGar
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Location: Australia

What are these white spots?

Post by CasGar »

I have not been able to identify the white spots on my bamboo. I got these a couple of years ago and didn’t take much notice when their leaves began to die because that happened last winter too. Except it got worse and lasted longer than it should.


The white dots are not powdery or fluffy. They do not smear but flake off under reasonably easy pressure. They seem to be either shells or empty cases for living bugs but despite a lot of scrutiny (while I removed the worst-afflicted plants) I could find nothing moving, white or otherwise.

Any ideas?
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When first noticed, they were most dense around the main stem, just above ground level and spreading up about 2 inches. Clusters like this on higher branches is rare but many joints at mid point and below have 2-5 little white spots.
When first noticed, they were most dense around the main stem, just above ground level and spreading up about 2 inches. Clusters like this on higher branches is rare but many joints at mid point and below have 2-5 little white spots.
111D8C8A-8C86-4C65-BBC5-23AEE03FC60A.jpeg (31.14 KiB) Viewed 1799 times
As close up as I could focus. Little legs or just shredded edge?
As close up as I could focus. Little legs or just shredded edge?
smooth, feels like a plant bump but is easily rubbed off, nothing moving ever spotted
smooth, feels like a plant bump but is easily rubbed off, nothing moving ever spotted
38C26158-EE9D-467D-BB39-328543990513.jpeg (20.55 KiB) Viewed 1799 times
Alan_L
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Re: What are these white spots?

Post by Alan_L »

Mealy bugs?
CasGar
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Re: What are these white spots?

Post by CasGar »

Okay, thanks. I’ll get googling on mealy bugs. Much appreciated. :)
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redfang
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Re: What are these white spots?

Post by redfang »

From your description, it sounds like scale insects. Have you got a larger version of the third photo? Scale sort of attach themselves to the plant, like limpets, and suck out the sap. I've used insecticidal soap, spraying and manually rubbing them off when they infested an orchid, to get rid of them.
CasGar
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Re: What are these white spots?

Post by CasGar »

Update:

The bamboo seems to be recovering. I didn’t manage to get any better photos (I had been pretty through with my washing - warm water/detergent followed by an alcohol rub) but there are a whole bunch of fresh new green leaves and shoots, no sign of any new infestation and all my fingers are crossed.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I’ll keep a sharper eye on it this year.

(Does anyone know if black bamboo leaves are supposed to die off or not? I had assumed yes but maybe that was my first warning sign. )
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