September 2013 Pest of the Month

Citrus Mealybug (Planococcus citri)

Nymphs can also be found on fruit.
Photo by Lyle Buss, University of Florida.

  • Hosts: Annona, Arabica, and Robusta coffee, cotton, banana, carambola, cacao, flowering ginger, macadamia, mango and plants belonging to Citrus genus.
  • Distribution: This pest has a pan tropical distribution that extends into subtropical regions. It is present in nearly all coffee growing countries.
  • Damage: Leaves of plants attacked by the root form wilt and turn yellow as if affected by drought. Roots are sometimes encrusted with greenish-white fungal tissue (Polyporus sp.) and stunted. Citrus mealybugs are visible beneath the fungus when it is peeled away. When the root form is associated with fungal tissue, it is capable of killing the plant. The aerial form of this insect is found on leaves, twigs, and at the base of fruits.
  • Control: There are numerous parasitic wasps that attack the citrus mealybug and several predatory beetles. Pathogenic fungi also attack this pest. Malathion, diazinon, and dimethoate may be effective in controlling this pest, especially if white oil is mixed with the parathion and malathion preparations

Eggs are deposited as white cottony massess called ovisacs.
Photo by Lyle Buss, University of Florida.

Adult mealybug male.
Photo by Lyle Buss, University of Florida.

For full length article click on link – September 2013 Pest – Citrus Mealybug

Source: Photos from Lyle Buss, University of Florida,