Mealybugs

Description:
        Mealybugs get their name because the white wax on their bodies makes them look like they were rolled in flour.  Infested are typically covered with white “fluff” mealybugs produce that helps protect them from excessive heat, and moisture loss.  Mealybugs are common pests of greenhouse and stored plants.  They feed on plants by inserting long strawlike mouthparts (called stylets) into plant tissue.  Besides producing a white wax, mealybugs secrete a sticky honeydew that adheres to leaf surfaces and attracts unsightly dust and molds.

        Citrus mealybug females lay eggs inside of cottony egg masses and hatch into crawlers within 7-10 days; longtailed mealybug females give live birth to crawlers beneath their bodies.  Crawlers develop in 10-14 days.  Male crawlers pupate up to 7 days before emerging as winged forms.  Adult females live about 30 days.  Citrus mealybug females can lay several hundred eggs in a lifetime; longtailed mealybug females can give birth to hundreds of crawlers.

Prevention:
        Similar to scale page.

Defeating with Sprays:
        Similar to
scale page.

Predators:
        The mealybug destroyer ladybeetle (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) is one of the most popular beneficial insects in the industry.  These well-behaved beetles feed on all stages of mealybug as well as the honeydew they excrete.  Because they tend to stay unnoticed on the undersides of leaves they are highly recommended for indoor use.

        Encyrtids and aphelinids are also effective, sting-less wasps that lay eggs inside the crawlers.

Mealybug Sources:
http://www.mda.state.mn.us/biocon/plantscape/mealybugs.htm
http://ipmofalaska.homestead.com/files/mealybugs.html
http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/lso/Mealybugs.htm

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