Question: My weeping fig is dripping sticky material all over our carpet. I’ve looked closely and there don’t seem to be any insects. What might the problem be?

Answer: Usually it’s scale insects or aphids. You should have been able to see either of those, however. The aphids are pinhead-sized, pear-shaped insects that congregate on tender new growth. Scales are more common, and the one that is most prevalent on weeping figs is a hard-shelled insect that resembles half of a b-b in shape, size and color. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to eliminate the adult scales, and use a general houseplant insecticide spray to control the rest of the immature scales, as well as any aphids that might be present.

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