Mealybugs

Order/Family: Homoptera/Coccidae

Description:

  • These wingless, powdery, and waxy insects (adults and nymphs) are elongate and oval in shape and 1/8-inch long. They are have protrusions all over their body and two longer filaments project from their rear.
  • Long-tailed mealybug: long waxy filaments project from the sides of the body and two long filaments (more than half the body length) project from the rear.
  • Striped mealybug: two dark longitudinal stripes down the back with many hair-like projections over the dorsal surface.
  • Taxus mealybug: four dark longitudinal stripes down the back with 15-17 lateral paired waxy projections.

 

Biology and Habits:

  • Immature (nymphs) overwinter in or under bark
  • Adults and immature mealybugs suck plant juice from buds, leaves, twigs, and branches using their piercing and sucking mouthparts.
  • There are two to three generations per year.

 

Plants Attacked:

  • Long-tailed mealybug: holly, pyracantha, rhododendron, and yew.
  • Striped mealybug: apple, azalea, boxwood, dogwood,hawthorne, holly, magnolia, and mulberry.
  • Taxus mealybug: dogwood, maple, rhododendron, and yew

 

Damage:

  • As mealybugs feed on plant juices they secrete a sugary substance (honeydew) that, as it ages, produces a black sooty mold.
  • Damaged leaves become discolored, turning yellow; heavily damaged leaves die.