Feb 04, 2009 · mealy bugs are a nusiance to you because you have to look at them and harmful to plants. wash it well and add some soap. nothing too strong, but it cannot be too weak either. sometimes tea works as well as vinegar, but i have never tried it. they will not bother you or your cat, but can harm other house plants near by. also i dont think they like clothing since they get all their food from ... Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the fuzz. If it comes off, it's probably dust or bugs. If it doesn't move a bit, it's probably part of the plant. My cacti have never been hurt by a bit of alcohol. Dec 08, 2008 · If you must spray something on your plants, start with plain water—it will kill some insects and force off many others. Here are the common pests for cacti & succulent: Mealy Bugs: These are white/gray insects about 0.1 inches in length. These bugs consume the cactus sap and reproduce rapidly by laying their eggs underneath a cotton-like ... And Nan Hampton wrote the following for another Mr. Smarty Plants question about cochineal bugs on prickly pear cactus. (As you see it is a frequent question.) Your cactus sounds as if it is infested with cochineal bugs (Dactylopius sp.). They are small scale insects that feed on the cactus.