Problem: Mealybugs (Insects)
Several species of this common insect feed on ivy. Mealybugs damage plants by sucking sap, causing leaf distortion and death. The adult female mealybug may produce live young or may lay eggs in a white, fluffy mass of wax. The immature mealybugs, called nymphs, crawl all over the plant and onto nearby plants. Soon after they begin to feed, they produce white, waxy filaments that cover their bodies, giving them a cottony appearance. As they mature, they become less mobile. Mealybugs cannot digest all the sugar in the sap, and they excrete the excess in a fluid called honeydew, which coats the leaves and may drop onto surfaces below the plant.
Separate infested plants from uninfested ones. If only a few mealybugs are present, wipe them off with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol or with a damp cloth. Carefully check all parts of the plant to make sure all insects have been removed. Discard severely infested plants, and avoid taking cuttings from them. Thoroughly clean the growing area with soapy water before starting new plants. Inspect new plants thoroughly before putting them in the house.