This morning someone asked a pest ID question. There are accurate answers in the comments sections, but posters were reluctant to write in the Answers section as other questions had been answered about the same pest.

The examples given were, indeed, about the same pest, but they were quite different - different host and different pest manifestation.

I feel like the second question provides a valuable different perspective on this pest (wooly aphid), so I wonder how best to make sure that it is found by people searching for white fluffy pest.

  • I'm glad you posted this. Your comment on the new question made me waffle a little bit when deciding whether or not it was a duplicate. I did my best to follow the (often frustrating) rules, while at the same time feeling like you had a good point. I'm grateful to Niall C. and @Kevinsky for straightening this out. It wouldn't have happened without your perseverance! Jun 2 '15 at 23:01

The criterion for saying that one question is a duplicate of another is if the answers to one of them also answer the other. Since both questions in this case are asking about the same pest and how to deal with it, that does make them duplicates.

I agree that the newer question is the better of the two since it includes a textual description of the problem as well as photographs. Given my 'druthers, I'd close the older one as the duplicate, but the system doesn't allow that because the older one has an answer while the newer one doesn't. (However, it occurred to me writing this that if the author of the answer on the older question was willing to repost it on the newer one, then we could reopen the newer, have him post the answer, and close the older as the duplicate. Let me see if I can make this happen...)

You need not be concerned that people won't be able to find the newer question. Both questions have upvotes, which mean that they won't be automatically removed by the system, so they'll be indexed by search engines, and should show up in searches for "white fluffy pest".

  • Could they not be combined somehow?
    – That Idiot
    Jun 2 '15 at 9:01
  • Two questions can be merged after one is closed as a duplicate of the other, but it's supposed to be used only when the questions are identical and have answers; for example, someone cross-posts a question to two sites, and it gets closed on one and migrated to the other site after it has been answered. Since these two questions are from different people, merging is the wrong tool to use.
    – Niall C. Mod
    Jun 2 '15 at 15:51

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