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10 Growth Regulators and Chitin Inhibitors

10 Growth Regulators and Chitin Inhibitors

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successful biological control agents of P. longispinus in potted Phalaenopsis orchids.

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri was used to control

P. longispinus on the orchids in Germany

(Lindemann and Richter 2007). Pseudococcus

maritimus is becoming serious on the orchids in

India. Cryptolaemus montrouzieri can be tried

against all the arboreal mealybug species.

56.12 General Management


Heavy infestations of mealybugs, especially on

many plants, require severe control methods

using insecticides. On the extreme side, if a plant

shows signs of decline from infestation, then it is

seriously advised to destroy that plant, as the low

likelihood of rejuvenating that plant may not justify the expense and effort of continued treatments. Also, destruction of a sick plant can be

used to justify the purchase of a new and healthier plant. If the mealybugs persist for long periods of time (e.g., >9 months) even with the usage

of the same insecticidal control method, then it

means probably that the mealybugs might have

developed a resistant population. The best resolution to this is to change the methods and chemicals. The same chemical should not be used more

than three to four times sequentially. After isolating the infested plants, it is suggested to give

them a thorough application of something different from what has been used. For example, if

insecticide is used, then switch on to an oil, soap,

or different insecticide. Resistance is not generally a problem with growth regulators, such as

kinoprene. Generally, an insecticide not labeled

for orchids should never be used. Whenever

using oils, soaps, and insecticides, be thorough,

change formulations frequently, and do not use

less than the minimum concentration of mixture,

or more than that is normally recommended. Too

little of a chemical enhances resistance, while too

high of a concentration may damage the plant.

Unless you are a commercial grower rotating

mixtures of chemicals, do not use chemicals prophylactically, that is, do not routinely use chemicals as a preventative, as it is a waste of chemical


(and money!), and such use allows resistant

mealybugs to develop. Finally, keep up the manual removal of all mealybugs, if possible.

Mealybugs are an excellent example of pests that

are easily transported and that create tremendous

problems. Though most orchid keepers in North

America obtain their plants from conscientious

growers in either Canada or the United States,

many persons do purchase plants while traveling,

in exchange from friends, or from questionable

sources. Everyone needs to be aware of the great

potential of inadvertently dispersing species to

new areas, particularly from international origins. There cannot be enough stress placed on

the recommendation that all plants come from

a reputable and quality grower, and are clean

of pests.


Beardsley JW (1986) Taxonomic Notes on Pseudococcus

elisae Borchsenius, a Mealybug New to the Hawaiian

Fauna (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Proc Hawaiian

Entomol Soc 26:31–34

Ben-Dov Y (1994) A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea:

Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic

importance. Intercept Limited, Andover, 686 p

Bronson CH (2009) An orchid mealybug, Pseudococcus

dendrobiorum Williams (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae).

Pest Alert, Florida Department of Agriculture and

Consumer Service, Florida, pp 1–3

Camporese P, Scaltriti GP (1991) Occurrence of

Pseudococcus microcirculus McKenzie (Homoptera:

Coccoidea) on greenhouse cultivated orchids. Inf

Fitopatol 41(11):59–61

Diaz A, Abreu N, Martin J, Suarez GM (2004) Hemiptera

associated with wild orchids. Fitosanidad 8(2):43–44

Gautam RD, Cooper B (2003) Insecticidal dip of some

tropical cut flowers for quarantine security against

pink Hibiscus mealy bug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus.

Indian J Entomol 65(2):259–263

Gimpel WF Jr, Miller DR (1996) Systematic analysis of

the mealybugs in the Pseudococcus aritimus complex

(Homoptera: Pseudococcidae). Contrib Entomol Int


GiMyon K, Hwan LS, Jong HM, Gwan GH (2002) The

genus Pseudococcus (Westwood) (Sternorrhyncha:

Pseudococcidae) of Korea. J Asia Pac Entomol


Johnson PJ (2014) Mealybugs on Orchids. https://www.



Jullien J (2009) What is your diagnosis? [French] Quel est

votre diagnostic? PHM Revue Horticole 510:45–47

Lindemann S, Richter E (2007) Biological control of

Pseudococcus longispinus (Targioni Tozzetti) in





Pflanzenschutzdienst 59(4):77–86

Mahalakshmi V, Kalyanasundaram M, Karuppuchamy P,

Kannan M (2010) Biology and management of cotton





(Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Entomon 35(2):73–79

N.K. Meena et al.

Mandal D (2009) Eco-friendly management of

mealybug and wilt in pineapple. J Plant Prot Sci


Williams DJ (2004) Mealybugs of southern Asia. The

Natural History Museum/Southdene SDN. BHD,

London/Kuala Lumpur, 896 p

Yang SL (1997) Insect pests and harmful animals

of Phalaenopsis and their infestation habits.

Report of the Taiwan Sugur Research Institute,

Taiwan, pp 49–68

Medicinal Plants


V. Sridhar, L.S. Vinesh, and M. Mani

Mealybugs are injurious to several medicinal and

aromatic plants. Though medicinal and aromatic

plants play an important role in public healthcare

globally, they are affected by several mealybug

species. Incidence of P. solenopsis was observed

on a wide range of medicinal plants. Symptoms

of damage observed on these plants were twisted

and dried leaves and shoot, white fluffy mass on

stems, distorted or bushy shoots, presence of

honeydew, black sooty mould, small deformed

fruits, etc. (Chaudhary 2013). Various species of

mealybugs recorded on medicinal plants and

cropwise options for their management are presented below.



Coccidohystrix insolita (Green) (=Phenacoccus

insolitus; Centrococcus insolitus) is one of the

key pests on Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)

(Williams 2004). Since Aswagandha is a herbal

medicine, application of synthetic chemicals

leads to accumulation of toxic residues. Hence,

organic pest management including very safe

chemicals is the only option for this crop.

Ravikumar et al. (2008) found the application of

V. Sridhar (*) • L.S. Vinesh • M. Mani

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research,

Bangalore 560089, India

e-mail: vsridhar@iihr.ernet.in

farmyard manure (FYM) (12.5 t/ha) + Azophos (2

kg/ha) + neem cake (1000 kg/ha) and need-based

foliar application of neem oil (3 %) to be very

effective in reducing the incidence of mealybug.

Striped mealybug, Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)

is another mealybug species, which causes damage on Aswagandha by sucking the sap from the

lower surfaces of leaves and pods during

October–February (Kumar 2007; Ramanna

2009). Maximum population of 18 mealybugs

per plant was recorded during December 2008,

and the infested leaves turned yellowish and

dried up. Natural incidence of the predator

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri was observed on this

mealybug from Karnataka, India. Activity of

predators gradually increased from November

2008 to January 2009 and then declined from

February 2009 onward (Ramanna 2009).

Solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis

(Tinsley), was reported on Aswagandha from

Tamil Nadu (Selvaraju and Sakthivel 2011).

Abbas et al. (2010) reported a mean infestation of

41 % by this mealybug on Aswagandha.

Papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus

(Williams Granara de Willink), an invasive pest

was recorded in Tamil Nadu, India, in 2008, on

papaya, and has attained the status of a serious

pest on a wide range of host plants, including

Aswagandha (Sakthivel et al. 2012; Selvaraju

and Sakthivel 2011).

© Springer India 2016

M. Mani, C. Shivaraju (eds.), Mealybugs and their Management in Agricultural

and Horticultural crops, DOI 10.1007/978-81-322-2677-2_57


V. Sridhar et al.


57.1.1 Indian acalypha, Acalypha


Striped mealybug, Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell) is

a major pest on Acalypha indica. Release of

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri resulted in complete

clearing of these mealybugs within 40 days of

release (Mani 2008). Coccidohystrix insolita also

damages this plant. Spalgis epius is the common

predator recorded on these mealybugs. Other

mealybugs recorded on this plant include

Phenacoccus solenopsis, P. madeirensis and

Paracoccus marginatus from Tamil

(Selvaraju and Sakthivel 2011).


57.1.2 Decalepis hamiltonii

Mango mealybug, Rastrococcus iceryoides

(Green), is observed as the major mealybug on

this plant. Release of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

reduced mealybug population from 48.75/plant

in January to 1.26/plant in March (Mani et al.


Cryptyolaemus feeding on C. insolita on coleus

Rastrococcus ceryoides on Decalepis namiltoni

57.1.3 Coleus

(Sakthivel et al. 2012; Selvaraju and Sakthivel

2011). Phenacoccus solenopsis is reported on S.

nigrum from Tamil Nadu (Vijay and Suresh

2013a, b) and Pakistan (Arif et al. 2009).

Medicinal coleus (Coleus forskohlii) is an important medicinal crop, which contains forskolin in

their roots. Coccidohystrix insolita is the important pest on C. forskohlii, and also on C. aromaticus (Vijay and Suresh 2013a). Release of C.

montrouzieri reduced mealybug population

within 40 days (Mani et al. 2011) on Coleus.

57.1.5 Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum

Paracoccus marginatus in India is reported on

Ocimum sanctum (Tanwar et al. 2010) and P. solenopsis on O. basilicum in Pakistan (Arif et al. 2009).

57.1.4 Black night shade, Solanum


57.1.6 Turmeric, Curcuma longa

Solanum nigrum is an important ingredient in traditional Indian medicines. Papaya mealybug,

Paracoccus marginatus, is an invasive pest

recorded on black night shade in Tamil Nadu

Papaya mealybug, P. marginatus, was reported

on turmeric from Tamil Nadu (Selvaraju and

Sakthivel 2011).


Medicinal Plants

57.1.7 Neem, Azadirachta indica

In Tamil Nadu, India, Pseudococcus gilbertensis

(Beardsley) (Karthikeyan et al. 1993) and

Paracoccus marginatus (Sakthivel et al. 2012;

Selvaraju and Sakthivel 2011) are known to

attack neem. Maconellicoccus hirsutus was also

reported on this plant by Williams (1986).

57.1.8 Sweet Indian Mallow, Abutilon


Paracoccus marginatus and Phenacoccus solenopsis were reported on this crop from Tamil

Nadu (Selvaraju and Sakthivel 2011), and P. solenopsis from Pakistan (Arif et al. 2009). Percentage

infestation by P. solenopsis was recorded as 7.6

by Abbas et al. (2010) from Pakistan.



Gulancha, Tinospora


Incidence of spherical mealybug Nipaecoccus

viridis (Newstead) on Tinospora cordifolia

was recorded from Bangalore, India (Saroja

et al. 2013). This pest also attacks other

medicinal crops, viz., Leucas aspera, Mimosa

pudica, and Phyllanthus emblica (Vijay and

Suresh 2013a; Williams 2004). Thick clusters

of cotton-like masses were seen on leaves and

vines. The mealybug population ranged at an

average of 10–12 mealybugs per leaf. The

infested leaves showed symptoms of chlorosis

on leaves and drying. The honeydew excretion

was heavy, which attracted ants, and served as

a medium for sooty mould development

(Saroja et al. 2013).

57.1.9 Indian gooseberry,

Phyllanthus emblica

Spherical mealybug, Nipaecoccus viridis, is

known to feed on this plant (Ramadasan and

Harikumar 2011; Vijay and Suresh 2013a, b;

Williams 2004). Of late, E. officinalis is grown

widely for export purpose, for its medicinal properties, and is grown in all altitudes, and widespread occurrence was noticed in other parts of

the country. E. officinalis, being grown as rainfed crop under water-stressed conditions, paved

way for the multiplication of insects. Improper

use of insecticides also resulted in increased incidence of mealybugs in E. officinalis. The population is higher in hot climatic conditions coupled

with high relative humidity (Vijay and Suresh


57.1.10 Indian Senna, Cassia


Papaya mealybug, Paracoccus marginatus, an

invasive mealybug, was recorded as a pest on this

medicinal plant from Tamil Nadu (Selvaraju and

Sakthivel 2011).

Nipaecoccus viridis on T. cordifolia

57.2.1 Lavender

Eriococcus munroi (Boratynski) is known to

damage Lavender (Lavandula spica) in France

(Matile-Ferrero and Germain 2004).

Apart from the various crops mentioned

above, there are so many hosts recorded from different medicinal and aromatic plants for various

mealybugs by different authors. Countries or

places of their records with their host plants are

presented in Table 57.1, along with the names of


V. Sridhar et al.


Table 57.1 Various medicinal and aromatic plants infested with different mealybugs


Paracoccus marginatus (Williams

Granara de Willink)

Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley)

Country/Medicinal plants, where recorded


Achyranthes aspera; Alternanthera sessilis:

Amaranthus viridis; Amaranthus spinosus;

Boerhavia diffusa; Calotropis gigantea; Cassia

angustifolia; Celosia argentea; Cleome

gynandra; Cleome viscose; Crotalaria retusa;

Glinus lotoides; Guettarda speciosa; Jatropha

gossypiifolia; Leucas aspera; Lippia nodiflora;

Physalis minimam; Phyllanthus fraternus;

Phyllanthus amarus; Pulmonaria longifolia;

Solanum xanthocarpum; Tephrosia purpurea;

Trianthema portulacastrum; Tribulus terrestris;

Wedelia chinensis; Canthium inerme;

Phyllanthus niruri; Convolvulus arvensis;

Commelina benghalensis


Adhatoda vasica Nees, Alstonia scholaris (L.)

R. Br., Rauvolfia serpentina (L.),Benth. Ex.

Kurz, Cyanthillium cinereum (L.) H. Rob,

Bauhinia variegata, Ficus exasperate,

Azadirachta indica, Ocimum sanctum,

Couroupita guianensis, Indigofera tinctoria,

Cassia occidentalis, Phyllanthus amarus,

Phyllanthus fraternus, Datura stramonium,


Wedelia trilobata; Sida sp.



Selvaraju and Sakthivel

(2011), Tanwar et al.


Chellappan et al. (2013)

Cham et al. (2011)

Vennila et al. (2013), Vijay

and Suresh (2013a) and

Vijay and Suresh (2013b),

Nagrare et al. (2009), Saini

et al. (2009)



Medicinal Plants


Table 57.1 (continued)


Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green)

Country/Medicinal plants, where recorded

Trianthema portulacastrum; Commelina

bengalensis; Sida cordifolia; Portulaca

grandiflora; Corchorus trilocularis ;Boerhavia

diffusa; Phyllanthus niruri; Acmella uliginosa;

Abelmoschus ficulneu; Lactuca runcinata;

Digera muricata; Asteracantha longifolia;

Triumfetta rhomboidea; Pentanema indicum;

Aerva lanata; Phyllanthus amarus; Sida acuta;

Phyllanthus reticulatus; Corchorus

trilocularis; Euphorbia geniculata; Portulaca

oleracea; Acalypha india; Solanum trilobatum;

Datura metel; Ocimum basilicum; Ocimum

sanctum; Rhinocanthus nasutus; Andrographis

paniculata; Solanum khasianum; Abrus

precatorius; Artemisia nilagria; Solanum

nigrum;Amaranthus sp.; Gymnea sylvestris;

Vitex leooryxylon; Strilobanthus cilatus;

Acerva lanata; Artemesia nilagiria; Vernonia

cineria; Cassia occidentalis; Cleome viscosa;

Eleusine indica; Coleus forskohli; Coleus

aromaticus; Leucas aspera; Mentha longifolia;

Piper longum; Plumbago zeylanica; Vitex

negundo; Vitex leooryxylon; Tribulus terrestris

India, Gujarat

Hibiscus sabdariffa, Hibiscus rosa- sinensis,

Abutilon indicum, Sida cordata, Abelmoschus

moschatus, Artemisia annua, Tagetus erecta,

Tagetus minuta, Chrysanthemum maximum,

Parthenium hysterophorus, Cestium diumum,

Datura metel, Withania somnifera, Solanum

khasianum, Cestrurn noctumum, Solanum

nigrum, Commiphora wightii, Murraya

koenigii, Plantago indica, Tinospora

cordifolia, Adhatoda vasica, Boerhaavia

diffusa, Merremia turpethum, Rosa damascene,

Vetiveria zizanioides,Cymbopogon

fluxeouuses,Abrus precatorius, Desmodium

gangeticum,Cyamopsis tetragonopoloba,

Achyranthes aspera,Mimosa pudica,Crataeva

nurvala, Plumbago zeylanica,Kicloxia incana,

Kicloxia ossisima, Lantana camera,Gymnema



Achyranthes aspera; Amaranthus viridis;

Phyllanthus niruri; Mentha longifolia;

Ocimum basilicum; Portulaca oleracea;

Datura metel; Solanum nigrum


Clerodendron infortunatum; Erythrina

variegate; Eugenia jambolana; Glyricidia

sepium; Hibiscus acetosella; Hibiscus

cannabinus; Hibiscus sabdariffa; Mikania

cordata; Phyllanthus niruri; Portulaca

oleracea; Portulaca quadrifida; Spondias

dulcis; Zizyphus mauritiana


Chaudhary (2013)

Arif et al.(2009)

Singh and Ghosh (1970);

Ghose (1972), Fletcher

(1919); Mani (1986); Rao

et al. (1984); Babu and

Azam (1987); Ghose

(1961); Dutt et al. (1951);

Balikai (1999); Balikai and

Bagali (2000)


V. Sridhar et al.


Table 57.1 (continued)


Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell)

Planococcus minor (Maskell)

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Paraputo odontomachi (Takahshi)

Rastrococcus iceryoides (Green)

Coccidohystrix insolita (Green)

Nipaecoccus sp., Paracoccus sp.,

and Phenacoccus sp.

Nipaecoccus viridis

Rhizoecus dianthi (Green)

Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead)

Rastrococcus iceryoides infested

Leucas aspera

Country/Medicinal plants, where recorded


Ocimum sanctum

Ocimum sanctum

Ocimum sanctum

India, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and




Leucas aspera


Solanum khasianum

Coleus aromaticus


Lippia alba, L. geminate, Ocimum sanctum


Ocimum sanctum

Withania somnifera


Leucas aspera, Mimosa pudica, and

Phyllanthus emblica


Nerium oleander


Embelica officinalis and Leucas aspera

Abrus precatorius

Nipaecoccus viridis

infested Phyllanthus emblica


Vijay and Suresh (2013b)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams 2004

Vijay and Suresh(2013b)

Vijay and Suresh (2013b)

Martinez et al. (2010)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Vijay and Suresh (2013a)

Varshney (1992), Ben-Dov

(1994), Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ferrisia virgata on Vinca rosea


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Williams DJ (1986) The identity and distribution of

Maconellicoccus Ezat (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

in Africa. Bull Entomol Res 76:621–624

Williams DJ (2004) Mealybugs of south Asia. The Natural

History Museum/Southdene SDN, BHD, London/

Kuala Lumpur, 896 p


Plantation Crops

Chandrika Mohan, P. Rajan,

and A. Josephrajkumar

The plantation crops viz., coconut, arecanut,

cocoa and tea are traditionally grown in India.

The products and by-products of these crops

form vital inputs for several industries and sustain livelihood for many million farm families.

Infestation by insects form a crucial limiting

factor in attaining the production potential of

plantation crops. Among the sucking pest complex,

mealy bugs, being polyphagous constitute a key

biotic stress that reduce plantation crop yield significantly. Fifty-seven species of Pseudococcids

have been recorded on palms (Table 58.1). Half

of the Palmivorous species belong to the genera

Dysmicoccus, Planococcus, Pseudococcus and

Rhizoecus. Among the wide array of mealy bug

species, Dysmicoccus has the most palmivorous

species (eight) including three species known

only from palms. The most commonly reported

mealy bug pest of palms are highly polyphagous

species, distributed worldwide and are primarily

known as pests of crops other than palms.

Classical examples include Dysmicoccus brevipes, Nipaecoccus nipae and Pseudococcus

longispinus. Few mealybug species namely

Dysmicoccus hambletoni, Dysmicoccus cocotis,

Dysmicoccus finitimus, Neosimmondsia hirsuta,

C. Mohan (*) • P. Rajan • A. Josephrajkumar

ICAR-Central Plantation Crops Research Institute,

Kayamkulam, 690 533 Alappuzha district,

Kerala, India

e-mail: cmcpcri@gmail.com

Palmicultor palmarum, Phenacoccus sakai,

Planococcoides anaboranae, Pseudococcus portiludovici, Tylococcus malaccensis, Crinitococcus

palmae and Cyperia angolica are almost

restricted to palms.



In coconut, nine important species of mealybugs

are reported from India viz. Palmicultor palmarum Ehron. Dysmicoccus cocotis Maskell,

Pseudococcus longispinus Targ. Pseudococcus

cryptus, Planococcus lilacinus, Pseudococcus

microadonidam, Nipaecoccus nipae Maskell,

Dysmicoccus finitimus and Rhizoecus sp. In

Guam, Coccidohstrix insolita was observed

infesting coconut palm (Aubrey Moore et al. 2014).

Ferrisia virgata is also known to infest coconut

( http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/


58.1.1 Palmicultor palmarum

Palmicultor palmarum infests young seedlings

especially when they are closely spaced or in

nurseries and greenhouses. It does little damage

to mature coconut palms but sometimes kills

seedlings. It has been observed in dense aggregations on leaf axils especially on spindle/spear

leaves and at the base of spear leaves. Red ants

© Springer India 2016

M. Mani, C. Shivaraju (eds.), Mealybugs and their Management in Agricultural

and Horticultural crops, DOI 10.1007/978-81-322-2677-2_58


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