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What is this white substance on my herb plants

I'm new to gardening and have been noticing this white stuff on my mint and basil plants. It rubs off but always reappears a few days later. Does anyone know what it is and how to get rid of it?
2015-04-30 13.14.38.jpg

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Re: What is this white substance on my herb plants

hi wlaub
It's a little difficult to see exactly from your photo..but it is one of two things.
It's either a scaley insect like Mealy Bug or Woolly Aphid.
Both produce that woolly protective layer.
As your plant is an edible then you are restricted in using chemical control.
Rub off the woolly and then spray your plant with a soap mixture if it returns in larger amounts.
Spraying with soapy water can help too. That's soap...not detergent.

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Re: What is this white substance on my herb plants

I was thinking the same thing. Both insects move EXTREMELY slowly, so frequently aren't automatically recognizable as bugs. Also, mold & mildew diseases affecting plants in the mint family (of which basil is also a member) tend to attack the leaves rather than the stems.

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Re: What is this white substance on my herb plants

the other thing would be white flies, but they would also be found under the leaves as well.

Mealy bugs and aphids are common problems especially if you have ants around. Make sure when you treat for the bugs, you also set out ant traps to keep them from coming back.

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