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1 Important Root Mealybug Species
M. Mathew and M. Mani
Table 69.1 List of other root mealybugs on different host plants in different countries
Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell)
Dysmicoccus texensis (Tinsley)
Dysmicoccus vaccinii sp. n.
Ferrisia virgata (Ckll.)
Geococcus johorensis Williams
Geococcus lawrencei Williams
Geococcus oryzae Kuwana
Phenacoccus salviacus Moghaddam
Phenacoccus hordei (Lindeman)
Planococcoides robustus Ezzat &
Planococcus citri (Risso)
Planococcus cryptus Hempel
Planococcus ﬁcus Signoret
Planococcus fungicola sp. nov.
Pseudococcus eriocerei Williams
Pseudococcus viburni (Signoret)
Pseudococcus cryptus Hempel
Rhizoecus maasbachi Jansen
Rhizoecus amorphophalli Betrem
Rhizoecus theae sp.n.
Pigeon pea & groundnut
Grasses, alfalfa, barley, clover, rye &
Paraguay, Bolivia & Brazil
Johore & Malaya
Japan & Ceylon
Colocasia esculenta, Curcuma longa
and Kaempferia galangal
69 Root Mealybugs
Table 69.1 (continued)
Rhizoecus hibisci Kawai & Takagi
Rhizoecus kondonis Kuw.
Rhizoecus cynodontis Green
Rhizoecus arabicus Hambleton
Rhizoecus kondonis Kuw.
Rhizoecus aloes sp. Nov
Ripersia speciosa De Lotto
Xenococcus annandalei Silvestri
Tea, bonsai plant Serissa foetida,
ornamentals: Cuphea, Hibiscus
rosa-sinensis, Nerium, Oleander
largonium, Rhododendron, bonsais
like, Ligustrum ovalifolium, Punica
granatum, Segeretia theezans, Ulmus
parviﬂora, Zelkova serrata, foliage
plants Calathea, Diffenbachia, ﬁcus,
and various members of Araceae and
dwarf Bermuda grass
Coffee, Gasteranthus atratus & other
East and southeast Asia, Puerto
Rico, Florida and Hawaii, Italy
and the Netherlands
Colombia, Costa Rica &
China and orange in Izu peninsula, Shizuokaken and Japan. It has been reported on the roots
of betel vine from Tamil Nadu (India)
(Muthukrishnan et al. 1958). This species
became an important pest of Nendran variety of
banana in Kerala. A total of 28 collateral hosts
were recorded for Geococcus citrinus in banana
ecosystem (Abraham et al. 2000; Smitha et al.
Adult females on the roots
69.1.3 Rhizoecus hibisci
Potted palms and other slow-growing plants are
more susceptible to infestation by root mealybug
Rhizoecus hibisci Kawai & Takagi because they
require lengthy bench time to attain marketable
size. Rhizoecus hibisci have been found on palms,
calathea, and Serrisa spp.
69.1.4 Rhizoecus americanus
Rhizoecus americanus Ferris is a soft-bodied,
sucking insect that attacks the tips of roots. It is
very common in Florida and other southern
states. However, if shipped in plants, it continues
to thrive indoors and in greenhouses. These creatures are dangerous to the plants and are often
Roots of Euphorbia squarrosa
infested with mealybugs
69.1.5 Rhizoecus falciper
The ground mealybug R. falciper Kunckel d’
Herculais was described in France, and occurs in
scattered locations across the United States. The
ground mealybug feeds on the roots of anemone,
chrysanthemum, gladiolus, iris, and numerous
other ﬂowers, shrubs, and ornamental grasses. At
times, the ground mealybug becomes abundant
enough to damage its host.
M. Mathew and M. Mani
ignored as insigniﬁcant or misidentiﬁed as
Rhizoecus americanus on
African violet, although it is also known to infest
Achillea, Arctostaphylos, Geum, and Polygala.
Pritchard’s mealybug causes devitalization, foliage deterioration, and even death of its host plant.
When infested African violets are irrigated,
Pritchard’s mealybugs crawl out of the drainage
holes and spread throughout the greenhouse. Eggs
are laid in a loose ovisac in clusters of at least six
eggs. All stages can be found on the roots.
69.1.7 Rhizoecus maasbachi
Rhizoecus maasbachi Jansen is known to infest
bonsai plants of Sageretia spp. in China. This
species lives hidden on root hairs and detection
of small population is difﬁcult. Rhizoecus hibisci
and R. maasbachi are the only two species regularly detected on Chinese bonsai and could be
confused with one another. In R. maasbachi, eyes
are present and the antennae are 6-segmented. In
R. hibisci, the eyes are absent and antennae are
5-segmented (Jansen 2003).
69.1.8 Rhizoecus amorphophalli
69.1.6 Rhizoecus pritchardi
Pritchard’s mealybug Rhizoecus pritchardi
Mckenzie is found across the United States.
Pritchard’s mealybug has become a serious pest of
Rhizoecus amorphophalli Betrem was recorded
on roots of elephant foot yam, Amorphophallus
sp. from Trivandrum, Kerala (India) and roots of
ginger Zingiber ofﬁcinale from Calicut,
Dioscorea elephantipes from Goa, and rhizomes
of Curcuma domestica Zingiberaceae) from
Kohlapur, Maharashtra stored for seed purpose.
69 Root Mealybugs
69.1.9 Rhizoecus cocois
Rhizoecus cocois Williams was reported from
Kazhakkoottam, Kerala infesting coconut palms.
Infested young palms show yellowing and loss of
vigour and discolouration of the roots at the point
of feeding resulting in the drying up of such
roots. The adult female is subglobular, cream
coloured and enclosed within a loose jacket of
pure white cottony felt (Nair et al. 1980).
69.1.10 Rhizoecus kondonis
Rhizoecus kondonis Kuwana is a subterranean
pest of alfalfa (lucerne), prunes (plums, Prunus
domestica) and other crops primarily in the
Sacramento Valley of California. Root feeding by
the mealybug results in chlorotic, stunted lucerne
plants. Rhizoecus kondonis has three generations
per year with peaks in abundance in July-August,
Signiﬁcantly more R. kondonis were found 15.2–
45.7 cm deep in the soil (averaging 8.3/1240 cm
superscript three soil core samples) compared
with depths of 0–15.2 cm (averaging 2.2/sample).
All ten lucerne varieties were examined for susceptibility to this insect and found to be equally
susceptible (Godfrey and Pickel 1998).
bugs species namely Planococcus sp.,
Planococcus citri (Risso), P. lilacinus Cockerell,
Dysmicoccus brevipes (Cockerell) and Ferrisia
virgata (Cockerell) are known to infest the roots
and basal region of stem of black pepper vines
(Piper nigrum) (Ventataramaiah and Rehman
1989; Devasahayam et al. 2010).
69.1.13 Planococcoides robustus
Planococcoides robustus sp.nr. was found infesting roots of mango, grapes and the weed plant
Coniza ambigua in the Kolar district of Karnataka,
India. Ants were observed to carry the mealybugs. The affected plants showing desiccation
and leaf fall survived (Puttarudriah and
69.1.14 Xenococcus annandalei
The grape root mealybug Xenococcus annandalei Silvestri in India also known to cause damage
occasionally by sucking the sap from roots, and
the affected vines show reduced vigour, shortening of fruit bearing canes and reduction in size of
fruit bunches and yield.
69.1.15 Paraputo sp.
69.1.11 Dysmicoccus brevipes
Dysmicoccus brevipes Cockerell is common on
the roots of pineapple, and large colonies develop
on the stems just above ground level. It is associated with pineapple wilt. It was also found on the
roots of the groundnut. It lives in colonies underground, and few may be seen on foliage. They
feed on nodules and cut off the nutrient supply to
plants (Singh et al. 1986).
69.1.12 Pepper Root Mealybugs
Mealybugs are major insect pests of black pepper
plantations in southern parts of India. Five mealy-
Mulberry plantations in hilly areas of Northern
parts of India such as Darjeeling and Kalimpong
are being infested by root mealybug, Paraputo
sp. (Pseudococcidae: Homoptera) causing considerable damage (Mukhopadhyay et al. 2010).
69.1.16 Phenacoccus parvus
Phenacoccus parvus Morrison was recorded
feeding mainly on collar region and subterranean
plant parts of the ornamental China aster in India.
About 25 % of the plants were infested making
the plant stunted without bearing ﬂowers (Sridhar
et al. 2012).
M. Mathew and M. Mani
69.1.17 Chryseococcus arecae
The golden root mealybug, Chryseococcus arecae Maskell is a native of New Zealand. It was
found in Britain and can be witnessed on the
roots of outdoor plants all year round. Golden
root mealybug is a sap feeding insect that feeds
on the roots of a wide variety of plants, although
it has only been found on Meconopsis and
Primula in UK. Mealybug infestations have been
noticed on plants lacking vigour.
per plant was recorded in Gedeo zone while the
lowest infestation of three mealybugs per plant
was recorded in Yem district. Knowledge about
the biology and distribution of this species has
paramount importance in devising proper management. Enset plants infested with mealybugs
have a retarded growth and dried lateral leaves.
The insects attack all plant age groups but symptoms are more severe on 2 to 4 years old enset
plants. Enset root mealybugs are found on roots
and corms. However, during periods of extreme
drought the mealybugs tend to move towards the
corm when some of the roots drought. The dispersal mechanism of enset root mealybugs is
facilitated by movement of infested suckers, farm
implements during cultivation, repeated transplanting operations and association with ants.
The population density of the mealybugs was signiﬁcantly (P < 0.05) higher on the roots than the
corms. Enset root mealybugs were found up to a
soil depth of 60 cm and up to 80 cm from the
corm. However, root density as well as mealybug
population numbers decreased with increasing
soil depth. About 99 % of the mealybugs and
96 % of the roots were collected within the upper
40 cm soil layer. In addition, about 90 % of the
mealybugs were found within a 60-cm radius
from the plant (Addis et al. 2008, 2010).
69.1.18 The Enset Root Mealybug
Enset (Ensete ventricosum) was domesticated in
Ethiopia several hundred years ago, and is now
the staple food crop for over 15 million Ethiopians
living in the highlands of southern Ethiopia. The
enset root mealybug Cataenococcus ensete
Williams and Matile-Ferrero is a major pest in
the enset growing regions of southern Ethiopia.
Infestation was high in Amaro, Gedeo, Sidama
and Bench districts with 100, 67, 61 and 57 %
incidence respectively. Low mealybug incidence
was recorded in Gurage, Kembata Tembaro,
Hadyia zones and Yem districts. More than 30 %
of the enset farms were infested with the mealybugs. The highest infestation of 81 mealybugs
There can be several generations of the root
mealybugs throughout the year and numbers can
multiply under favourable conditions. With
severe infestations, root mealybugs can be found
on the soil surface at the stem base. It is very difﬁcult to detect symptoms of root mealybugs on
the plant. White, cottony-like masses containing
egg-laying females and/or eggs are normally visible on the outside of the root mass when an
infested plant is lifted. Slow plant growth and
leaf deterioration may be signs of the presence of
the pest. Root-bound or under environmental or
nutritional stress, the plants are more susceptible
69 Root Mealybugs
to attack. Once established in the greenhouse,
root mealybugs may spread as crawlers from
plant to plant as the water moves out of the drainage holes to nearby plants and in plant debris. It
is mainly potted plants (especially bonsai plants)
that are concerned during import inspections.
The pot should be removed and roots examined
for waxy secretions. In case of heavy infestations, crawlers may be observed on the soil surface. The mealybugs may be found particularly in
the new feeder roots in the upper layer of the soil.
The resulting damage stiﬂes the ability of roots to
absorb water and nutrients. The only outward
sign of root mealybug feeding may be a decline
in the health of infested plants. When plants are
removed from the pot, the whitish mealybugs
feeding on the roots are then observed. If the
plant seems to be declining in health because it
has yellow foliage or slow growth or is stunted
for what seems to be no particular reason, then it
is to be looked for something that could be lurking below feeding on the plant’s root system. In
case there are mealybugs on bonsai trees, leaves
may be pale (sometimes greyish) or wilted,
despite regular fertilizer and watering. Maybe the
plant growth has slowed down and/or ﬂowering
has ceased. In severe cases, the leaves may be
misshapen. Although they occur throughout the
roots, they are most obvious along the edges.
Mealybugs on the roots
The adults and nymphs of Geococcus suck sap
from the lateral roots of banana colonizing at the
junction of laterals with main root resulting in
drying up of such roots. Yellowing and narrowing
of leaves, general weakening of the plant, reduction in bunch weight, etc. were the observed
symptoms. Geococcus citrinus occurs seriously
on banana roots in reclaimed paddy ﬁelds. G. coffeae was also associated with banana grown in
The adults and immature stages of Rhizoecus
hibisci feed on plant roots particularly new roots
in the upper layer of soil reducing water and
nutrient uptake by host. Feeding reduces plant
growth resulting in shrivelling and crinkling.
Leaves wilt, become pale and turn yellow or
grey; alternatively they can become soft, translucent and brown. Flowers may not be produced.
Mealy bugs (Planococcus sp., P. citri, P.
lilacinus, Dysmicoccus brevipes and Ferrisia virgata) were found infesting the roots and basal
region of stem of black pepper vines (Piper
nigrum). Infested plants show slow or poor
growth. Leaves wilt, become pale or turn yellow
or grey. Wax deposit is seen around the roots, on
the soil or on the side of the pots. The infestation
is generally severe during the post monsoon. The
root mealy bug affects the aerial parts of the black
pepper vines such as the tender shoots, leaves and
berries (Devasahayam et al. 2010).
Parputo sp. cause appreciable damage to
mulberry directly by sucking the sap and indirectly by making way for some fungal infection,
leading to rotting of the root and ultimately
death of the plants. The infested mulberry plants
show vulnerability to the attack of various fungal pathogens such as Fusarium solani,
Phomopsis mori and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Due to this, decaying of bark portion of
root and stem occurs with severe anthracnose
disease. Finally, it results in the death of such
severely affected mulberry plants (Biswas et al.
M. Mathew and M. Mani
Symptoms of banana root mealy bug infestation on banana
Roots of banana infested with mealybugs
Banana plants infested with root mealybugs
69.2.1 Mode of Spread
Under moist conditions, young root mealybugs
or nymphs are active. They move short distances
to adjacent plants. They may crawl from pot to
pot via drainage holes. They are slow moving in
irrigation water thereby facilitating the spread.
However their dispersal potential is usually limited. Infestations often begin with the purchase of
infested plant material.
69.2.2 Seasonal Development
Banana root mealybugs: The maximum population of Geococcus spp. was observed within
20–40 cm radius followed by 40–60 cm. In the
case of vertical distribution, more mealybugs
were collected within 20 cm depth. The population increased with the commencement of southwest monsoon in June and reached a peak in July,
followed by a decline in September, reaching a
lower level in January and remained low up to
May (Smitha and Mathew 2010a).
Mulberry root mealybugs: Plantations in hill
are being infested by root mealybug Paraputo sp.
causing considerable damage. It remains in the
root-zone and adjacent to stump portion below the
soil surface up to 20 cm deep, sucks sap and secrets
honey dew, thus inviting the occurrence of several
fungi on the plants. Due to sucking root becomes
stunted, normal growth ceases and leaves become
yellow and appear to be wilting (Das et al. 2004).
69.2.3 Natural Enemies
There is poor natural enemy complex, particularly natural predators or parasites on root mealybugs. Two predators namely Scymnus sp.
(Coccinellidae: Coleoptera) were found feeding
on G. citrinus (Smitha and Mathew 2010a).
Mathew et al. (2010) reported the fungal pathogen, Paecilomyces lilacinus on Geococcus spp. It
was pathogenic to both Geococcus coffeae and
G. citrinus (Smitha and Mathew 2011) and also
isolated Hirsutella sp. infecting G. citrinus. The
larvae of Spalgis sp. were observed to predate on
pepper root mealybug colonies (Planococcus sp.,
P. citri, P. lilacinus, Dysmicoccus brevipes and
Ferrisia virgata) (Devasahayam et al. 2010;
Ventataramaiah and Rehman 1989).
69 Root Mealybugs
Larva of Scymnus sp.
It is very difﬁcult to detect and control root
mealybugs. Every effort should be made to prevent their spread and establishment. Pesticides
applied as dips, drenches, or granules are more
effective for root mealybug control than are foliar
69.3.1 Pot Culture Plants
• Infestations usually begin with new plant
material. Inspect roots of newly purchased
plants by removing them from their pots.
• Inspect roots of suspected plants, especially
slow growing ones.
• Avoid pot-bound plants by re-potting when
• Use pots with inner coatings of copper
hydroxide which prevents root matting and
thereby minimizes root mealybug infestations. Separate pots from the ground on raised
benches or with plastic ﬁlm over the soil.
Palm roots in the pot not treated with copper
hydroxide (right) are more compacted and
infested with mealybugs (Hara et al. 2001).
• Do not allow water from infested areas to run
onto clean areas.
• Remove alternate host plants from around the
greenhouse, or control mealybugs on them.
• Use clean pots and soil; if infested, wash pots
with soap and water.
• Keep the growing area clean of plant debris.
• First, isolate the affected plants, especially if
they share a common watering tray with other,
healthy plants. Although soil mealy bugs do
not spread easily, they will travel over moist
• Root mealybugs can be spread by irrigation
water, re-use of previously infested pots, reuse of contaminated media, and crawlers
moving from infested plants to other plants.
• Infestation of greenhouse bench plants by root
mealybugs can occur by introducing nursery
stock that was already infested when purchased or from crawlers that move in from
host plants near the greenhouse.
• For root mealybug in pots, remove all soil and
destroy it. Wash the roots thoroughly and treat
(eventually immersing the whole plant) with
the above mentioned insecticide, letting the
roots dry after treatment and before replanting
in completely fresh, sterilized soil. Always
cleanse and sterilize frames and all other items
used when replanting. Regular applications
(weekly for several weeks) of insecticide
watered into the soil are also effective; it is
also possible to immerse the plant pot up to
the top of the soil in a bucket of insecticide.
• A promising alternative to chemical treatments has been found in the use of
Diatomaceous Earth, a fully inert, non-volatile substance that has proven effective in
eradicating certain insect pests. Strictly speaking, Diatomaceous Earth is not an insecticide.
It is made from the skeletal remains of diatoms, a microscopic form of algae. When processed into Diatomaceous Earth, these skeletal
remains form razor-sharp particles which cut
into the bodies of small insects. While eradicating the insects, Diatomaceous Earth does
not harm African Violets. To treat for soil
mealy bugs, repot the African Violet in a soil
that has been mixed with Diatomaceous Earth.
Use about one tablespoon per one litre of soil.
Pasteurize soil before re-potting. To make soil
uninhabitable for future mealy bug infestations, mix about one fourth tablespoon of
Diatomaceous Earth with every litre of soil.
• Hot-water dips are as effective as insecticides
against mealybugs. Submerging the potted
palms in water held at 120 °F (49 °C) until the
internal root ball temperature reached 115 °F
(46 °C) was 100 % effective in killing root
mealybugs. Drenching potted palm roots in
hot water at 120 °F for 15 min will not only
control mealybugs but will also eliminate burrowing nematodes. If an infestation is found
(Rhizoecus hibisci), hot water treatment of
root balls is very effective (Hu et al. 1996).
• Chemical control of root mealybugs requires
saturation of the root ball and potting medium
to a degree that allows the pesticide to penetrate the pests’ white, waxy secretion. Dipping
or drenching with liquid insecticide is more
effective than applying a granular formulation. Chlorpyriphos, applied twice as a drench
or dip at 2-week intervals controls coffee root
mealybug; however, it may take 4–6 months
before the cottony, waxy secretions deteriorate completely. In the dip method, submerging the plant’s entire root ball without the pot
M. Mathew and M. Mani
in a diluted chlorpyriphos solution (1 pint per
100 gal) for about 30 s with slight agitation is
nearly twice as effective as dipping the plant
while still in its pot. Imidacloprid, which can
be applied only as a drench and incorporated
with a surfactant or wetting agent to ensure
thorough distribution of solution in the potting
medium, can also signiﬁcantly reduce the
number of individuals in an infestation (Hata
et al. 1996).
• Moth ball: As a preventative measure, moth
balls (paradichlorobenzene), added to the potting mix, seem to discourage infestation by
root mealy bug, and probably discourages
other insects. However, the chemicals in the
moth balls can cause damage to plastic plant
pots and are best used with clay pots.
• Traditionally, the only effective treatment for
soil mealybugs (R. amercanus) has been to
spray the soil with acephate (as directed on the
label) or with malathion (1 teaspoon of
Malathion 50 per 4 l of lukewarm water).
While this treatment does work, it usually
takes several applications over a period of
days. Moreover, there is usually some risk to
plants when using any chemical treatment.
69.3.2 Field Conditions
Application of sodium silicate and calcium oxide at
the time of planting effectively reduced the population of banana root mealybug, G. citrinus.
Drenching of the chemical insecticides, chlorpyriphos at 0.05 % at monthly intervals, reduced the
root mealybug population. Among the combinations, without synthetic insecticides, sodium silicate alone and its combination with neem seed
kernel extract (NSKE) and Cephalosporium lecanii Zimm, were effective in reducing the mealybug
population at sixth and seventh month of the crop.
Application of chlorpyriphos gave the highest beneﬁt--cost ratio of 2.46 followed by sodium silicate
(2.30) (Smitha and Mathew 2010b). Application of
neonicotinoids, which include imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, thiocloprid, by way of soil drench can
also be tried against root mealybugs in general.
69 Root Mealybugs
Drenching the affected vines with about
0.075 % chlorpyriphos is effective in controlling
the pepper root mealybug infestation in India. If
the infestation persists, then drenching may have
to be repeated after 20–30 days, “Adequate care
should be taken to ensure that the insecticide
solution percolates down to the roots while
drenching the vines. Farmers should not transplant infested nursery plants in the ﬁeld and mild
infestations should be controlled in the nursery
itself. Ploughing the interspaces in black pepper
gardens and removal of weeds also help in lowering the level of pest population. The mango root
mealybug Planococcoides robustus sp.nr. was
controlled by application of disulfoton granules
at monthly intervals and watering weekly. The
affected plants showing desiccation and leaf fall
had survived (Puttarudriah and Eswaramurthy
Under green house and farmers ﬁeld conditions, insecticides like diazinon 60 % EC and
chlorpyriphos 48 % EC caused at least 98 % mortality of enset mealybug Catenococcus ensete
both under ﬁeld and green house conditions
(Tadesse et al. 2010a). Seed water suspension of
Millettia ferruginea at 10 % was toxic to C.
ensete, causing 66 % mortality. However, the
efﬁcacy was inferior to diazinon application in
the pot and dipping treatments (Tadesse et al.
2010b). Citronella oil at 5 % performed better
towards controlling mulberry root mealybug
Paraputo sp. followed by 5 % neem oil and 55
neem leaf extract, without any adverse effect on
silkworm rearing (Anonymous 2011). Biswas
et al. (2002) reported that both carbofuran and
endosulfan were effective in controlling mulberry root mealybug for longer period. Diazinon,
oxamyl and granules of aldicarb are recommended for control of Rhizoecus arabicus
Hambleton (Hamon 1982). Phyrinex 48 % EC
and Phostoxin tablet had provided better control
of root mealybug (Paraputo sp.) than the other
insecticides. Phostoxin tablets and Phyrinex
48 % EC resulted in mean pseudostem circumference increases of 23.23 and 32.34 cm, and in
mean plant height increases of 71.09 and
58.11 cm, respectively, over the control (Bekele
69.3.3 Biological Control
Cephalosporium lecanii Zimmerman as the best
among the three fungi screened, namely,
Beauveria bassiana Balsomo, Hirsutella sp. and
Cephalosporium lecanii. Entomopathogenic
nematodes (EPNs) have potential for biological
pest control and have been successfully used in
several countries in soil and cryptic pests control,
as for example the coffee root mealybug
Dysmicoccus texensis (Tinsley). Aqueous
suspension of Heterorhabditis on coffee root was
more efﬁcient with 70 % control efﬁciency when
compared with thiamethoxam (Alves et al. 2009).
69.3.4 Phytosanitary Risk
R. hibisci has spread from Asia to USA (Hawaii
and Florida) and has established in some ornamental glasshouses in Europe. Though there are
also European species of Rhizoecus with similar
biology, R. hibisci is a potentially serious pest in
the EPPO region, particularly on glasshouse pot
plants. Moreover, it has signiﬁcance as an indicator that pot plants (especially bonsai plants) produced in eastern Asia, and exported to the EPPO
region, have not been grown under adequately
controlled conditions (as deﬁned for example in
EU 2000), and may accordingly be infested by
other non-European pests. Rhizoecus hibisci was
added in 2001 to the EPPO A2 list of regulated
pests. Nurseries producing pot plants for export
to the EPPO region should maintain good standards of hygiene, and in particular should respect
EPPO Standard PM 3/54 growing plants in growing medium prior to export (OEPP/EPPO 1994).
Bonsai plants for export to the EPPO region
should respect the requirements set out in EU
(2000) or equivalent requirements. Consignments
of containerized host species from areas where R.
hibisci occurs should have containers removed
and the roots inspected. Montanucci (2010)
described a safe and inexpensive procedure for
elimination of root mealybugs (genus Rhizoecus)
from a small cactus collection. The procedure
prevents re-infestation by taking advantage of the
fact that the root mealybug females and nymphs
are wingless and must crawl to potted plants to
become established. The procedure is expected to
permanently eradicate rather than simply control
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