Earlier this summer I bought some lovely potted crotons. They're a bit tricky to care for, requiring lots of sunlight, high humidity, and not-too-wet not-too-dry soil. Neglect them slightly and the leaves drop off.
I coddled my crotons, misting them, double potting them, setting up a pebble tray, checking the soil moisture level etc.. Then I saw them. A tiny patch of mealybugs on one of my plants. (What is it with pests this year? Carpet beatles, rodents and now mealybugs? What's next? Racoons? Bears?)
Mealybug is the common name of insects in Pseudococcidae, a family of unarmored scale insects...
I have a different theory:
Mealybug is the common name for Buggis WhiteTrashis from Planet Slob, whose mission is to "Go to Earth and Destroy Houseplants". Hairy and lazy, they travel by teleport, leaving many a plant tender to wonder how on Earth did they get in here!? Their skills include killing plants, sitting around, and dribbling their powdery crud nearby. Easy to kill (in part, because the concept of "running away" hasn't occurred to them), they are nonetheless tough to eradicate because there's a billion of them on Planet Slob, waiting to teleport to the next available plant...
note- their trick of spontaneously showing up on your plants is actually because, when freshly hatched, they don't weigh much and can be carried by drafts.