Sri Lanka’s famed Araliya (Frangipani) trees – (also called “temple trees”) are being eaten away by a species of mealybug. Ayesha Inoon’s article in the Sunday times has a detailed overview of the situation. A letter in the Island paper offers a gardener’s point of view on the situation. According to the an Agriculture department instructor quoted in the Sunday Times article, the simplest response is
Spraying water at high pressure from a hose, spraying soap water, sprinkling ash, or kohomba leaf juice, are all effective cultural practices that work if practised regularly
ehowto’s page on Mealybug Control provides similar solution along with more detailed responses.
I am no green thumb but I have seen the effects of the situation on my mother’s beloved Araliya tree. Its not looking rather glum after multiple amputations. The sight has a unexpected psychological effect on us humans too.
Thankfully there is plenty of information on the web but the critical thing is to get off your computer and take care of the plants.