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15 Palmicultor lumpurensis and Chaetococcus bambusae

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67 Forest Plants



613



67.16 Dysmicoccus obesus



67.20 Dysmicoccus spp.



Dysmicoccus obesus (Lobdell) was found in

Arkansas living in crevices under bark scales of

loblolly pine trees (Pinus taeda). Most individuals (77 %) were found on the bole between 0 and

90 cm of the ground, and they showed slight preferences for the northern and southern bole exposures. Individuals of the formicid Crematogaster

were observed tending the mealybug. Three

broods per year were detected, with adults produced in May, July and September. It is suggested

that D. obesus probably overwinters off the tree

as immatures. The documented occurrence of D.

obesus from ten southern and south-eastern states

in the USA suggests that its distribution is probably throughout the range of its host, P. taeda.

Records from Maryland indicated that the pseudococcid also feeds on Virginia pine (P. virginiana) (Thompson and Colvin 1990).



Serianthes nelsonii is a large tree endemic to

Guam and Rota of the Mariana Islands. Three

species of mealybugs, Dysmicoccus neobrevipes

Beardsley, D. brevipes (Cockerell), and

Planococcus citri (Risso), feed on the leaves, leaf

buds, branch tips, and roots of trees and seedlings. On the cultivated tree in Yona, up to 40 %

of the branch tips were killed every two weeks by

a combination of D. neobrevipes and P. citri.

Most mealybug colonies were removed by predators, including the lady beetle Nephus roepkei

(Fluiter) (Coccinellidae). Seedlings may remain

vulnerable to mealybugs for longer periods of

time; malathion effectively killed the mealybugs

on the seedlings (Gary et al. 1996).



67.17 Chaetococcus sp.

On the bamboo Gigantochloa scortechinii in

Malaysia, the ant Tetraponera sp. was found to

be always associated with the pseudococcid

Chaetococcus sp. (Klein et al. 1992).



67.18 Pseudococcus baliteus

In Philippines, Pseudococcus baliteus Lit was

recorded on prop roots of Ficus elastica (Lit and

Calilung 1994).



67.19 Acaciacoccus spp.

Acaciacoccus hockingi Williams and Matile was

recorded in swollen thorns of Acacia drepanolobium in Tanzania. The species was tended by

Crematogaster nigriceps prelli. It was not found

without this formicid in attendance and appeared

to be reliant on C. n. prelli to remove honeydew

from the thorns (Williams and Matile-Ferrero

1994)



67.21 Management

Inspecting seedlings and young trees regularly is

essential for early detection. The branches, heavily infested by these coccid bugs, should be

lopped and burnt. Eggs of the mealybugs, protected by waxy filamentous secretions of ovisacs,

are almost impossible to reach with insecticides.

Late instar nymphs and adult female mealybugs

are not affected by foliar application of insecticides since they are covered with waxy coating.

Besides, spraying with suitable insecticides may

not be economically and environmentally viable.

Hence, biological control particularly the third

type that involves the supplemental release of

natural enemies is the best control option in forestry. Among the predators, coccinellids commonly known as ladybird beetles are mainly

free-living species that consume a large number

of preys during their lifetime. They feed on mealy

bugs, and other injurious insect and mites and

keep the insect populations under control. Proven

natural enemies of the respective mealybug species can be used for their suppression on forest

plants. Hence, it is vital to exploit natural enemies to develop ecologically and environmentally sound insect pest management in forestry

(Table 67.1).



R. Sundararaj and M. Mani



614

Table 67.1 List of mealybug species infesting different forest plants

Mealybug species

Anaparaputo liui Borchsenius

Antonina banbusae Khalid &

Shafee

Antonina meghalayaensis

Khalid & Shafee

Antonina pretiosa Ferris

Antonina thiensis Takahashi

Antonina zonata Green

Apodrastacoccus onar Williama

Astraputa eucalypti Williams

Cataencoccus barbatus (De

Lotto)

Cataencoccus hispidus

(Morrision)

Cataencoccus mazoensis (Hall)

Cataencoccus olivaceus

(Cockerell)

Cataencoccus villosus (De

Lotto)

Chaetococcus bambusae

(Maskell)

Cirnecococcus policis (Mamet)

Conlicoccus Beardsley

Williams

Crinticoccus ficus Williams

Crisicoccus acaciae Williams

Crisicoccus chalpus (Williams)

Crisicoccus matsumotoi

(Siraiwa)

Crisicoccus pini (Kuwana)

Deltococcus tafaensis

(Strickland)

Dysmicoccus acaciarum

Williams

Dysmicoccus aciculus Ferris

Dysmicoccus angustus (Ezzat

& McConnel)

Dysmicoccus anicus Williams

Dysmicoccus banksi Williams

Dysmicoccus bispinosus

Beardsley

Dysmicoccus brevipes

(Cockrell)

Dysmicoccus casuarinas

Williams

Dysmicoccus grassii (Leonardi)

Dysmicoccus hawrahicus

Williams

Dysmicoccus kaiensis (Kanda)



Vegetables

Ficus

Bamboo



Region/country

China

India



Reference

Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)



Bamboo



India



Bamboo

Bamboo

Bamboo

Acacia

Eucalyptus

Acacia



USA, China, Cuba

Thailand

Thailand

Australia

Australia

Tanzania



Khalid and Shafee

(1988b)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Takahashi (1951b)

Takahashi (1951b)

Williams (1985a)

Williams (1985b)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus



Java, Malaysia



Williams (2004)



Acacia

Ficus



Zimbabwe

California



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia



South Africa



Ben-Dov (1994)



Bamboos



Ben-Dov (1994)



Eugenia

Eucalyptus



Uganda, Brazil,

Hawaii, Sri Lanka &

China

Mauritius

Australia



Ficus

Acacia

Ficus

Ficus



Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Japan, Korea



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Pines

Casurina



California & Japan

Ghana



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia



Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Pines

Bamboo



California

New Jersey & China



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia & Eucalyptus

Acacia

Acacia



Australia

Australia

Neotropical region



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Date palm







Ben-Dov (1994)



Casurina



Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia

Casurina



Neotropical region

Tasmania



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Bambusa



Japan



Ben-Dov (1994)

(continued)



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



615



67 Forest Plants

Table 67.1 (continued)

Mealybug species

Dysmicoccus nesophilus

Williams & Watson

Dysmicoccus neobrevipes

Beardsley

Dysmicoccus periius Williams

Dysmicoccus pinecolus

McKenzie

Dysmicoccus senegalensis

Balachowsky

Dysmicoccus texensis (Tinsley)

Epicoccus acacia (Maskell)

Erium globosum (Maskell)

Eucalyptococcus brookesae

Williams

Eucalyptococcus gisleni

(Ossiannilsson)

Eurycoccus monody

Balachosky & Ferrero

Eurycoccus saudiensis Matile

Ferrero

Ferrisia consobrina Williams &

Watson



Vegetables

Pines, Erithrina



Reference

Ben-Dov (1994)



Tectona grandis, Tamarind



Region/country

Austroriental &

Pacific region





Acacia

Pines



Australia

Mexico



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Casurina



Senegal



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia

Acacia

Acacia

Eucalyptus



Mexico

Australia

Australia

Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Eucalyptus



Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia



Kenya



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia



Saudi Arabia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Tectoma grandis



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia, Ficus

Casurina



Australian, Ethiopian,

Neotropical & Pacific

region

India

Fiji



Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell)

Fijicoccus casurainae Williams

& Watson

Formicoccus

erythrinae sp.n.

Geococcus coffeae Green

Heliococcus bambusae

(Takahashi)

Heliococcus takae (Kuwana)

Idiococcus bambusa Takshashi

& Kanda

Indococcus pipalae Ali

Itycoccus beardsleyi Williams

Itycoccus milprinkae Williams

Laingiococcus painei (Laing)

Maconellicoccus auatraliensis

(Green & Lidgett)

Maconellicoccus hirsutus

(Green)



Erythrina



India



Williams (2004)



Ficus

Bambusa





China &Taiwan



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Bambusa

Bambusa



China & Japan

Japan



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus

Acacia

Acacia

Ficus

Acacia



India

Australia

Australia

Papua New Guinea

Australia



Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Aegle marmelos, Albizia

spp., Bauhinia spp.

Caesalpinia spp., Casuarina

spp., Cordia, Syzygium,

Tabebuia, Erthrina spp.,

Haldina. agerstroemia,

Melia, Cassia spp.

Parkinsonia, a,

Tamarindusia & Terminalia

spp.

Ficus, Tectona grandis &

Tamarind



Many countries



manatee.ifas.ufl.edu/

comm-hort/pdf/

pest-topics/

InsectPHMHosts.pdf







Ben-Dov (1994)



Ben-Dov (1994)



Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)



(continued)



616



R. Sundararaj and M. Mani



Table 67.1 (continued)

Mealybug species

Maconellicoccus ugandae

(Laing)

Melanococcus albizziae

(Maskell)

Niapecoccus brasilicus

Williams & Granara de Willink

Niapecoccus gilli Williams &

Granara de Willink

Niapecoccus guazumae

(Balachowsky)

Niapecoccus nipae (Makell)

Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead)

Paracoccus barymelus Williams

& Watson

Paraputo anomala (Newstead)

Phenacoccus eugeniae

Takahashi

Phenacoccus hystrix

(Baerensprung)

Paraputo leveri (Green)

Peliococcus subcoticola

Williams

Peridiococcus ethtelae (Fuller)

Phenacoccus aceris (Signoret)

Phenacoccus hargreavesi

(Laing)

Phenacoccus madeirensis

Green

Phenacoccus pratti Takahashi

Planococcoides robustus (Ezzat

& McConnel)

Planococcus citri (Risso)

Planococcus ficus (Signoret)

Planococcus dorsopinosus

Ezzat & McConnel

Planococcus kraunhiae

(Kuwana)

Planococcus lilacinus

(Cockrell)

Planococcus minor (Maskell)

Planococcus nigritulus De

Lotto

Plotococcus subterraneus De

Lotto



Vegetables

Acacia



Region/country

Ghana



Reference

Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia, Albizia



Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus



Brazil



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia



Mexico



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia & Ficus



Columbia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus

Acacia, Ficus

Albizia & Tamarind

Casurina





Many countries



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Papua New Guinea



Ben-Dov (1994)



Acacia

Eugenia



Tanzania

Mongolia



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Pines



Germany



Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus

Casurina & Eucalyptus



Papua New Guinea

Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Casurina

Ficus



Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus



Australia

Nearctic & Palaearctic

region

Ethiopian region



Ficus



Pakistan



Williams (2004)



Eucalyptus

Ficus & date palm



Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)



Casurina



Malaysia

Bangladesh, India &

Pakistan



India

Many countries

Philippine, India &

Thailand

Taiwan, China, Japan



Acacia, Ficus & Eugenia







Ben-Dov (1994)



Casurina, Ficus, Eucalyptus,

Tectona grandis

Ficus, date palm







Ben-Dov (1994)



Tanzania



Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus



South Africa



Ben-Dov (1994)



Cassia & Delonix regia

Teakwood

Date palm

Ficus



Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)



(continued)



67 Forest Plants



617



Table 67.1 (continued)

Mealybug species

Pseudococcus cryptus Hempel

Pseudococcus viburni P = affinis

Pseudococcus bombusicola

Takahashi

Pseudococcus calceolarieae

(Maskell)

Pseudococcus comsocki

(Kuwana)

Pseudococcus eucalypticus

Williams

Pseudococcus kikuyensis James

Pseudococcus longispinus

(Targioni-Tozzetti)

Pseudococcus moribensis

Takahashi

Pseudococcus occiduus

DeLotto

Rasrococcus iceryoides (Green)

Rasrococcus invadens Williams

Rasrococcus spinosus

(Robinson)

Rhizoecus americanus

(Hambleton)

Trionymus bambusa (Green)

Trionymus internodii (Hall)

Xenococcus annandalei

Silvestri



Vegetables

Date palm

Eucalyptus

Bamboos



Region/country

Maldives







Reference

Williams (2004)

Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus







Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus







Ben-Dov (1994)



Eucalyptus



Australia



Ben-Dov (1994)



Ficus

Acacia, ficus, date palm,

Carambola & pines

Casurina



Sudan & Kenya





Ben-Dov (1994)

Ben-Dov (1994)



Malaysia



Williams (2004)



Ficus



Ethiopian



Ben-Dov (1994)



Caesalpinia & ficus

Ficus & teak

Ficus

Ficus



Many countries

India

Indonesia

Malaysia



Ben-Dov (1994)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)

Williams (2004)



Ficus



Nearctic, neotropical.

Palaearctic region

Bangladesh, India, Sri

Lanka

Egypt & Israel

Malaysia & India



Ben-Dov (1994)



Bambusa

Bambusa

Ficus



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Bitki Koruma Bulteni 38:23–41



Glasshouse, Greenhouse

and Polyhouse Crops



68



K. Gopalakrishna Pillai



Protected environments such as glasshouse/

greenhouse/net house/polyhouse are those that

maintain plants year round. They provide optimal

conditions for insect and mite pests to survive,

develop, and reproduce. Mealybugs are serious

pests of various crops in greenhouses and probably the most difficult-to-control pests in greenhouses. Mealybugs are not particular about their

hosts, and probably all species of crops are susceptible to mealybugs, especially when cultivated

in protected environments.



68.1



Mealybug Species



There are a number of different mealybugs of

concern to greenhouse growers. In greenhouses

of California, the most frequently found mealybugs are the long-tailed mealybug, Pseudococcus

longispinus (Targioni-Tozzetti) and the citrus

mealybug, Planococcus citri (Risso) (Laflin and

Parrella 2004). Planococcus citri is the most

common and damaging insect pest in greenhouse

and protected cultures. With the exception of

roses, P. citri feeds on many short-term crops

such as coleus, whereas P. longispinus often



K.G. Pillai (*)

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research,

Bangalore 560089, India

e-mail: pillaig@iihr.ernet.in



feeds upon perennial crops such as cycad and

Phormium tenax. Ferrisia virgata (Ckll.) appears

in a very severe form on poinsettia in the polyhouse. In glasshouse, the obscure mealybug,

Pseudococcus

viburni

(Signoret),

and

Phenacoccus gossypii (Townsend and Cockerell)

are found on chrysanthemum. Maconellicoccus

hirsutus (Green), Paracoccus marginatus

(Williams and Granara de Willink), and

Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley) are also found

on several crops in greenhouses. Phenacoccus

madeirensis (Green) has become an increasingly

damaging pest in greenhouse ornamental production. Maconellicoccus hirsutus is known to attack

many species of ornamental plants including

Allamanda, Angelica, Anthurium, Bougainvillea,

Croton, ginger lily, Heliconia, Ixora, hibiscus,

palm, and oleander. The lily bulb mealybug

Vryburgia amaryllidis (Bouché) and the obscure

mealybug Pseudococcus viburni were commonly

found as well. Vryburgia amaryllidis is limited to

a few plant families (especially Liliaceae and

Iridaceae). It occurs on the bulb and on the basal

portion of the leaves. Pseudococcus viburni was

found both on the roots and the aerial portion of

the plants, most commonly on short-term crops.

Root mealybugs (Rhizoecus spp.) feed on the

root systems of plants; so, they can be undetected

for long periods of time. Phenacoccus solenopsis

occurs more commonly on the roots, stems, and

foliage close to the soil line in dry climates, compared to settling on the upper foliage of the plant.



© 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_68



621



K.G. Pillai



622



68.2



Damage



The most common species of mealybugs that

infest crops are immediately recognized in the

adult stage by the white, yellowish-white,

whitish-gray, or pale pink to pale blue color coating. Mealybugs can be found on all plant parts,

especially roots, rhizomes, pseudobulbs, and the

underside of leaves. They are adept at hiding on

roots and rhizomes deep in the potting media, in

crevices, and under sheaths. Mealybugs are

active and crawl from one plant to another, pot to

pot, and across benches. Mealybugs hide under

rims of pots and trays, in bench crevices, and

even drop from overhead plants. The mealybugs

species have the ability to increase rapidly in

population size in a relatively short period of

time. With their piercing–sucking mouthparts,

they feed on leaf and stem axils, and even on the

roots of some plants. The mealybugs damage the

plant by extracting the sap, which stresses the

plant, resulting in the leaves becoming chlorotic

and shedding over time, as well as fruit bodies

being aborted. Flowers often take on an abnormal

shape, reducing yield. Infested leaves become

curled and crinkled, acquiring a rosette pattern,

with the plant appearing bushy and stunted. In

addition, the high numbers of developing mealybugs produce large amounts of honeydew that

fall onto the lower leaves, producing a substrate

for the development of sooty mould, which inhibits photosynthesis within the plant.

Mealybugs can be serious and persistent pests

in the greenhouse. Host plant range depends on

the particular mealybug species, and includes

herbaceous annuals or perennials, foliage plants,

orchids, vegetables, and herbs. Some of the

greenhouse crops prone to mealybug infestations

include coleus, croton, dracaena, hoya, English

ivy, ficus, fuchsia, stephanotis, schefflera, hibiscus, mandevilla, strawberry plant (houseplant),

jade plants, palms, prayer plants, gardenia, and

orchids as well as many other foliage plants. The

mealybugs have been found feeding on marigolds, gerbera, daisies, poinsettias, begonias, and

chrysanthemums.



68.3



Monitoring



Monitoring of immature and adult mealybugs is

to be carried out on the stems, leaves, and flowers. The mealybugs survive several millimeters

below the soil surface. Observations should be

directed to all plant tissues for the white waxy

specimens. Sticky traps set out in the greenhouse

can be used to detect the presence of mealybug.

Once mealybugs become established, it is difficult to achieve effective control. Incoming plants

should be inspected for signs of mealybugs.

Roots of newly purchased plants should be

inspected for the root mealybug. Greenhouses

should be kept as weed-free as possible.

Operational parameters of traps baited with the

pheromones of three mealybug species were

optimized in nurseries producing ornamental

plants. All pheromone doses (1–320 μg) attracted

P. longispinus and P. viburni males, with the lowest dose (1 μg) attracting the fewest males for

both species. Doses of 3.2–100 μg were as attractive to male P. longispinus as the highest dose

(320 μg); doses from 10 to 320 μg were equally

attractive for P. viburni males. Lures containing

25-μg doses of either pheromone had effective

field lifetimes of at least 12 weeks. When

pheromone-baited traps for P. longispinus were

compared with manual sampling, trap counts of

male mealybugs were significantly correlated

with mealybugs counted on plants in the vicinity

of the traps (Waterworth et al. 2011).



68.4



Management



Mealybug management in greenhouses is difficult because of their propensity to move into the

potting medium and feeding on roots, or for the

crawlers to work their way into tight places.

Repeated application of any treatment is required

to kill the immature, and treatments are at their

greatest effectiveness against the small crawlers.

All control efforts must begin immediately

following discovery. Even light infestations

restricted to one or a few plants can explode



68 Glasshouse, Greenhouse and Polyhouse Crops



rapidly and necessitate chemical methods. When

required, infested plants should be isolated

immediately from others to prevent the mealybugs from moving among them. Also, the lips

and cracks of pots, trays, and benches should be

checked, because females will wander and leave

the plant to find hiding places. The physical conditions in greenhouses approach an optimum

environment for the uncontrolled increase in

populations of phytophagous insects. Once the

insect is introduced, the greenhouse structure

affords warm temperature, high humidity, and a

physical barrier, isolating the pest from the naturally occurring predators and parasites. Effective

chemical control of insects in greenhouse conditions when plant diversity is high is difficult.

Compact growth habit, certain structural plant

forms such as leaf sheaths, and dense foliage, all

prevent adequate application of the chemical to

the entire plant. Failure to treat all surfaces, along

with sublethal dosages due to improper application rates and pest diversity contribute to a serious problem encountered by greenhouses

today––resistance and resurgence. The phenomenon of pesticide resistance followed by a rapid

resurgence of the surviving insects can cause an

actual increase in the pest population following

chemical application.



68.5



Cultural/Physical/mechanical

control and sanitary

measures



Prevention is the most important element of

mealybug control. Careful selection of clean cutting materials before propagation is critical. If

needed, the cutting materials could be treated

with pesticides before rooting. Planting material

should not be taken from infested fields. It should

be made sure that transplants are clean and

healthy before introducing into fields. Sanitation

is the second most important element of control.

Fields should be scouted regularly, checking

entire plants, paying attention to ants and other

crawling insects that move mealybugs.

Aggressive control programs, if present, could be

implemented immediately. Sanitation in greenhouses and shade houses is critical. The female



623



can live up to 6 weeks and can continue to reproduce after crop harvest. Severe pruning of

infected plants can be considered to allow for

better spray coverage, followed by an aggressive

control program. As soon as an infestation is

detected, infested plants should be isolated and

treated. It is important to prune or cut infested

stems or branches from plants and destroy the

infested plant material. Also, stalks and crop residue in infested sites should be removed and

destroyed, as such residue left in the greenhouse

can harbor mealybugs, which can survive to

invade the new crop. It is necessary to sanitize

equipments and check clothing items to prevent

the transfer of the pest into new locations. Small

populations of mealybugs can be controlled by

inspection of plants, removing, and handpicking

the specimens from newly infested plants. Soap

applications are often effective against targeted

small populations of the mealybug.



68.6



Chemical Control



The conventional management tactics for mealybugs in greenhouse ornamental production

include regular application of insecticides.

Persistent populations of mealybugs or infestation in many plants may demand the need for use

of synthetic insecticides. Well-established infestations are difficult to control, because their waxy

secretions help to protect the young nymphs and

eggs from penetration with chemical sprays. The

crawler stage, which does not possess a waxy

covering, is most susceptible to insecticides,

including insect growth regulators (e.g., azadirachtin, buprofezin, and kinoprene), insecticidal

soaps (potassium salts of fatty acids), horticultural oils (petroleum-based), and possibly insectkilling fungi (Beauveria bassiana).

The types of insecticide applications include

foliar sprays and those directed toward the growing medium (drench or granule). Adult mealybugs are difficult to manage, because they form a

white, waxy protective covering that is nearly

impervious to most insecticides. And, because

most insecticides have no activity on eggs (with

the possible exception of petroleum-based or

neem oils), at least 2–3 weekly applications



624



usually are required to achieve satisfactory suppression, especially when dealing with overlapping generations. Although very few (if any)

insecticides are able to penetrate the waxy covering of mealybugs, those containing ethyl alcohol

(ethanol), such as some oil-based insecticides,

may allow the material to penetrate through the

waxy covering, killing mealybugs. When applying high-volume sprays, thorough coverage is

imperative, especially when using contact insecticides, because mealybugs are commonly

located in areas that are not easily accessible,

such as the base of leaf petioles, leaf sheaths, and

leaf undersides. Adding a spreader-sticker to a

spray solution may be helpful in improving coverage and penetration. For highly susceptible

plants, it may be prudent to routinely spray with

either an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to

prevent mealybug populations from reaching

outbreak proportions. Also, it is essential to make

multiple applications when crawlers are present,

because eggs will hatch (with the exception of the

long-tailed mealybug) over an extended time

period. Insecticides classified as reduced-risk

include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, insect

growth regulators, and systemic insecticides.

Insecticidal soaps are usually solutions of a

synthetic pyrethrin and a plant-safe detergent. As

with oils, the detergent acts as a surfactant and

spreader for dispersing the pyrethrin evenly, and

as a mild caustic against the insects. Pyrethrins

are synthetic analogs of pyrethrum, the natural

extract from certain Asteraceae. Caution should

be urged with the so-called “safe” insecticidal

soaps, as some plants are sensitive, particularly

tender new tissues.

Horticultural oil, neem oil, and mineral oil are

effective for mealybug suppression. Horticultural,

mineral, or neem oil solutions smother the

insects; so, complete coverage of all sprayed

plants is essential. These oils are mixed with

water and usually a plant-safe detergent for

enhancing the spreading and sticking of the oil.

The main caution with these oil solutions is that

they should never be applied to plants on hot

days or in direct sunlight, as to prevent burning of

tissues. Also, to prevent sun-burning, the chemical should be applied and allowed to dry in shade.



K.G. Pillai



Growth Regulators and Chitin Inhibitors are

classes of insecticides that have some potential

for mealybug management. The insect growth

regulator (IGR) buprofezin was not decisive;

however, the IGR pyriproxyfen and the insecticide flonicamid were not directly or indirectly

harmful to the predator C. montrouzieri and parasitoid L. dactylopii, indicating that these insecticides are compatible with both the natural

enemies when used together for the control of

citrus mealybug in greenhouses and conservatories (Cloyd and Dickinson 2006).

Systemic insecticides, those that move

throughout plant parts, may also be used to

protect plants from mealybug infestations.

Applications should be initiated early in the cropping cycle or before introducing the plants into

interiors. Systemic insecticides may be applied as

either a growing medium drench or granule. It is

important to avoid overwatering plants afterward, so that the roots can absorb the active

ingredient. Systemic insecticides, depending on

the type, may be less effective on mealybugs than

on aphids or whiteflies. This may be associated

with mealybugs not ingesting lethal concentrations of the active ingredient, because they feed

within the mesophyll tissues or on plant stems.

The use of insecticides is the most effective

control against the mealybug when applications

are timed to coincide with the crawler stage. In

greenhouse tests, acephate, oxydemeton methyl,

and kinoprene suppressed populations of both

mealybug species and prevented crop damage.

Overall reductions of Rhizoecus floridanus

(Hambleton) by kinoprene and Ro 10–3108 were

comparable to the insecticides acephate and

oxamyl (Hamlen 1977). In greenhouse against

P.solenenopsis on coleus Solenstemon scutellarioides, soil drenching with thiamethoxam, a

neonicotinoid-based insecticide, provided the

highest mealybug control (Willmott 2012).

When using pesticides, nymphs are easier to

control than mature mealybugs. Insecticides used

for mealybug control should be rotated to minimize resistance buildup. Insecticides should be

applied using a sprayer that provides complete

spray coverage of plant. Particularly for mealybugs, it is important to totally wet the entire plant,



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