Most adult female mealybugs are
wingless, soft-bodied, grayish insects about 0.05 to 0.2
inch long. They are usually elongate and segmented, and may
wax filaments radiating from the body, especially at the
tail. Most females can move slowly and are covered with whitish,
mealy or cottony wax. There are several different species.
Identification of species | Life
Mealybugs tend to congregate in large numbers,
forming white, cottony masses on plants. High populations slow
plant growth and cause premature leaf or fruit drop and twig dieback.
Honeydew production and black sooty mold are the primary damage
caused by most mealybugs.
Provide proper cultural control so that plants
are vigorous and can tolerate moderate mealybug feeding without
being damaged. Naturally occurring predators
and parasites provide
good control of many mealybug species, unless these beneficials
are disrupted. Mealybugs are difficult to control with insecticides
and systemic materials may be required. Insecticidal
oil, or a forceful stream of water can be applied to reduce exposed
populations with minimal harm to natural enemies that may migrate
in later. Manage ants that tend mealybugs.