Mealy Bug infestation under cut paste

So this is interesting. Today I was trimming off excess buds on a fig that I completely defoliated a few weeks ago. It was a large defoliation and cut back because this newly inherited tree was very leggy and unfixable in its current state.After cutting back heavily I covered the wounds with cut paste, the type that is like kneadable dough.

To be honest you couldn’t really notice anything wrong with the area. It was just luck that I caught a glimpse of one corner of paste that was coming off. I pealed it back to reveal a nest of mealy bugs. So I took the paste off another area and another nest, and so on and so forth until six separate nests of mealy bugs were revealed.

They were under every one and the number of bugs was crazy. This is the first time I have seen this and it’s something I will be keeping an eye on in the future. I’m not sure of the cause. Perhaps the cut paste was too old. I think the more liquid type cut paste may be a better solution to avoid this in the future.

Time to go and check under all my cut paste.