I have many kalanchoes, china doll plant, easter cactus and an asparagus plant that have developed this, I don’t know what to call it. Tried a few things, mostly natural such as cooking oil mixed with muphy oil soap and water to get rid of it but nothing helps. I hope you can help with. Thanks so much, Connie
Your houseplants have mealybugs. Mealybugs eat many different plants and are commonly found on houseplants.
Mealybugs are covered with a white waxy coating.
Since they feed by sucking juices out of plants if you have a high infestation then they can damage your plants turning them yellow and causing the leaves to curl.
If they are only on a few leaves or branches, prune out those infested. Mealybugs are attracted to plants with high nitrogen levels and soft growth…so if you have fertilized heavily the plants are more prone to infestation.
For control use a labeled insecticidal soap. It will break the waxy surface tension of the mealybug so it dries up and dies. The oil will coat them but if it is not horticultural oil labeled for that use it is not designed to properly suffocate them. The soap is better for their waxy coating.
You could also try alcohol on cotton swabs to coat them and remove them, but for a big infestation that might be too time consuming.