Mealy bugs under the soil???
My alata wasn't looking bad but hasn't put on much growth and this is the time of the year it should be going crazy. It had a few mealies while in the greenhouse over the winter which I thought had been eliminated. I checked the stems and foliage and didn't see anything. A couple days ago I noticed ants but still didn't see any aphids, scale or mealies but thought that maybe the ants had taken up residence in the pot. I decided to repot it in case the ants were there and when I unpotted it the portion of the main stem that was below the soil was completely encrusted with mealy bugs! There was a solid 2" of stem that looked white because there were so many. I hosed off all the soil and removed the mealies then hosed it off again and repotted in a new pot with fresh soil. Hopefully I got them all. I've never seen mealy bugs below the soil. Is that common? I usually see then on the stems and the undersides of the foliage.