GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Indoor plants can help to purify the air in your home, but they can bring unwanted pests. 

Greenthumb expert Rick Vuyst, joined with Steve Zaagman, share tips on how to keep critters like mealybugs from destroying your indoor plants.

Mealybugs are plant-sucking pests. They are soft-bodied, wingless insects that often appear as white, cottony masses on leaves, stems and fruit of plants, according to the Plant Natural Research Center. They feed on the sap of plant tissue and damage is typically low -- unless higher numbers are seen. Mealybugs can cause leaf yellowing and curling as the plant weakens.

Rick says you can dab the insects with a Q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol or use Neem oil to disrupt the growth and development of the pests. Also, be wary of over watering and fertilizing your plants -- mealybugs are attracted to plants with high levels of nitrogen and soft new growth.

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