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Karla Rey commented on a discussion: advise for purple opuntia
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Karla Rey

Hello. It looks like you have a mealybug problem. You can use alcohol (70%), dabbed on the areas. Also, this is an indication that they are in the soil so you may need to repot them. You can also try to water them with a bit of soapy solution to 'get rid' of the bugs. But would suggest repotting with fresh soil. Yes, the other plants around may be infected so if you have the space, you can isolate them and do the preventive inspection of if the bugs are present in the soil. The presence of ants is an indication that mealybugs may be present. Let us know how you go :)

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jan chew
Hello Karla
Thank you for your advise:)
Condition has gotten from bad to worse. There were alot of patches (like the ones i have circled) and i was thinking it might mites and probably beyond salvage and threw it away.