Probably because of the mild winter, I’m seeing unusually large numbers of critters of all sorts in the garden, from aphids to chipmunks to four-lined plant bugs to rabbits to these mealybugs (I think they’re mealybugs, but I’m not absolutely sure). If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know what I’m going to do about these pests. And if you haven’t and you don’t, take a look at this post if you can’t figure it out.
Addendum July 25: Those insects were completely gone within a week. The stalk is insect free and quite healthy.