Mealy Bug

Pseudococcidae family

Family: - Pseudococcidae

Order: - Hemiptera



Colour - Dull with a thin covering of 'mealy' wax

Body - Up to 10mm. Oval. Flat. Soft.

Wings - 1 Pair in males, none in females. Wing-span 1mm

Mouthparts - Stylet. Sucking. Near rear of head.

Antennae - Very small. 3-10 segments.

Eyes - 2 Compound.

Legs -Very small. Feet (Tarsi) have 4 segments.

Head - fused to thorax.

Thorax - 3 segments.

Abdomen - Eight pairs of spiracles on underside. Segments ill defined

Egg - ovoid.

Habits - Males fly but don't feed. First instar mobile. Female sedentary and protects eggs.


Usually 5 stages (instars). Look quite different to the adults.


Life Cycle:

Eggs hatch to produce nymphs. First instar nymph is highly mobile. Later instars less so. Mature female sedentary. Tend to live in colonies in dry protected areas and crevices.


Origin and History:



Pseudococcus longispinus damages citrus. Planococcus minor damages passionfruit. Pseudococcus affinis is found on roots as well as shoots. Melanococcus albizziae can kill Acacia species. Australicoccus grevilliae damages Grevillea species. Others affect Grapes and Pineapple. Hypogeococcus festerianus was introduced to control Harrisia cactus.

Management and Control:

Juvenile Green Lacewings and Damsel Bugs are predators of Mealy Bug and can provide substantial control of all growth stages.

Related Species:

Aphids, Lerps, various 'bugs' leafhoppers and scales.

Similar Species:


CSIRO. The Insects of Australia. Melbourne University Press. (1991) p459-461, 463f30.25.

Goode, J. Insects of Australia. Angus and Robertson. p61.

Jones, D. & Elliot, R. Pests Diseases and Ailments of Australian Plants. Lothian Publishing Co. p67.


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