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Common name: "Mealy Bug" or "Long-tailed Mealy"
Latin name:
Ferrisia virgata, Phenacoccus solani, Planococcus citri, Pseudoccous longispinus

Foliar Mealy Bug
Size: 1/5th to 1/8th inches.
Colors:
White to pinkish.
Life cycle: < 30 days
Mouth parts:
Sucking

Transportation:
People and pets may transport Mealy bug indoors. Mealy Bugs can crawl from an infected plant to a non-infected plant.
Pictured: Mealy Bugs on Cardboard Palm
General Houseplant Pest information: Mealy bugs are soft bodied insects that suck fluids from houseplants. Their pinkish-white body is covered with a type of waterproofing making chemical control difficult. They also like to nest deep in the crotches of  a plant, also making control difficult.

Signs of infection: Look for individual Mealy Bug insects near the upper part of a plant. Inspect the upper and under sides of the foliage along with the stems. Severe infestations will resemble patches of cotton dispersed any where on the houseplant. Also keep any eye out for a sticky substance called "Honey Dew".

Control: Mealy bugs don't reproduce as fast as other insects so you have a good chance of clearing up the problem. Your first line of defense should be physical control. Squish as many of the bugs as you can find with your fingers. Next follow up with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol dabbing the Mealy bugs that you can't get to. Pay close attention to where the leaf attaches to the stem. Applying systemic granules to the soil and spraying with Safer's Ultra Fine Oil will also help. Repeat this process until you have eliminated all of the Mealy bugs. 

If you have a severe infestation you may need to spray the plant with chemicals. For chemical controls of houseplant pests and bugs call or visit one of our sponsors, or order this excellent indoor/outdoor pest and disease reference book for alternative eco-friendly solutions.

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