Mealybugs are soft, oval, flat, distinctly segmented, and covered with a white, mealy wax that extends
into spines (filaments) along the body margin and the posterior end. Colonies occur as white, sticky
clusters among leaves and fruit. Larvae are mobile.
Mealybugs feed on stems and leaves of fruit trees and ornamentals and lower fruit quality by covering
it with wax or sticky honeydew upon which sooty mold grows.
Mealybugs can be adequately controlled by natural
enemies, but may become problems if frequent applications
of broad-spectrum insecticides, such as carbaryl, are made. Manage
ants, which are attracted to honeydew
and inhibit the activities of natural enemies. Removal of overwintering sites, such as loose bark, can
reduce mealybug numbers. Populations often drop in summer. Mealybugs are sensitive to heat and their
waxy coat protects them from insecticides. Treatments are usually not justified or effective on home