Q.White coating and bugs on queen palm
I recently bought a queen palm. I have noticed that the leaves are dying and there is a white substance coatinf the stalks. You can scratch it off with your nail. Upon closer inspection, I also see what looks like teeny tiny ants. Wondering what is going on? Are the bugs and white substance connected? Or are there two different ailments affecting my palm?
The white material is possibly a "scale insect" pest, and the ants are farming the infestation for the sweet secretions that the insect puts out.
Scale can be controlled with a spray program targeting the immature stage of the insect life cycle, or with systemic insecticide applied to the soil for root uptake. For one small tree you can try mechanical control, wipe off the coating with a rag or a cotton glove.