I have several houseplants that are pretty mature. I recently noticed white dots on the plant. The dots are located on the underside of the leaves where the leaf joins the stem. When I touch them they are soft, gooey and come right off. Sort of a mini, cotton puff. When I rub the dot between my fingers it simply dissolves/disappears. It started on one plant and seems to be migrating, slowly to other plants. What is it? and How do I get rid of it? It is on a Kolache, Jade and Lipstick(?)
Thanks for writing. It sounds like your plant has an infestation of mealybugs. These insects are one of the hardest ones to deal with --- if you're seeing a lot of them, your best bet is probably to toss the plants on the compost bin. If you'd like to try to treat them, you can spray the mealybugs with an insecticide labeled for use on indoor plants. Dabbing the mealybugs with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol will kill them, but most people don't notice the tiny baby insects and only kill the clusters of adults --- and thus, never really get rid of the problem.