I planted these cactus a few years back and was very surprised when I found cochineal on them. If I do not take it off, it destroys the cactus pad. Today insecticides are used to get rid of it.
But not at my house. Look at my harvest:
I scrap it off with the knife. It seems to work the best. But I can feel all those little cactus needles in my hands. Next time I wear protective gloves. I am half way thru my harvest. Will let it dry.
Can you see the deep magenta color on the border of the paper plate?
Anybody out there have experience with this whole process?