You must have seen something on plants that you first thought was a tiny piece of cotton, but then you realized it was a living thing. Those tiny white bugs you noticed while watering your plants might be the mealybugs. These tiny pests are typically white in color, which comes from a wax produced by special glands on the top and sides of their bodies. Mealybugs are so small that they can come in undetected from a variety of sources: potting soil, other plants, fresh produce from the grocery store or farmers market.
Mealybugs are related to aphids, which are also covered with waxy secretions, so these two insects are often confused.
Mealybugs are experts at hiding on roots, in crevices and under lips and pots and planters. There are many species of mealybugs, all of which are very tiny. Some have longer tiny needle-like rods which look like tails, while others have longer rods extending around their bodies. Some species are more pink, yellow or light green in color, but most are white.
Mealybugs are tiny creatures—sometimes only half a millimeter long—which often congregate on the part of the plant where the leaves attach to the plant’s stem.
Mealybugs can look like little pieces of cotton on your plant. However, they will infest any area of the plant. When you just have one or two females, they can be harder to spot. However, once they start laying their egg sac or the eggs hatch, then they are much easier to spot because they tend to cover more areas of your infected plant.
All plant species are at risk for damage from a mealybug infestation. In warmer areas, citrus and ornamental plants are more severely impacted by this lawn pest. Tropical plants, woody trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals can also be attacked by this pest. Mealybugs feed by sucking sap from plant roots, crowns, stems, twigs, flowers, fruit and leaves.
If you are wondering what attracts mealybugs, understanding that these pests prefer plants with high levels of nitrogen.
Some mealybugs can spread viruses, but this is uncommon and primarily occurs with species which prefer grapevines. Mealybugs do not bite humans, although coming into contact with these creatures can sometimes cause skin irritation. The sticky residue mealybugs leave behind can be hard to remove from clothing.
The biggest threat mealybugs pose to humans is economic. Damage from these pests to agricultural crops can be significant and homeowners may be forced to discard impacted plants in cases of an infestation.
There are several evidence pertaining to damages caused by mealybugs. Let us have a look at some evidence:
Mealy bugs attack Asia’s cassava farms
Sci Dev net, 11th April 2016
Pests and disease outbreaks are threatening to decrease cassava production by 30-40 per cent this year in South-East Asia, home of the world’s largest cassava producers. a. In Thailand, the mealybugs have infected 200,000 hectares of cassava plantations, resulting in 30-50 per cent yield loss. In Indonesia, the mealybugs have infected areas in Java and southern Sumatra and are now heading to the eastern part of Indonesia, where cassava is a primary food source, says Aunu Rauf, senior entomologist at the plant pest and diseases department of the Institute Pertanian Bogor in Indonesia,
According to Rauf, the mealybugs have decreased cassava production in West Java to 30-40 per cent, and if the same case happens to other places in Indonesia, the losses will reach 9.6 million tonnes per year. Indonesia’s annual cassava production is 24 million tonnes, grown in 1.1 million hectares of cassava plantations across the archipelago.
Mumbai loses 238 rain trees to mealy bugs
DNA, Sep 17, 2014
Mumbai has lost 238 rain trees to a pest attack in the last couple of months, stated a report compiled by the garden department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
As per the report, a pest called Mealybug infested more than 50 per cent of those trees which have died. It revealed that 500 rain trees across the city were infested by the pest, but after taking a host of measures, the civic body was able to save 262 of them.
“Initially, we thought that it was a temporary attack, which will be washed out in heavy rains, but the Mealybug population continued to increase rapidly, attacking more and more trees,” said a garden department official.
This problem needs to be fixed. This is the unstemmed devastation caused by these tiny bugs. Thus to combat this menace include the use of toxic pesticides which come with their own set of cons.
An effective and green solution needs to be devised to counter this destruction and C Tech Corporation has such a solution!
CombirepelTM is a non-toxic, non-hazardous insect and pest repellant produced by C Tech Corporation. It can be best described as an insect aversive. It is effective against a multitude of other insects and pests like mealybug, thrips, beetles, bugs, etc. It works on the mechanism of repellence and therefore does not kill the target as well as non-target species.
Being non-toxic, it does not harm the soil and environment. CombirepelTM can be added to a thin agricultural film to protect cotton and other crops.
Our product available in the form of masterbatch can be incorporated into polymeric applications like the tree guards and fences, agricultural films and mulches, irrigation pipes etc. to keep these pests away from the trees and crops.
The liquid concentrate can be mixed in paints and be applied on the concrete fence around the gardens and farms. The liquid concentrate can be applied to the interior and exterior of storage rooms used to store grains and other agricultural produce.
The product available in the form of lacquer can be used as a direct application and can be applied on the tree trunks, wooden fences around trees, crops, and farms, already installed pipes and polymeric parts from agricultural equipment like motors, tractors etc.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have problems with these tiny bugs and other insects.
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