COLLEGE: CMR NATIONAL PU COLLEGE SAMPLE: MEALYBUGS SAMPLE COLLECTED FROM: MY BACKYARD ON 08/03/2019 SAMPLE VIEWED AT: CMR NATIONAL PU COLLEGE ON 08/03/2019 STUDENTS INVOLVED: A. PRAGNA SAAHITHYA, NEHA. R, VIMARSHA RUDRESH AND AISHWARYA. R
Mealybugs or Pseudococcidae are unarmoured, scaled insects found in moist, warm climates. Mealybugs are considered pests as they feed on plant juices of greenhouse plants, house plants and subtropical trees and also act as a vector for several plant diseases.
Mealybug females feed on plant sap, normally in roots or other crevices, and in a few cases the bottoms of stored fruit. They attach themselves to the plant and secrete a powdery wax layer (hence the name mealybug) used for protection while they suck the plant juices. The males on the other hand are short-lived as they do not feed at all as adults and only live to fertilize the females. Male citrus mealy bugs fly to the females and resemble fluffy gnats.
Some species of mealybug lay their eggs in the same waxy layer used for protection in quantities of 50–100; other species are born directly from the female.
Mealybugs only tend to be serious pests in the presence of ants because the ants protect them from predators and parasites. Mealybugs also infest some species of carnivorous plant such as Sarracenia (pitcher plants); in such cases it is difficult to eradicate them without repeated applications of insecticide such as diazinon. Small infestations may not inflict significant damage. In larger amounts though, they can induce leaf drop.