Mealy bugs is a common house plant pest, they can be harmful and kill your house plant if you didn't aware of them and treat it as soon as possible.
Mealy bugs are really small and it looks like white colour powder when they are small. Those big and noticeable in size are usually adult size mealy bugs. They usually hide underneath the leaf or at the edges of the stem. You will need to pay attention to notice them.
Picture on the left is the example of mealy bugs. They don't bite human so don't worry and remove them immediately once you notice them.
If you notice mealy bugs along with ants , it will be harder to get rids of them. You not only need to treat mealy bugs but also need to get rid of the ants too.
Both mealy bugs and ants are buddy system, mealy bugs extract the essence from the plant and ants will eat the essence of the plant that produced by mealy bugs. Ants will protect mealy bugs from other predators. This is why they are buddy system, both have advantage from this system.
What to do when you notice mealy bugs on your plants?
Follow these simple steps to get rid of them:-
Removed all visible mealy bug with hand (my usual way), use cotton pad with alcohol swap to kill them or use tissue paper to squeeze them to die
Spray medicine to kill the remaining invisible mealy bugs (they're too small for our bare eyes). Spray all over the plants and soil (not only the part that is visible with mealy bugs).
There are many remedies that you can use to kill them, for example homemade spray - mix neem oil (5ml), dish water liquid (2ml) and water (1L).
Commercially bought spray - I used KCK Green colour one. You may get it from Shoppee or Lazada. There are a few other brands that offer the same spray like BABA. So far any spray is effective to get rid off the mealy bugs.
Isolate the infested plants from your other plants. They spread rather quickly.
Continuously spray the medicine for 3 days on the infested plant and observe if there are any more visible mealy bugs.
Continue to observe your plant for 1 week. If there is no sign of mealy bugs you may put them back to where they belong at first.
Prevention is always better, I will spray insect repellent on all my plants fortnightly. You may find a better way to do it. Please share with me if you have another more effective way of getting rid of mealy bugs.